It's the time of the year when three soccer teams go up and three teams go down in England's top professional soccer league. It's what makes every game so meaningful in the English Premier League and brings joy to those who are promoted and pain to those who suffer the drop.
Manchester City won the EPL title of course, not one they won a game or tied a game but when Manchester City lost. Although City were clearly the best team in the league the entire year and their title win was clear pretty early one.
But a lot of times it's not that unexpected for the teams that are relegated. The hard times for the club, with coaches coming and going, injuries to key players and then just some bad luck, usually the writing is on the wall and these teams look almost destined to go down.
Often it brings about great reforms too, once teams are relegated. Newcastle went down just a few years ago but with a new manager are now in the middle of the table in the EPL. They seem like more of a team now, fighting for one another rather than against each other.
This year, West Brom is going down and Swansea City, Southampton and Stoke could join them. Stoke most likely is going to be relegated as they have just 30 points and Southampton has 32. Plus, Stoke's their relegation rivals all have one more game than them to play.
And while most times you are betting that a soccer team will win or stay in the English Premier League, you can of course make a prediction about who will go down. Right now coral betting has it at 1/12 odds for Stoke and 6/5 for Southhampton and 6/4 for Huddersfield.
Stoke play Crystal Palace and Swansea, to games they can win. Southampton have to play Everton, a bit more difficult of a game, and then Swansea.
In the Championship league, Wolverhampton Wanderers will be moving up to the EPL. And the city and fans are pretty overjoyed, 30,000 tickets to a promotion party sold out in under an hour. The Wolves haven't been in the EPL since 2012. Financial backing from Chinese consortium Fosun, was a big help in getting them back to the EPL and will go a long way in keeping them there.
But the next two teams to join them is still up in the air. Cardiff City has the edge right now to join them. And then Fulham, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, and Derby County could all fight it out in a playoffs, with the winner gaining the third promotion spot.
It’s the time of the year when things are still very much undecided at the bottom of the EPL and at the top of the Championship, which is what makes English football (soccer) so exciting to watch the entire year. Sometimes teams need to go down just to reshape their strategy and style of soccer.
And then some teams deserve to go up because how they have transformed as a team and fought hard all year to either get back to top flight football. Just think of all the pressure on these teams as they try to return to the best football (soccer) in England. The fans demand it, really. It's what everyone is playing for.
It’s not for the faint of heart though, but both joys and pain of soccer is why we soccer fans love it.
Relegation from the English Premier League is waiting for three soccer teams at the end of the season. Watch all of the action as teams fight to avoid that fate.
And then players like Geoff Cameron, the American defender and midfielder, who is making nearly $50,000 per week, will most likely have to leave Stoke City if they are relegated. In part because he probably doesn't want to play in the lower division but also because his salary is too high.
There is just too much TV money lost when teams are dropped and many of their highly paid players have to move on. But on the other hand, teams that are promotated stand to gain as much as $270 million, mainly from cuts of revenue they get from TV deals.
So these new English Premier League teams can afford to sign better players. Sadly, many times the players who helped the team gain promotion are cut or don't get as much playing time as they did before.