West Ham United have a big advantage over their relegation rivals for the run-in with the big restart just a couple of weeks away.
That’s according to an in-depth analysis of the relegation run-in by Sky Sports.
West Ham sit 16th in the table ahead of the Premier League’s resumption on June 17th.
But David Moyes’s side are only out of the bottom three on goal difference.
Realistically West Ham need at least three or four wins from their last nine games to survive.
Advantage West Ham in relegation battle
And the Hammers have a good chance of staying up according to the new Sky Sports report.
That’s because West Ham have the easiest run-in of any of the bottom six sides.
Of the six teams realistically in the relegation mix most have a fairly tough schedule of games still on the horizon, with bottom side Norwich being the only team with fewer than three of the top six left to play.
Sky Sports looked at the remaining games for all six clubs and calculated the average position of their opponents.
And it is West Ham who face the easiest run-in with their opponents ranking an average of 11.3.
Hammers have easiest run-in says new analysis
Bournemouth have the highest ranking average opponent in the entire division (8.2) and play four of the top six but none of their relegation rivals.
Aston Villa (8.4) and Brighton (8.6) are not far behind Bournemouth in the difficulty stakes.
Watford’s opposition ranking is 10.1 while Norwich, already deemed to be down by many, have an average opposition ranking of 11.
“It’s the Hammers who would look at the fixture list and feel confident,” say Sky Sports.
“Although they have three of the top six left to play, they come in the shape of fourth, fifth and sixth-placed Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolves. Games against Villa, Watford and Norwich also give them the lowest average opponent position (11.3) of any side in the bottom six.”
Over to Moyes to make it happen
Now it is over to David Moyes to ensure West Ham take full advantage.
The Scot has failed to turn things around since his re-appointment at the start of the year.
But there were some encouraging signs – and signings – before the enforced shutdown of football.
Indeed the Hammers should have made it back-to-back wins when they somehow lost to Arsenal before the break, missing a host of gilt-edged chances.
Whether West Ham can pick up where they left off remains to be seen. But hitting the ground running will never have been more important.