Sunderland poised to avoid the drop, says Gary Lim
Black Cats will surely get the points they need from two games to secure survival
Goal difference: -17
- Everton (Home, tomorrow morning, 2.45am)
- Watford (Away, Sunday, 10pm)
Sunderland hold a clear edge over Newcastle and Norwich - they have their fate in their own hands.
The brilliant 3-2 home win over Chelsea last Saturday has given their bid to stay up a massive boost.
With Newcastle being held 0-0 by Aston Villa on the same day, the victory saw the Black Cats leapfrog the Magpies into the final safe position - 17th.
The battle could be over by tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Sam Allardyce's men will retain their Premiership status if Sunderland beat a brittle-looking Everton at the Stadium of Light, regardless of what Newcastle and Norwich do in their remaining matches.
With veteran striker Jermain Defoe in such form - the 33-year-old has scored five goals in his last eight matches and is responsible for salvaging 14 of the club's 35 points - they will be feeling confident.
If they fail to beat Everton, they will still go into the final day of the campaign outside of the relegation places.
Because of their vastly superior goal difference, two points from their last two matches should be enough to keep them up.
Goal difference: -25
- Tottenham (Home, Sunday, 10pm)
Newcastle must win their last game against Spurs to stand any chance of avoiding the dreaded drop.
But, significantly, they no longer hold the initiative.
They are in fact counting on Sunderland to pick up just one point from their last two matches.
The Magpies will be kicking themselves for getting themselves into this mess.
A win over Aston Villa, who had lost 11 straight league games until drawing with them last Saturday, would have taken their relegation fight to the final day of the season.
Now, they must see what Sunderland can come up with against Everton tomorrow morning.
Whatever the result there, Newcastle will still go into the final round of matches in the bottom three.
In fact, they may even drop one place into 19th if Norwich can clinch a big win over Watford tomorrow morning.
Goal difference: -27
- Watford (Home, tomorrow morning, 2.45am)
- Everton (Away, Sunday, 10pm)
Norwich are at the mercy of others.
They have to beat Watford tomorrow morning and keep their fingers crossed.
Like Newcastle, Norwich's hopes are over as long as Sunderland beat Everton at the same time they play the Hornets.
But they have a fair bit to do themselves too.
If they fail to pick up the three points against Watford, they are as good as doomed, due to a goal difference inferior to Sunderland's by 10.
As it stands, Norwich have the worst goal difference among the three teams. The maximum total they can reach is 37 points - same as Newcastle if they win their last game.
Sunderland will hit 38 points with a home win over Everton tomorrow morning. Failing which, they still have another chance to clinch three points away at Watford on the final day of the season.
Being bottom of the table for several months is not enjoyable, but it is in our hands. We must take full advantage of our position and finish it (against Everton).
— Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce
If they are relegated, you can’t attach any blame to Rafa. But the saddest thing now is that the club will probably lose him.
— Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer, on Toon manager Rafa Benitez
To be a team at this level and compete, you’re going to have to limit mistakes across a season. We’ve made it really tough for ourselves.
— Canaries boss Alex Neil