Watford’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed on Saturday, sending them to the EFL Championship. Crystal Palace defeated Watford 1-0 at Selhurst Park due to a first-half penalty from Wilfried Zaha.
The Hornets finished the game with 10 men as Hassane Kamara was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in 68 minutes. Watford has now lost 25 EPL games this season, the most of any team. They might still finish the season at the bottom of the table, as their loss on Saturday moved them just one point ahead of Norwich, who have a game in hand.
Watford are the sixth Premier League club to have been demoted at least four times. At Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson was in charge of Watford, but the former England manager has already stated that he will not be retained beyond this season.
Although we now know that Norwich and Watford will join them in the EFL next season, the identity of the third team is unknown. After winning three straight games under temporary manager Mike Jackson, Burnley appeared to be in a strong position to avoid relegation alongside Leeds United and Everton. Burnley’s bubble shattered on Saturday as they lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, giving Leeds and Everton hope for Sunday’s games.
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The relegation of Norwich City from the Premier League has also been confirmed after the Canaries were defeated 2-0 by Aston Villa and Burnley and Crystal palace defeated Watford.
Norwich’s insipid defeat to manager Dean Smith’s former club, along with Burnley’s 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Watford, consigned the Canaries to an instant return to the Championship, which they won last season.
Norwich City have now been relegated from the Premier League six times, more than any other team in the competition’s history, with Smith and his predecessor Daniel Farke managing just five wins in 34 league games this season.
Meanwhile, the Canaries have been demoted in each of their previous four Premier League seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, 2019-20, and 2021-22), making them only the second club in English football history to do so four times (after Crystal Palace in 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98, and 2004-05). After blowing a one-goal lead at home to Burnley, fellow promoted team Watford seemed set to join Norwich in making an immediate return to the Football League.
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Burnley’s interim manager, Mike Jackson, has now won three of his first four league games in charge, the first Clarets manager to do so since Jimmy Mullen in 1991. Burnley appears to be slugging it out with Leeds United and Everton for the third relegation slot, having been re-energized following the stunning sacking of Sean Dyche earlier this month.
Next season, Championship winners Fulham and runners-up Bournemouth will replace Watford and Norwich in England’s top flight. The Championship playoffs will begin on May 13 with a match between Luton Town and Huddersfield Town, followed by a match between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest the following day.