No sooner had West Ham United fans started celebrating a crucial victory over Southampton than Watford shocked Liverpool 3-0.

West Ham’s fine 3-1 win over the Saints lifted David Moyes’s side out of the relegation zone and up to 16th.

But Bournemouth’s draw with Chelsea and Watford’s superb win against previously unbeaten Liverpool now means all three teams are level on 27 points with 10 games to go.

Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Relegation battle takes unexpected twist

And only three goals separate the trio in the goal difference stakes.

West Ham now face a tough-looking run against Arsenal, Wolves, Tottenham and Chelsea. But they do so with renewed confidence.

The win for Watford has been something of a buzzkill for West Ham fans, though.

And supporters are right to be concerned.

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Projected safety target increases to 39 points

Before Watford’s win, the projected points total needed to stay up this season was 36.

That meant West Ham needed just three more wins and a draw from their remaining 10 matches.

But now the projected points total needed to survive has been bumped to 39 in what threatens to be the tightest relegation battle for years.

That means West Ham still need four wins – or three wins and three draws – to reach the required total.

And that’s as things stand. If the likes of Watford go on a run it could push the projected total higher still.

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Could unwanted West Ham record fall?

West Ham still hold the Premier League record for the most points collected by a relegated team – 42.

Could that be beaten this season, 17 years on?

West Ham must make sure they do not break their own unwanted record.

If the Hammers cannot pull a couple of Watford-esque rabbits out of the hat in the coming weeks then their fate will rest on a host of six-pointers against their direct relegation rivals during the final weeks of the season.

 

You could cut the tension with a knife.

West Ham’s remaining fixtures:

Arsenal (A)

Wolves (H)

Tottenham (A)

Chelsea (H)

Newcastle (A)

Burnley (H)

Norwich (A)

Watford (H)

Man United (A)

Aston Villa (H)

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