Huddersfield on course to match Derby’s unwanted relegation record
Huddersfield are in danger of matching the record for the earliest Premier League relegation should results go against them on Saturday.
If the Terriers lose to Crystal Palace while Burnley and Southampton both win, against Wolves and Brighton respectively, it will spell the end of Town’s Premier League adventure.
They would become only the second team in the Premier League era to be relegated before the end of March, surviving just one day longer than Derby in 2007-08 and equalling their unwanted record of relegation after 32 games.
The new Derby?
The Rams’ relegation campaign is a part of Premier League history – if and when they return to the top flight, they will do so looking to end an ongoing record run of 32 games without a win.
They finished the season with a single win and only 11 points – Huddersfield have at least passed that mark, reaching 14 with February’s win over Wolves, but have lost three in a row since then.
Ipswich were also relegated with six games remaining in 1994-95, though it should be noted that was a 42-game season and four teams went down. The Tractor Boys managed seven wins and 27 points in total.
A number of teams have been relegated with five games still to play, most recently Aston Villa three years ago when they finished with only 17 points.
Portsmouth were condemned after 33 games in 2009-10 while the same fate befell Sunderland on two separate occasions, when they finished with 19 points in 2002-03 and 15 three years later.
Other than Derby, the earliest date a team has been relegated is April 6 – Leicester in 2001-02. The early finish for the summer’s World Cup meant they had only four games remaining, though, the same as West Brom the following season.
The magic runs out for Terriers
The Terriers hit the ground running last season after promotion to the top flight, winning their opening two games and spending the first six weeks in the top half of the table. They dipped into the relegation zone only once last season en route to an eventual 16th-placed finish.
This term, by contrast, they have just three wins and five draws to their name and on only four occasions have they finished a round of games outside the drop zone.
They took only three points from their first 10 games before an overdue first win against fellow strugglers Fulham in November, which was followed by a draw with West Ham and a win over Wolves in their best run of the season.
Eight straight losses followed and despite a draw at Cardiff, popular manager David Wagner left the club by mutual consent on January 14.
Successor Jan Siewert’s only win to date came on February 26, once more against Wolves, but defeats to Brighton, Bournemouth and West Ham – the latter from 3-1 up – have left them on the brink.