Stats: Is Leicester’s survival the Premier League’s greatest ever escape?

Leicester City have managed to retain their Premier League status for another season against all odds, but how does their great escape compare to the only other two sides to survive after being bottom at Christmas?

West Bromwich Albion were the first team to stay up despite being bottom of the league on Christmas Day, as they picked up 13 points in their final ten games to finish 17th.

Sunderland also picked up 13 points in their last ten games as they survived last season to finish 14th, despite being last at the turn of the year.

Leicester looked doomed for long periods this campaign and were still rock bottom of the Premier League with ten weeks to go.

But they have somehow turned things around, winning six of their last nine to ensure they will be playing top flight football next season, and it has to go down as the greatest ever relegation escape.

Table: A look at the three teams who have survived after being bottom at Christmas and their form in the final ten games

Table: A look at the three teams who have survived after being bottom at Christmas and their form in the final ten games

The table above shows how West Brom, Sunderland and Leicester fared in their great escapes through the final ten games of the season, though the Foxes still have one more game to play, making their 19 point tally from the last nine all the more impressive.

Staggeringly, Leicester have picked up as many points from their last nine matches as they had through their 28 prior to that.

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Nigel Pearson deserves great credit for turning the club’s performances around in recent weeks but his job will be to now get his side playing consistently to avoid another late season relegation scare next term.

Is Leicester City’s great escape the best in Premier League history?


Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Burnley FC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: Turf Moor – Saturday April 25th – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – Leicester 9/5

Match Preview

It’s Burnley vs. Leicester in the Premier League and it’s crunch time at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon as two of the bottom three battle in a huge match with both clubs’ future surely on the line in this one.

Sean Dyches’ Burnley have been so resilient of late, and have picked up some very impressive results at home over the course of the season with a win over Manchester City and draws against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

They will be expecting to therefore beat lesser opposition in Leicester and the home fans will be expecting to win, especially as they beat champions Manchester City at Turf Moor last month. The win over the reigning champions is their only win in 12 games though – worrying form especially if you are staring down the barrel of relegation.

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With questions still surrounding Danny Ings future, and Burnley resigned to the fact they will lose their star striker come the summer, they will need to beat Leicester to remain in the Premier League for another season at least. That’s because next summer see’s the new TV deals come into effect and they will give clubs like Burnley some financial backing to do some business.

If Burnley can win this it could leave Leicester City in a bit of a mess and derail their own safety ambitions so this is a huge clash.

The Foxes won’t be easy customers as they have been very impressive of late, and if they play like they have in the last three, they will definitely remain in the Premier League next season.

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Leicester have given themselves a fantastic chance of escaping their bottom three by winning their last three on the spin and now only remain in the drop zone on goal difference behind Hull City. Another bonus is that they have a game in hand over their relegation rivals, but that is against Chelsea next week in a game the Blues can wrap up the title in, depending on their result against Arsenal.

The worrying form for Leicester is that they have only picked up 11 points from a possible 51 on the road this season. The away win at West Brom two weeks ago was their first since December.

Having scored seven in their last three games, Nigel Pearson’s side will be looking to keep hitting the back of the net, and outfox the Burnley backline to give themselves the best chance of survival.

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After this game for Leicester they face just one more away from home and will play at the King Power Stadium in their other four remaining games, which gives them another huge boost with regards to staying up.

The reverse saw the two sides battle out for a 2-2 draw with Ross Wallace equalising late in stoppage time for the Clarets to deny Leicester City all three points.

Team News

Burnley will be without Ashley Barnes, who was sent off against Everton last week, as he serves a one match ban, plus Dean Marney is out as is Kevin Long, who will be out until the Autumn.

Leicester City have doubts over David Nugent and Marcin Wasilewski, with Richie De Laet expected to come in if Wasilewski is ruled out of the relegation clash.

Key Points

Burnley’s last five: W/L/D/L/L

Leicester’s last five: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stats: Burnley have not beaten Leicester in any of their last eight meetings, stretching back to August 2010. They have lost their last three home games against the Foxes, scoring just once.

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Key Player: Leonardo Ulloa – The Argentine striker found his goalscoring touch against Swansea City last weekend and will be hoping to add to his tally of eight goals as he looks to try and reach double digits before the season is out.

Score Prediction

Burnley 1-2 Leicester City – Leicester City have some terrific quality and in the confidence they are in, they can inflict some serious damage to Burnley with goals coming from all angles. It’s difficult to see the Clarets keeping Leicester out and that could result in another win for the away side.

Encouraging Dick Advocaat stat suggests Sunderland will be safe

Sunderland are in trouble. There is no doubt about that. The club sit just one point above the relegation zone and sacked Gus Poyet earlier this week, bringing in Dick Advocaat just one day later.

The Dutchman faces a tough task in trying to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League in what is his first job in English football.

Sunderland have won just four league games all season and are without a win in six following last weekend’s shock 4-0 defeat at home to fellow relegation strugglers Aston Villa.

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Advocaat has plenty of experience as the 67-year-old has managed at eight different clubs from the Netherlands, Russia, Germany and a four-year spell with Scottish side Rangers from 1998-2002.

He has also enjoyed international coaching roles with six different nations and has managed his homeland on two separate occasions.

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Advocaat will become the oldest manager in the Premier League and will hope his wealth of experience can prove valuable.

He has an average win percentage of 54.5% through his coaching career so far and if he can transfer that record into the final stretch of Sunderland’s season, the Black Cats will more than likely be safe.

Projected Sunderland points tally based on Dick Advocaat's career win percentage

Projected Sunderland points tally based on Dick Advocaat’s career win percentage

It must be noted that this is simply a projection based on the previous successes Advocaat has enjoyed. A projected final tally of 40 points would surely be enough as no team has been relegated with a minimum of 40 points for the past 11 seasons since West Ham were with 42 points in the 2002/03 campaign.

The task of turning things around at Sunderland in the middle of a fierce relegation fight is a new challenge for the Dutchman but he will hope his experience can help to make an immediate impact.

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A tough end to the season will see Advocaat and his new team travel to West Ham this weekend, while tough away trips to Arsenal, Stoke, Everton and finally Chelsea on the final day of the campaign also lie in wait.

To pick up the projected 14 points, Sunderland will need to win at least three of their last nine but it will likely need to be more unless they can draw their other six remaining matches.

Home games against rivals Newcastle, followed by Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leicester will all be seen as winnable by Advocaat and he must now turn all attentions to fixing things quickly before Saturday night’s trip to West Ham.

Hull City’s worst start to a Premier League season leaves them in relegation battle

Hull City suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Chelsea at the weekend and while it’s a disappointing result, they won’t be overly concerned, as it’s by no means the result that will decide their fate this season.

What will concern them though, is their poor form – they have made their worst start to a Premier League season and are without a win in nine games. In fact, they have picked up just one win in their last fifteen.

Steve Bruce took over at Hull for the beginning of the 2012/13 season and managed to bring them back to the Premier League from the Championship after they’d been away for just two years.

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He managed to steady the ship in the 2013/14 campaign but now it looks as though they are coming under strain this time around, with just two wins all season.

Hull City’s only wins this season:

Hull City’s starts to a Premier League season:

Hull City start

The worrying sign for the Tigers fans is the fact that last time they started this badly, they were relegated the same season.

This season has seen them pick up their fewest wins and points from the opening 16 games and also sees them sitting at their lowest position in the table at this stage.

They face Swansea next weekend before travelling to Sunderland on Boxing Day. They then welcome Leicester City to the KC Stadium two days later and they will be looking to pick up at least one win from their last three games of 2014.

Will Hull City survive relegation this season?