With Chelsea looking very to regain the #Premier League crown with every passing week, attention is starting to divert to the battle at the bottom.
The most envied league in the world has a #Relegation battle brewing that might surpass some of its most dramatic previous outcomes. With 14 games left, just two points cover the bottom six, with another two teams slipping fast from the comfortable mid-table perch into the battle to survive.
There is set to be plenty of nervous moments ahead over the next four months for fans of Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Swansea City, #Leicester City, Middlesbrough, AFC Bournemouth and Southampton.
Tigers and Swans look revitalised
Six weeks ago, it looked like Hull City and Swansea City were doomed. Both sides were in poor form and consequently changed their managers over the festive period. Now, they look revitalised after strengthening squads in January. Hull brought in seven players and look a different team under Marco Silva. He has overseen seven points from four matches, including a point at Old Trafford and victory against Liverpool FC.
Swansea axed Bob Bradley and moved onto Paul Clement; their third manager of the season. Clement left the comforts of being Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Bayern Munich and seems to have embraced the relegation battle he's involved in.
The Swans' first ever win at Anfield a fortnight ago shows they have resolve which was evidently missing in Bradley's dire reign. They also have one of the most gifted players in the scrap in Gylfi Sigurdsson. His goals have given the South Wales side a real chance of beating the drop.
South Coast concerns
Before Christmas, AFC Bournemouth and Southampton looked secure in mid-table but terrible runs of form sees them on the periphery of trouble. Bournemouth are leaking goals for fun and have just lost star striker Callum Wilson for the season to a serious knee injury. Southampton have problems of their own. Despite a League Cup final to look forward to, the Saints sold inspirational skipper Jose Fonte to West Ham United in January and have Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines injured. They've lost six of their last seven matches. The quality of both squads should see them survive but both teams have made things far more difficult for themselves recently.
By contrast, Middlesbrough's problem is finding a goalscorer. Just four league wins is the lowest total in the Premier League and they are the lowest scorers in the division. Aitor Karanka's defensive outfit aren't conceding many but their lack of firepower in attack could hurt them in the final reckoning. Neither Patrick Bamford, nor Rudy Gestede look like the ultimate answer after their January arrivals.
Will the Champions go down?
On current evidence, Leicester City's fall from grace looks very likely. Sunday's tame 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United added to the champions' problems.
They haven't even scored a league goal in 2017, let alone won a game. Claudio Ranieri's expression on the touchline at the King Power Stadium at the weekend was genuine. The Foxes are in a serious relegation scrap. They were 'Fearless' last season. This season, they look 'Fearful'
Not since Leeds United in the 1992/1993 season has a reigning champion look in severe relegation danger and you have to go back to before World War II for the last time a defending title winner has gone down in the following campaign. Are Leicester about to create unwanted history in the modern era?
The current bottom two are Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Palace's players have underachieved constantly for 15 months under two different managers. They look in a real mess and have no home form. Sunderland have Jermain Defoe's goals and a history of pulling off 'The Great Escape.' Surely they can't do it again?
This is a battle set to go down to the wire. Relegation from the Premier League would be devastating for any of the eight clubs involved. There will be plenty of twists and turns in the coming months. #PremierLeague