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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Nightmare run-in puts Huddersfield in huge danger

Five things we learned

Huddersfield manager David Wagner
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1 Huddersfield's top-flight status at risk
Victory over Watford a couple of weeks ago looked to have secured Premier League survival but Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Everton combined with results elsewhere means David Wagner's side may still need at least another point to stay in the division.

Huddersfield's goal difference of minus 29 is significantly worse than that of Swansea and Southampton and it seems likely the Terriers could be on the end of beatings in their next two matches - away to Manchester City and Chelsea.

Town's last fixture is at home to Arsenal and it's difficult to see where David Wagner's men will pick up their next point unless the Gunners upset the odds to reach the Europa League final, thus probably resting players in what will otherwise be Arsene Wenger's last match in charge of the north London outfit.

Wagner will be hoping Stoke and particularly Southampton don't pick up any more wins but Saints showed they were alive when beating Bournemouth.

Premier League standings

2 Leicester likely to need a new manager
Claude Puel has a satisfactory Premier League record but a shocking end to last season saw him leave Southampton and he seems to be struggling to motivate Leicester for their campaign climax too.

Any chance of European football returning to the King Power was ended by successive defeats to Newcastle and Burnley before a lifeless 0-0 draw with Saints.

However, the worst was still to come and a 5-0 thrashing at Crystal Palace suggests history is repeating itself after the Frenchman's tenure at St Mary's ended with one win in the final eight games of the 2016-17 term.

3 Cardiff on the brink of Premier League return
The pressure was on Cardiff heading to Hull on Saturday but Sean Morrison's double saw the Bluebirds record a clutch victory which means they need only to match Fulham's result on the final day to gain promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Fulham will probably beat Birmingham but Cardiff could hardly have wished for a better finale than awful Reading at home.

The Royals, still not safe from relegation, were stuffed 4-0 at home by Ipswich with Reading manager Paul Clement using words such as "shameful", "embarrassing" and "unacceptable" to describe Reading's capitulation.

Sky Bet Championship standings

4 Burton fighting until the end
While Reading flounder fellow drop-zone candidates Burton are showing far more battling qualities and ensured the scrap for survival will go down to the wire after beating Bolton to make it three successive wins for the Brewers.

Burton won the shots-on-target count 8-0 against woeful Wanderers and head to Preston on the final day knowing a point may yet be enough to stay up, with a win likely to do the job as Reading, Birmingham and Barnsley (Derby away) all have tough fixtures.

Sky Bet Championship standings

5 Great escape is on for Barnet
When Martin Allen was appointed - for the fifth time - as Barnet boss the club needed a miracle to survive in the Football League. They were seven points from safety with just eight matches remaining.

Now they are two points from 22nd-placed Morecambe after beating their relegation rivals 1-0 on Saturday with a home game against doomed Chesterfield to come.

Meanwhile, Morecambe head to Coventry with a two-point advantage over Barnet and a seven-goal better goal difference.

A point will probably do for Morecambe and it will also guarantee Coventry a playoff spot but if the Sky Blues don't play for a mutually beneficial draw the great escape is on for Barnet.

Sky Bet League Two standings

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It seems likely the Terriers could be on the end of beatings in their next two matches - away to Manchester City and Chelsea
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