There was a groan from the South Stand at Elland Road when Sadio Mane put Liverpool 3-0 up during a match in the middle of September. In truth, the Reds should have at least doubled that scoreline over 90 minutes but some wasteful finishing, in particular from Mane, saved Leeds from one of their most humiliating days since earning promotion back to the Premier League. 

It was only the fourth game of the season, but those leaving Elland Road would have been slightly disconcerted by what they had just seen. There would have been a similar feeling amongst those Norwich fans who had traveled to the Emirates Stadium on the same weekend only to watch their team lose their fourth consecutive Premier League game of the season.

Across the Pennines from Leeds, Newcastle supporters witnessed their team get resoundingly beaten by a Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United. The trip back home for those Geordie fans would have brought on strong feelings of deja vu given how much water the Toon seem to tread every season only to bob just above the surface come the spring. 

Despite avoiding relegation for the last few seasons, those Newcastle fans will be wondering if their lives have finally run out this season and whether the trap door to the Championship will swing open. As previously alluded to, they won’t be alone with Leeds and Norwich fans also considering if they have enough quality to remain in England’s top-flight. 

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The reassuring news for Leeds fans is that they’ve been priced at 8/1 in the latest Premier League betting, as far as relegation goes. These odds suggest that Leeds will find their feet sooner or later and begin to move up the table whilst Norwich’s odds of 8/13 to go down reflects the exact opposite. Interestingly, Newcastle are somewhat on the fence at 5/4, but those odds are likely to plummet should they endure another month of the same results. 

As things stand, it’s too early to say with any certainty what might happen, but there does come a stage when fans will feel like they have slipped into a nightmare. Indeed, that feeling of impending disaster comes on a lot stronger after around eight games if your team has yet to shift out of neutral.

There is, of course, the chance to enjoy a bounce in results over the autumn, and teams need that if they are to avoid the fate that comes with being in the relegation places on Christmas day. For further proof of this, you only need to look at the league table on the 27th of December 2020 to see Fulham, West Brom, and Sheffield United all occupying the relegation positions; fast forward to May 2021 and they had all been relegated to the Championship.

So with this in mind and historically speaking, the time for supporters to panic about relegation is probably Christmas day, should their teams be caught in the dreaded places by the time the gammon is brought to the table. Admittedly, this news won’t do much to make it a festive Christmas for those who will suffer the fate.

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