While the Premier League trophy looks set for London one way or another, the relegation zone remains inconclusive as five clubs look to avoid the dreaded drop:
The Black Cats' decade-long stay in the top flight has almost certainly come to an end after what's been an abysmal league campaign. David Moyes' first full season in England since his sour stint in Spain has been nothing short of a failure following five wins from 33 games. Despite having a game in hand on their relegation rivals, Sunderland would need to win their remaining five fixtures to have any hopes of surviving the drop. While games against Bournemouth, Hull and Swansea may provide supporters with a glimmer of hope, both Arsenal and Chelsea await for what should be fairly one-sided affairs.
236 - As of today, Sunderland will have spent 236 days in the relegation zone in the Premier League this season. Ailing.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 26, 2017
Burnley are aiming to secure back-to-back seasons in the top flight for the first time since 1975. While Sean Dyche's men remain six points above the drop-zone, two successive defeats have left room for concern. The Clarets have been tough to beat at Turf Moor this season and will count on their two remaining home games (vs. West Brom and West Ham) to see them through. Though their survival seems almost certain, four points from their remaining four games should erase any existing pressure.
This season saw Aitor Karanka's near-four-year stay at the Riverside come to a disappointing conclusion. Despite boasting the ninth-best defence in the league, Boro's attack has been non-existent. In fact, Thursday's (AEST) 1-0 victory over Sunderland marked the side's first Premier League win of 2017. And with a run-in featuring fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, it could well be their last. Middlesbrough currently sit six points adrift of safety - a margin that should only increase as the season comes to a close.
Middlesbrough winless in five months.— Coral (@Coral) April 26, 2017
David Moyes: Hold my beer. pic.twitter.com/aJEHjRb9EI
Marco Silva's magic has seen Hull City climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since October. Since Silva's January arrival, Hull have managed 19 points from a possible 21 at home, a feat that has extended the Portuguese's personal unbeaten home record to 41 games spanning four different clubs. Should the Tigers gain at least one point from their last two away fixtures (vs. Southampton and Crystal Palace), their survival will rest solely in their hands as both Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur visit the KCOM Stadium.
Hull City's home form under Marco Silva:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 24, 2017
Genius appointment. 🐯 pic.twitter.com/r3ShTe3OGP
Since being appointed back in January, Paul Clement has guided Swansea to six wins from their past 15 games. While the Welsh club were above the drop entering April, a horror run of three straight defeats has seen the Swans sink back into the mix. Last weekend's 2-0 victory over Stoke City helped keep pace with their fellow strugglers, and reignited belief with safety now just three points away. Despite tough matches against Manchester United and Everton, Swansea could still snatch survival with wins against Sunderland and West Brom respectively.
Premier League action resumes this Sunday (AEST).