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Premier League relegation picture in focus

Brighton & Hove Albion v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion (5) heads a chance wide during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City at Amex Stadium on January 24, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Six teams are within six points of the final relegation place following big wins for Newcastle United and Southampton at midweek in the Premier League.

Cardiff City is the side set for the drop at the moment, holding just 10 precious matches on their season docket.

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The good news is that the Bluebirds are within a single win over getting over the line, and that 16th place Brighton and Hove Albion’s match-in-hand is against dangerous Chelsea.

Before we go into what looms for these six side, here’s the portion of the table in question (Apologies to Fulham and Huddersfield Town and their quests for 10-plus point great escapes, but we’re excluding miracles in this particular study).

13. Newcastle United2887132634-86-1-82-6-531
14. Crystal Palace2886143238-63-4-75-2-730
15. Burnley2886143150-195-2-63-4-830
16. Brighton & Hove Albion2776142941-125-4-42-2-1027
17. Southampton2869133046-163-6-53-3-827

18. Cardiff City2874172555-305-2-82-2-925

Let’s begin at the bottom: Cardiff City still faces four of the big boys in Chelsea, Man Cirty, Liverpool, and Manchester United, but also sees six-pointers with Burnley, Brighton, and Fulham. At current pace, the Cottagers will have already been relegated by the time they host Cardiff on April 27.

Southampton‘s Wednesday win over Fulham could hardly have come at a better point on the schedule, given a three-match run against Manchester United, Spurs, and Watford. Saints will have a trio of perceived six-pointers (Brighton, Newcastle, and Huddersfield Town).

Brighton and Hove Albion has that match-in-hand, though it will still have added action with a visit to Millwall and in the FA Cup quarterfinals as well as potential for a longer run. The Seagulls can ease their burden a bit by beating visitors Huddersfield on Saturday, and still face Cardiff, Saints, and Newcastle before a rough finish away to Arsenal and home to Man City.

Burnley lost significant momentum with its 2-0 loss to Newcastle, which feels pretty harsh coming off an 8-match unbeaten run. Sean Dyche’s Clarets have a tricky fixture list to navigate, and its final four matches are tests at Chelsea, home to Man City, away to Everton, and home to Arsenal. Saturday at home to Palace and April 13 home to Cardiff look monumental.

Crystal Palace is back in the relegation picture, but could be close to safe and sound within 10 days, as Burnley and Cardiff are next before FA Cup quarterfinal action at Watford. Huddersfield and Newcastle follow, and it’s very hard to see the Eagles not getting enough points from their next four matches to survive. If not, May 4 at Cardiff City will be a big one.

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United road into the finale isn’t easy, but could be much worse. Liverpool and Arsenal are their lone Top Six tests, the latter at home, and there are four current relegation candidates on their docket. A finale at Fulham, who will likely be relegated by then, presents an unpredictable item. Newcastle will be aware of the freedom that comes with playing after relegation, having smoked Spurs in the last match of the season three years ago.

Follow @NicholasMendola