Just a day after Manchester City claimed the Premier League title as Manchester United were surprisingly beaten by West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, attention now turns to the bottom of the table. West Ham United look close to securing their status as a top-flight English club, though David Moyes will be able to sleep easier should his team secure a home win against fellow strugglers Stoke City on Monday night.
Despite West Brom’s win, they are all but certain to be relegated to the Championship and that leaves the 18th and 19th place finishers to be decided. Stoke are currently second-bottom and, realistically, need to win in London if they are to stop the drop – or at the very least avoid defeat.
Stoke are six points from safety currently and running out of time to close the gap. Swansea’s revival makes it even less likely that the Potters can somehow get out of their current predicament, and Paul Lambert has banished a number of his best players from the first-team squad due to a lack of discipline. With five matches to play, it is probable that City will need close to maximum points – even then they would be two short of last year’s total of 44 that saw them finish 13th.
West Ham have played at least a game less than all of their main rivals and will be cheered by their recent turnaround in form. After three straight defeats the Hammers then beat Southampton 3-0 and drew with the champions Chelsea, so Moyes’ chances of avoiding relegations in successive seasons – he was in charge of Sunderland’s disastrous 2016/17 – have been boosted. A win at the London Stadium would put the hosts 10 points clear of their opponents.