Tensions have escalated over the Premier League allegations

Tensions are rising in the lower reaches of the Premier League as they fight to avoid charges towards a dramatic end.

With just five games remaining, Rock Bottom has seven points from Norwich's safety and is heading to the Championship.

Bournemouth and Aston Villa, which currently fill the remaining two spots in the rehabilitation zone, are locked in a four-team battle for survival with fellow rivals Watford and West Ham.

AFP Sport takes a closer look at teams to maintain their top-flight status:


Eddie Howe's side are in freefall after five consecutive defeats at Manchester United 5-2 on Saturday.

The other Lower Cherries, by one point safety, will face Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City in their next three games.

An order that will determine if Bournemouth can extend their five-season top flight for a year.

Bournemouth's lack of goals is a big part of their downfall, as the starting line-up at Old Trafford has only managed eight so far this season.

"There are games going on. If we want to stay in the division, we have to start taking points," said Bournemouth winger junior Stanislaus.

"We have no excuse. We can't talk. It's time for action.

"There's no reason why we can't take the points until the end of the season."

Aston Villa

A stunning nine-match run without success was the third-best in terms of safety.

Villa, known as a pre-season investment in multiple undergarment signatures, relied on Captain Jack Grealish for their survival bid.

Dean Smith has lost three of their five matches since the start of the rematch and will face Manchester United and Arsenal before the final day's shootout against West Ham.

They may be unlucky not to score a point in Anfield's 2-0 win over Champions Liverpool on Sunday.

That tough performance gave Villa hope to return to the Championship soon, but Smith knew it would have to be even brutal to achieve that goal.

"I don't want to lose. We're scrapping for points," Smith said.

"To shoot Liverpool at home in terms of targeted efforts, it's great, but we have to take our chances. We never found quality in the last third."

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