The race to stay in the Premier League is hotting up, and with just eight games remaining for most teams, time is not on their side. As many as ten sides are yet to hit the magical 40 point mark, although West Ham, Leicester, Everton and Bournemouth are all within touching distance.
For the remainder below them, the margin for error is getting smaller by the week, but two or three clubs have given themselves a fighting chance of securing another top flight season. Southampton’s unexpected win over stuttering Tottenham last week has ignited the survival fires and given hope to their supporters that they might well be able to get momentum of results going before it’s too late.
Southampton have been trading places with Cardiff City since the turn of the year and are still only a couple of points away from dropping back into the bottom three, but two wins in the last three games gives them the opportunity and hope that just three wins and a draw should see them safe.
When Premier League action returns for them at the end of the month, the Saints face a crucial South Coast derby against a Brighton side also in need of the points, and nothing less than a win will do for them.
In their favour is the run in, facing only one of the top six sides in title chasing Liverpool, and with that in mind, you would expect the Saints to pick up more than enough points. Only Palace have a comparable fixture list whilst Cardiff look to have the toughest task of all the teams. As with all relegation battles, there will be twists and turns along the way, but it would be a big surprise if the Saints find themselves heading towards the Championship.