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Premier League relegation battle: Key fixtures for Brentford, Everton, Luton and Nottingham Forest


With the Premier League season about to enter its decisive phase, nerves are becoming increasingly frayed near the bottom of the table.

While bottom club Sheffield United appear doomed and 19th-placed Burnley have it all to do despite a recent upturn, four other teams are in immediate peril with two months of the season remaining.

Nottingham Forest, Luton Town, Everton and Brentford are separated by just five points with plenty of crucial battles still to be fought – both on the pitch and in the courtroom.

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A four-point deduction for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules plunged Forest below the dotted line ahead of the international break, while Everton could yet receive a further punishment after receiving a six-point penalty of their own.

Any prospective appeals from Forest and Everton may not be finalised until the season has concluded, and that lack of certainty means the teams involved must focus solely on picking up as many points as possible.

Here, we run through the remaining fixtures for each side to see where the relegation battle may be won and lost.

BRENTFORD (15th, played 29, 26 points)

A dismal run of 12 defeats in 15 Premier League games (two wins, one draw) has plunged Thomas Frank’s injury-hit Bees into a fight for survival, something they have not been too accustomed to since their 2021 promotion.

Brentford’s fans might have been forgiven for thinking their worries were over when Ivan Toney returned to propel them to two wins in four games in late January/early February. However, the Bees have since gone six without a win, and they face three daunting fixtures after the international break.

Their fate may well be decided by a trio of games in April, when they host rock bottom Sheffield United before heading to Kenilworth Road and Goodison Park for two huge six-pointers against Luton and Everton.

With five of their remaining fixtures coming at the Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford must find a way of making their home a fortress again.

Brentford remaining fixtures: Manchester United (H), Brighton (H), Aston Villa (A), Sheffield United (H), Luton (A), Everton (A), Fulham (H), Bournemouth (A), Newcastle (H).

EVERTON (16th, played 28, 25 points)

Having seen their 10-point deduction reduced to six on appeal, Everton currently sit four points clear of the dotted line, though the Toffees are thought likely to lose further points after being charged with a second breach of the competition’s financial rules.

Sean Dyche’s team responded to their initial deduction admirably, winning four straight games in December to pull clear of danger.

However, they have since gone 11 without a victory (five draws, six defeats) and are very much back in the picture.

The Toffees may well take encouragement from the fixture list. Possessing a game in hand on all of their rivals, they still have matches against the rest of the bottom six to come, with four of those taking place at Goodison.

A run of four straight games against Burnley, Forest, Brentford and Luton will prove critical – Dyche’s men cannot afford to be in the mire heading into the final day, when they go to title-chasing Arsenal.

Everton remaining fixtures: Bournemouth (A), Newcastle (A), Burnley (H), Chelsea (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Brentford (H), Luton Town (A), Sheffield United (H), Arsenal (A).

LUTON TOWN (17th, played 29, 22 points)

Rob Edwards’ Hatters have not won a Premier League game since late January, taking three points from eight games since Elijah Adebayo scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 rout of Brighton.

Though Forest’s penalty has boosted Luton’s survival hopes, they still face a daunting set of fixtures, with trips to Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City to come within their next four games.

Earning a measure of revenge over Bournemouth, who recently fought back from 3-0 down to claim a stunning 4-3 win over the Hatters – could be crucial.

So too will home games against Brentford and Everton. Luton simply can’t afford to lose those six-pointers, and they may have to spring a surprise or two on the road to stay up.

Luton remaining fixtures: Tottenham (A), Arsenal (A), Bournemouth (H), Manchester City (A), Brentford (H), Wolves (A), Everton (H), West Ham (A), Fulham (H).

NOTTINGHAM FOREST (18th, played 29, 21 points)

While it remains to be seen whether Forest will appeal their four-point deduction, their task now appears clear – they must better Luton’s points return over their remaining fixtures, should Brentford and Everton do enough.

They will hope conceding an 89th-minute equaliser at Kenilworth Road does not prove costly, and with no further home games against teams in the bottom six to come, their away record simply must improve.

Nuno Espirito Santo will be targeting home games against Crystal Palace, Fulham and Wolves to give Forest something of a buffer, with City and Chelsea still likely to have something to play for by the time they visit the City Ground.

May’s visit to Bramall Lane could be crucial, though there remains a chance that it will all come down to a final-day trip to Burnley, who sit four points behind Forest in 19th.

Nottingham Forest fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Fulham (H), Tottenham (A), Wolves (H), Everton (A), Manchester City (H), Sheffield United (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A).

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.


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