Burnley Starting to Make Survival Move

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With the Premier League now approaching the busy Christmas period, it's clear to see what teams are going to be challenging at either end of the table.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche

Defending champions Liverpool look like the team to beat for the second successive campaign, while the likes of Leicester City, Manchester United, Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham, Southampton and Manchester City appear to be the teams chasing European football.

Apart from rock-bottom Sheffield United, the battle to stay up looks to be competitive and we take a look at the leading candidates to go down, while assessing those that can avoid the drop.

Clarets Ready to Capitalise on Experience

Burnley endured a slow start to the season, failing to win any of their first seven matches in the Premier League, but Clarets boss Sean Dyche has started to turn things around in recent weeks.

The Lancashire outfit have lost just one of their last seven matches – a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City – with that form allowing them to climb out of the bottom three.

Monday’s 2-1 success over Wolves lifted them to 16th position and Dyche’s side are now looking up the table, rather than over their shoulder.

Blades Up Against it after Lacklustre Start

Despite last year’s heroics under Chris Wilder, Sheffield United look doomed at the foot of the table and they are 2/13 to return to the Championship after failing to win any of their first 14 games.

The Blades have only gained two points so far this season – the worst start a club has made in Premier League history – and they will need to perform miracles to improve their fortunes.

United not only need to pick up wins but they also need the likes of Brighton and Burnley, two teams around them, to drop points for the next few months.

Baggies Facing Huge Battle

The odds also suggest West Bromwich Albion are in for a rough ride this season, with Sam Allardyce’s side 2/9 to go down.

The Baggies board hired the former England boss after sacking Slaven Bilic but there is every chance that decision, which has been criticised by pundits, doesn’t sit well with the squad.

WBA lost on Sunday evening to Aston Villa, going down 3-0, and the West Midlands side are definitely lacking in the goals department having netted just 10 times in the league.

If Allardyce can find a goalscorer in January, then they have a chance with his experience but, for now, they look set for an instant return to the Championship.

Fulham have Fighting Chance

Scott Parker’s Fulham are still odds-on to be relegated, but they are showing signs of recovery of late and there is every chance they could avoid dropping down to England’s second tier.

The Cottagers have lost just one in five, drawing their last three in the top flight, and they are only two points away from climbing out of the bottom three and will be optimistic of surviving.

Trio in the Mix?

Brighton are struggling for consistency under Graham Potter and they are still vulnerable after only narrowly surviving last season. At odds of 4/1, the Seagulls could be taken on at that price.

Both Crystal Palace and Leeds United have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats of late but both look to have the squads needed to survive, although sceptics can back them at 15/2 and 18/1 respectively to be relegated.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Tom offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.

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