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Bottom Half of the EPL is Currently a League of Its Own

As the teams at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League continue to take points off each other, looking at the table you might be tempted to think that they are in a league of their own.
It has often been commented upon by pundits and analysts of the game that the Premier League can be sub-divided into three separate mini-divisions.
Arguably the top four are above the rest with a pool of other sides fighting for the remaining European places or sitting comfortably in mid-table.
Meanwhile at the bottom there are a host of clubs just fighting to survive.
Currently this season, the struggle to remain at English football's lucrative top table stretches the length of the bottom half of the table.
Bolton Wanderers' crucial victory against West Ham United at Upton Park last weekend lifted them up to 13th however they lie just 5 points above the bottom three.
Blackburn Rovers, in 12th position, are 5 points above Bolton.
Portsmouth looked doomed having endured a miserable league campaign on and off the pitch although their fans will be cheered by their marvellous F.
A Cup run.
Amongst the other teams involved, there is still plenty to play for.
Burnley manager Brian Laws hasn't enjoyed a successful tenure in charge so far and the Clarets have just 1 win in 17 league games.
Based on this statistic alone, you'd think that they would be cast adrift with Portsmouth however they are just one point from safety.
Hull City occupy the final relegation place owing to them having an inferior goal difference to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Sitting precariously above them are Wigan, Sunderland and West Ham.
Despite the set-back of losing to Bolton, West Ham's home form should see them live to fight another season and ensure rookie manager Gianfranco Zola keeps his job though not many posts in football are entirely secure.
Interestingly, West Ham will host fellow strugglers Wolves, Sunderland and Wigan at Upton Park although they do have difficult fixtures against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to fulfil before the season's end.
Burnley enjoyed a relatively successful start to the season, including the memorable victory over Manchester United at Turf Moor.
Their previous inability to defeat their relegation rivals, losing to Wolves, Bolton and Portsmouth, could be rectified when they face Wolves again, plus Wigan, Hull and Sunderland.
With so many fixtures yet to be played between the plethora of sides in the bottom half of the table still not guaranteed survival, there are going to be plenty of decisive twists and turns.
Those around them will certainly not share the same feeling that West Ham and Sunderland are 'too big to go down' and likewise, teams like plucky Burnley will be shown no mercy.
Wigan Athletic's meteoric rise to the Premier League has seen them spend 5 years in the top division and consolidate despite scrapes with relegation.
This time round, however, manager Roberto Martinez will have to utilise all the experience he has gained in a few short years of management to galvanise his squad.
Whatever happens, every one of these teams will be aiming to finish top of the mini league at the bottom.

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