The time is against West Brom.

Indeed, the recent zero-goal and single point results against Everton and Newcastle were the results that decided many Albion supporters.

Until that red ‘R’ is next to their name in the leaderboard, however, they’ll have to carry on just as they have lately – hopefully with an end product to point out.

In the coming weeks it will effectively be decided in which league the club will compete in the next season. Hence, it is imperative that as many positive results as possible are achieved – starting with the trip to Crystal Palace.

While relegation is a fate that you ultimately deserved over the course of 38 games, if you suffer from it you’ll still want a favors or two from clubs that are not at risk and that can keep the same teams on the relegation slide.

Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley would be the three obvious teams Albion might still be able to catch while a shot seems to be at the moment, but the gap remains sizeable as we swing home around the last corner.

Mbaye Diagne is the key to West Brom’s faint hope for survival

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Form

Newcastle: DDLLW

Brighton: LLLDD

Fulham: WLDWD

Albion: DLWDD

Sheffield United: LWLLL

Sheffield United, who had a number of wins – including against Albion – just seem too big a void to regain now. You are four points behind Albion.

What comes after this weekend, however, will be particularly illuminating; It is now for Albion to do or to die.

Here is a look at the table in its current form and how the immediate number of games for each side below is compared to that of Albion.

The current table

team Pld GD Pt
15th Burnley 28 -16 30th
16 Newcastle 27 -17 27
17th Brighton 27 -8th 26
18th Fulham 28 -11 26
19th ALBION 28 -36 18th
20th Sheffield United 28 -29 14th

Newcastle

Set-up: Villa (H), Brighton (A), Tottenham (H), Burnley (A), West Ham (H)

Newcastle have had problems on the training ground which were released lately and Steve Bruce had injuries to key players but they scored a point in the dismal draw against Albion last time and that keeps the gap between them and the Baggies at nine Points.

You have crucial trips to Brighton and Burnley on the horizon, but first and foremost, it’s a reunion for Bruce with Aston Villa.





© Adam Davy / PA Wire
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce during his team’s FA Cup loss to Arsenal

Brighton

Fixtures: Southampton (A), Newcastle (H), Man United (A), Everton (H), Chelsea (A)

Brighton, a side apparently in no danger, haven’t won five games and lost their last three straight league games – including to Albion – and it’s a run that has remarkably leveled them with Fulham.

Suddenly they were skipped by Newcastle and are in a relegation battle like any other team down there.

Graham Potter’s team had a South Coast derby with Southampton and then a key game against Newcastle on the horizon.

Fulham

Fixtures: Man City (H), Leeds (H), Villa (A), Wolfe (H), Arsenal (A)

Fulham are a team that will truly envision staying up here after their recent revival. The Cottagers under Scott Parker have recently won twice on Merseyside and also played at home against Sheffield United.

They also drew when they couldn’t win, including at Palace and Albion.

Even so, their immediate number of fixtures seems daunting.

Albion

Fixtures: Palace (A), Chelsea (A), Southampton (H), Leicester (A), Villa (A)

Albion really has to beat Palace. It’s as simple as that. Greeting the free-falling Southampton – their only home game in the next five league games – also seems like another must-have, as the top half has tough away games against teams that are way above them.

On top of that, they also have Leeds, Wolves, Arsenal and Liverpool so it’s not the easiest kind of run-ins as Allardyce’s men are planning the biggest escape.

Sheffield United

Fixtures: Leicester (A), Leeds (A), Arsenal (H), Wolves (A), Brighton (H)

After losing to Southampton at the weekend, the Blades are now set to make a return to championship football.

It would take them about 22 points from their 10 remaining games to be even remotely in the mix.

Still, the Blades could have a big say in who comes to the second division next year – they play against Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley before the end of the season.