Mauricio Pochettino’s effect at Southampton has been largely accepted to determine that Southampton will survive relegation, but after their defeat at Newcastle are just three points off the bottom three.
This weekend, however, they have the chance to surely relegate one of their rivals. QPR visit St Mary’s needing a victory. Should they do so then the Saints would be just seven points from the bottom of the league, but Southampton could put themselves a full thirteen points ahead of QPR.
One defeat in eight home games. In terms of survival, home may be where the heart is.
Everton have traditionally been stronger in the second half of the season, but after an impressive start to the season there were hopes that the club could push for a top four finish. However, after failing to invest in January (despite apparently having £8million to spend on Leroy Fer ) Everton’s season has started to stutter.
The Toffees have not won in four games, and have won just one of their last six Premier League games, including dropped points against Norwich, Aston Villa, Southampton and Swansea. These are not the performances of a team that will gain European football.
The perfect antidote for such an illness? Reading at home, please.
After his Bale-ing on Monday night, Sam Allardyce is a manager under pressure. Rather like his spell at Blackburn, Allardyce is a useful man in a certain situation but upon stagnation his brand of football soon becomes tiresome to supporters and owners.
After winning three of their last 18 games, the Hammers now find themselves in 14th place in the league and only six points ahead of the relegation zone. On Saturday they must travel to Stoke City, who have lost just one home game this season. They then have a weekend off as Manchester United are still involved in the FA Cup and then travel to Chelsea. By the end of March Sam Allardyce may be dangerously close to the relegation zone. Such a situation may be terminal to his employment.
Mourinho is not used to failure throughout his career, but it would be fair to say that Real Madrid are currently failing. 16 points behind Barcelona going into their second league game of the season against the old foe.
Mourinho has a huge decision to make for Saturday’s game. Real face Manchester United in the Champions League next week, just four days after El Classico. So does Mourinho rest his star names given the fact that the title race is over already? Logic would suggest yes, but can you imagine the reaction from the Bernabeu if he does so and then they lose 3-0 to Barca?