x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The winners will take it all in league's relegation battle

Whether it is better to go for three points at the risk of ending up with nothing, or play it safe and stick with one is the question.

To draw or not to draw, that is the question. Whether it is better to go for three points at the risk of ending up with nothing, or play it safe and stick with one.

The answer, like most things in football, is fluid.

Stoke City shared the spoils with West Bromwich Albion. It was only their fourth draw of the season - they have won 10 and lost 14.

That is the lowest draw tally in the Premier League, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, Stoke are 10th, Wolves 18th, in the relegation zone.

It shows the value of going for the win - Stoke are fifth lowest scorers in the league, yet in terms of victories, they have more (10) than any team outside the top six.

And seven points separate 20th to 10th, it is that ability to produce a win that could keep teams up. Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool are 14th and 15th, for example. But their ability to grab three points - they both have nine wins - is a positive sign for the relegation battle. , highlighting the effect a couple of consecutive wins can have on your league placing.

Most of the teams that have drawn a lot are in trouble. Bottom-placed Wigan have 12, West Ham above them have 10.

Therefore, if you have to pick any of the bottom three to survive, you would choose Wolves - any team that beats Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United and Man City in the same season deserves to stay up.