Brighton’s unexpected win over Manchester United changes little for the bottom three, as only Southampton could have caught them in any case.
Brighton have moved from 37 points to the perceived magic target of 40, but West Brom on 28 points and Stoke with 30 from 36 games were already unable to catch them anyway.
Southampton on 32 points from 35 matches could yet reach 41 points and overhaul Brighton, with a full 9 points from their remaining three matches.
Hence Brighton are not genuinely safe yet, but with 6 league wins all season there is little to suggest that the Saints will win their final three.
But Southampton and Stoke must eke whatever belief they possibly can out of Brighton’s win over Utd, as they simply must start winning games.
West Brom’s late resurgence should be ended this weekend by the visit of Spurs, but another unexpected win for them could yet leave the Baggies with an improbable chance to avoid the drop, with a final day win at Crystal Palace.
Palace, Bournemouth and Watford on 38 points from 36 games won’t feel entirely safe yet either, above West Ham and Huddersfield at risk on 35 points from 35 games and Swansea in real jeopardy on 33 from their 35.
But their collective peril is meaningless unless Southampton and Stoke get their act together and both have wasted several chances to switch places with them in recent weeks.
Stoke simply must beat Palace this weekend, as they need at least 4 points to overhaul Swansea in 17th place and the goal difference is 8 in the Swans’ favour.
A Stoke defeat while Swansea win or draw at Bournemouth would relegate the Potters. And Swansea still hold the key to the bottom three.
With the amazing timing that football irony often brings, Swansea’s final two matches are both at home, to Southampton and Stoke. They can relegate both, or yet be overhauled by one or the pair of them.