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Premier League relegation battle: Eight teams in trouble

With the Premier League relegation battle heating up following the World Cup break, we take a look at how each of the teams in trouble are currently shaping up.

Competitive and gruelling as ever, this Premier League season looks set to serve up an almighty scrap to avoid relegation, with a total of eight teams currently looking in danger of going down with just two points separating Leicester City in 13th and Everton in 18th.

We take a look at each of these teams, documenting their odds of survival and assessing their hopes of escaping the drop...

Leicester City - 13th (17 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 6/1

Having finished in the top half of the Premier League in each of the past five seasons, few would have predicted Leicester to have struggled so badly this term.

Beginning the campaign with a dismal seven-match winless run which left them rooted in the relegation zone and manager Brendan Rodgers under severe pressure, the Foxes enjoyed a revival in the lead-up to the World Cup break in which they lost just two matches in eight.

There are alarm bells ringing again however following two consecutive defeats since the resumption of the Premier League, with Leicester sitting just two points above Everton in 18th place.

The fact midfield talisman James Maddison has been sidelined for these two matches underlines his importance to the team, with the England international having made 11 goal contributions so far this season in the Premier League.

Although Leicester's squad appears rather patched-up this term, hurt by the departure of skipper Kasper Schmeichel last summer and Jamie Vardy's decline in form, they should still have enough technical quality in the form of the likes of Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Youri Tielemans and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to ensure their safety.

Leeds United - 14th (17 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 4/1

Leeds United are another side teetering on the edge of the drop zone, although the Whites will be a lot more familiar to this situation than Leicester following their narrow escape from relegation last season.

Jesse Marsch's first full season in charge of Leeds has been a tricky one to navigate for the American having been hamstrung by injuries to key players including Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and marquee new signing Luis Sinisterra.

Marsch's men have looked a spirited side and a tougher nut to crack than under previous manager Marcelo Bielsa for large periods of this campaign, however, with victories over Chelsea and Liverpool notable highlights.

As a young team with a number of players with little Premier League experience, a relegation battle could be daunting, but Leeds will back the youthful enthusiasm and level of dynamism within their ranks to get them over the line.

Nottingham Forest - 15th (17 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - Evens

Basement-dwellers since the beginning of the campaign, last season's Championship playoffs winners Nottingham Forest have been reinvigorated in recent times to elevate themselves outside of the relegation zone.

Much has been made of Forest's extensive recruitment drive in their first season back in the top-flight for over two decades, having signed 23 players and counting so far this year, and perhaps only now are we seeing Steve Cooper's side starting to fully gel together.

The Reds have lost just two of their last eight Premier League matches, against Manchester United and leaders Arsenal, and in Steve Cooper they have a popular coach with a great reputation of improving teams and developing players quickly.

It remains a tough task for this Forest side to avoid the drop this season amidst intense competition, but their recent form certainly casts a far more positive picture surrounding the City Ground compared to just a couple of months ago.

16th - Bournemouth (16 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 2/5

Widely tipped as certs to go down at the start of the season in light of a lack of reinforcements brought in during the summer transfer window, Bournemouth endured a tough start to the campaign with Scott Parker departing as the club's manager early on following a 9-0 humbling against Liverpool at Anfield.

Since then, Gary O'Neil was able to help inspire a rapid ascent into the top half of the table as caretaker manager following a run of six matches without defeat.

With O'Neil now permanently installed in the hotseat, Bournemouth's have dropped off again in a worrying fashion, and they now lie just one point above the relegation zone after a shocking run which has seen the Cherries lose eight of their last nine league matches.

This is undeniably relegation form, and with the squad still comprised of the majority of the players who earned promotion from the Championship last term, it looks a tough ask for Bournemouth to beat the drop.

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17th - West Ham (15 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 15/2

It's been a season to forget so far for David Moyes' West Ham, who sit just one place above the Premier League relegation zone.

Having achieved European qualification in each of their last two league campaigns, reaching the Europa League semi-finals last term, this season has been a sobering one for the Hammers who appear to have lost the confidence and vigour which previously took them to such heights.

A run of just one win from nine league matches has left many fans questioning David Moyes' position, with the Scotsman having struggled to succesfully evolve the team following the arrivals of highly-rated big money signings such as Lucas Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca. 

Moyes is a vastly experienced coach, however, and with the level of quality within West Ham's ranks you'd expect the London club to stabilise their form soon.

18th - Everton (15 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 11/10

After flirting with relegation last term, with a Goodison-inspired upturn in fortunes towards the end of the season ultimately helping them stay up, Everton once again look to be gearing up for a fight for their Premier League lives in this campaign.

One of just six teams to have never been relegated from the Premier League since its inception in 1992, the Toffees are perhaps in the gravest danger they have ever been in as they sit in 18th place after 18 games.

Manager Frank Lampard looks a lost man just under a year into his tenure, and it currently appears as though the ex-England international is on borrowed time in the dugout.

It's in attack where Everton's problems are most conspicuous, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin perennially sidelined through injury and summer signing Neal Maupay having notched just one goal in all competitions.

This is an area of the pitch which needs urgently addressed in the January transfer window, and action on this front may just determine whether the club can survive in the Premier League this season.

19th - Wolves (14 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 7/4

Wolves have spent the vast majority of this Premier League season languishing in the relegation zone, with previous manager Bruno Lage sacked in October and eventually replaced by former Real Madrid, Sevilla and Spain boss Julen Lopetegui heading into the second half of the season.

The lowest scorers in the division with a measly 11, Lopetegui is tasked with breathing new life into a dwindling Wolves side in the final third, and has already acted to this regard by bringing in highly-rated Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid.

There have been more positive signs from the Midlands club following the return of the Premier League after the World Cup, with a win, draw and a defeat in their last three matches, and the tactical acumen of Julen Lopetegui could just prove their ace card in their quest for Premier League survival this term.

20th - Southampton (12 points)

Current Odds To Be Relegated - 4/7

After a decade-long stay in the Premier League, Southampton's time in the top flight could be coming to an end with the Saints currently propping up the table after 18 matches played.

Taking the decision to sack ex-gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl in November after four years in charge, his replacement Nathan Jones has similarly struggled to get a tune out of this Southampton side with four defeats in his first four league matches at the helm.

There is a clear over-reliance on the set-piece exploits of skipper James Ward-Prowse within what is a very young and inexperienced squad, and Southampton certainly look like requiring a busy January window to galvanise the team ahead of the business end of the season.

There is undeniable quality within their ranks, in the form of the likes of Armel Bella-Kotchap at the back, Ward-Prowse in midfield and Che Adams in attack, but at present the Saints don't look to have the right blend and balance in the side to get the results they need on the pitch in order to survive in the Premier League.

Odds displayed in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change or withdrawal at any time.

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