Relegation battle: Who's involved?

Sports Mole considers four teams that could be overtaken in the Premier League relegation battle.

Saturday saw another day of high drama at the bottom of the Premier League.

A few weeks ago Fulham had been written off by most in the game and after Cardiff City's loss at home to Crystal Palace they too were out of the equation to escape.

However, an incredible 1-0 victory for the Bluebirds away to Southampton and Fulham's second win on the spin against Norwich City has seen both of them move to within three and two points respectively of safety.

It has left the clubs above them in the league looking nervously over their shoulders. Here, Sports Mole takes a look at the four teams just above the drop zone that could well get sucked in over the coming weeks.

1. Norwich City

The Canaries made a last-gasp effort to avoid dropping into the relegation zone last weekend when they replaced Chris Hughton with Neil Adams ahead of the huge six-pointer with Fulham on Saturday. The hope was, presumably, that Adams, who has green and yellow running through his veins, would be able to give his players an immediate lift with three points at Craven Cottage that would have almost certainly seen them safe. Instead, despite playing well, Norwich lost 1-0 and as such have their victors just two points behind them.

Neil Adams manager of Norwich City looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Norwich City at Craven Cottage on April 12, 2014© Getty Images

Of the teams who the bottom three are able to go above, Norwich look the most likely to slip out of the top flight when their fixtures are taken into account. In their last four games the Canaries take on Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in that order. On paper it is hard to see where anything more than a point or two will come from, but realistically Norwich will need to look at a minimum of four points to hold Fulham at bay with their superior goal difference. With Cardiff only a point further back, Norwich could well end up 19th.

2. West Bromwich Albion

It has now been three months since Pepe Mel took over West Brom but their results remain wildly inconsistent. He has overseen just two victories in his time at the club, which were both important wins against teams in and around them in the table, Swansea City and Norwich. What will be most concerning for Baggies fans is their inability to hold leads. They scored to make it 3-2 deep into injury time against Cardiff a fortnight ago only to draw 3-3 and they were pegged back from 3-0 up on Saturday against Tottenham Hotspur.

West Brom certainly have no issue finding the net, but Mel has not been able to plug the leaky defence that has meant they drop more points than they have needed to when playing well. They, like Norwich, do not have the easiest of run-ins with tricky away trips to Manchester City and Arsenal. However, they will certainly be targeting three points in both home clashes against West Ham United and Stoke City respectively. A win from one of those might well be enough, but four or six would see them stay up almost for sure. They should manage it.

Manager Pepe Mel of West Brom celebrates their victory after the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road on April 5, 2014© Getty Images

3. Swansea City

Every season there is a team that drops into the relegation picture when halfway through the season they were not even considered. That could well be Swansea City. They changed their manager with Michael Laudrup replaced by Garry Monk, but their form since December has not been addressed and they will certainly be very nervous about their final four games. They have the capability to win big games, with victories over Fulham, Cardiff and Norwich their last three in the Premier League.

Certainly, looking at their remaining fixtures, they should have enough about them to achieve the seven points required for the magic 40 mark. They have five games left, which include a home clash against Aston Villa, a trip to Newcastle United who appear to be on their summer holidays and a potentially vital clash away to Sunderland on the last day. They have the players who, on their day, are capable of beating most teams so they should have enough to stay away from danger.

4. Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert watches his team during their Premier League match against Norwich on September 21, 2013© Getty Images

Aston Villa are hitting a bad patch of form at just the wrong time. They have lost their last four in the league and the home fans are frustrated about the lack of progress under their manager Paul Lambert. After two good wins to start March their defence has suddenly opened right up with 11 goals going in from just four games, which include defeats to two of the teams around them, Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Their remaining games are not easy, but nor should they fill the Villa faithful with dread. That said, they have lost plenty of so-called winnable games in recent weeks. One more win, certainly two, would probably be enough to keep them safe and with a home clash against Hull City as well as a trip to Swansea this should be doable for them. Eight defeats to end a season would be unlikely, but if they do lose their remaining four then they might well drop.

Neil Adams manager of Norwich City looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Norwich City at Craven Cottage on April 12, 2014
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