11th place- West Ham
The Hammers’ season was disrupted with a move from the Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 season but it was the controversial exit of star midfielder Dimitri Payet which was one of the more infamous moments fans would like to remember. Underperforming transfers and loans such as Sofiane Feghouli, Gokhan Tore and Simone Zaza contributed to West Ham’s early season woes.
Highlight: A sole Manuel Lanzini strike ended Tottenham’s hopes for the title when West Ham defeated their rivals at home in May.
Lowlight: Slaven Bilic’s side won one of their first seven, after embarrassing losses to Watford (4-2 at home), West Brom (4-2 away) and Southampton (3-0 at home).
12th place- Leicester City
Almost nobody predicted the Foxes’ meteoric ascension in the 2015-16 Premier League season yet there were probably more naysayers that claimed Leicester would have difficulty in defending their crown. While Leicester bravely progressed to the Champions League quarter finals, the club’s big spending on the likes of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani, was frustrating as both struggled to consistently deliver. The 2016 triumph quickly became a distant memory as Claudio Ranieri was sacked amidst fears of a relegation scrap.
Highlight: A string of five successive victories following Craig Shakespeare’s appointment as interim manager was impressive however it was when Ranieri was still at the helm that their best win of the season occurred. Leicester pulled off a huge scalp, defeating Manchester City 4-2 at the King Power Stadium in December courtesy of a Jamie Vardy hatrick.
Lowlight: A 6-1 thumping at home at the hands of Tottenham in the second last game of the season as Harry Kane came back to haunt his former club with four goals.
13th place- Stoke City
The Potters dropped out of the top half of the league table this season, as the attacking trio of Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic failed to make a meaningful impact as they so often threatened to in 2015-16. Stoke only scored 41 goals, with their top scorer a 36-year-old veteran Peter Crouch who popped up with 7 goals after failing to bag any last season.
Highlight: After failing to win any of their first seven matches, Stoke kicked into action and won five of their next seven (Sunderland, Hull, Swansea, Watford and Burnley)
Lowlight: After struggling to score in his 13 league appearances for Stoke, Saido Berahino was a close contender for this, however conceding 13 goals from Rounds 2-5 including an embarrassing 4-1 shellacking away to Crystal Palace was Stoke’s most disappointing period of the season.
14th place- Crystal Palace
Sam Allardyce’s final season as a manager was spent leading the Londoners out of the relegation zone, a feat that may not have been possible without the goal-scoring of Christian Benteke. The Belgian scored 15 in the league this season after a frustrating year at Liverpool where he only bagged 9. Wilfried Zaha also stepped up, scoring 7 goals and notching 9 assists as Palace ended up seven points clear of the drop zone.
Highlight: April was a crazy month for the Eagles. It began with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, continued with a 3-0 home triumph over Arsenal and later taking another huge scalp by beating Liverpool away, 2-1. Despite these giant-killing performances, Palace managed to drop eight points to Southampton, Leicester and Burnley in the same month.
Lowlight: Allardyce’s men copped a hammering at the hands of cellar-dwellers Sunderland in early February. Sunderland kept Palace scoreless as they romped to a 4-0 victory.
15th place- Swansea City
The Welsh side were very close to dropping out of the top tier for the first time since they joined the Premier League in 2011-12 as the club saw two managers sacked throughout the season. Francesco Guidolin lasted until October while teetering over the relegation zone before Bob Bradley took the team even lower to 19th. Paul Clement was appointed and the Swans made it to safety with a week to spare. Veteran striker Fernando Llorente proved to be an astute signing as he produced 15 goals, most of which were vital in gaining points. 10 of Llorente’s goals were scored in Swansea victories.
Highlight: Swansea’s late season run was their best period of the season after only managing seven wins from the first 33. The Swans gained 13 points of a maximum 15 from the last five games of the season.
Lowlight: Swansea leaked 18 goals in December, and a run of four straight losses to West Brom (3-1 away), Middlesbrough (3-0 away), West Ham (4-1 home) and Bournemouth (3-0 home) to signal the end of a miserable spell under Bob Bradley.
16th place- Burnley
Burnley became the only promoted side to stay in the Premier League for the 2017-18 season, after their 40 points were enough to secure safety. Despite finishing 16th, the Clarets were the 12th best defensive team in the comp and only conceded 4 or more in one game which is a solid feat for a newly promoted side. Sean Dyche’s men relied heavily on Andre Gray and Sam Vokes who scored 9 and 10 goals, respectively, for a side that just scored 39 goals for the season.
Highlight: Burnley turned Turf Moor into a fortress somewhat in 2016-17, losing just six of their 19 games there. Their most impressive victories at home were 2-0 and 2-1 defeats of Liverpool and Everton.
Lowlight: Their home form was good but Burnley’s away form was the second worst in the competition. Only seven of Burnley’s 40 competition points were won on the road.
17th place- Watford
Watford were primed for a second consecutive season finishing in the top half of the table however six successive defeats meant that the Hornets dropped to 17th place although they were never as fiercely involved in a relegation scrap as the three teams that finished above them. Troy Deeney was yet again Watford’s main man in attack but poor discipline in defence was costly as they conceded a total of 18 goals in their last six games alone.
Highlight: Watford upset a couple of big teams, defeating Manchester United 3-1 at home and Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates.
Lowlight: A red-hot Liverpool outfit smashed six past Watford in November but the last game of the season saw Manchester City win 5-0 at Vicarage Road.
18th place- Hull City
Hull began the season with no manager due to Steve Bruce’s resignation while the loss of Mohamed Diame was huge. Despite these setbacks, Mike Phelan won August’s manager of the month award after opening victories over champions Leicester and Swansea before a minor defeat to Manchester United. With two wins from the first two games, the Tigers won just one of their next 18 and Marco Silva was appointed as manager to save their season. While their form improved, Hull couldn’t be saved by relegation especially after the sale of Robert Snodgrass, their top-scorer, to West Ham in January.
Highlight: Defeating Leicester at home 2-1 was a big statement in front of a crowd of Hull fans in anger at the club’s board.
Lowlight: Back-to-back thrashings to Crystal Palace and Tottenham at the end of the season conceding 11 goals in total wasn’t how they would’ve wanted to exit the Premier League.
19th place- Middlesbrough
Some of Middlesbrough’s signings displayed their intent of staying up in the Premier League however goal-scoring woes was the team’s ultimate problem of the 2016-17 season as they only managed 27 goals, the worst in the competition. Boro’s defence was the best out of the teams that finished in the bottom half of the table. Loanee, Alvaro Negredo was top scorer with 9 goals however he struggled to find a strike partner that also struggled to score on regular basis as Cristhian Stuani, Viktor Fischer and Rudy Gestede only scored five goals between them.
Highlight: Boro only won 5 games and against poor sides but they performed admirably when they faced Manchester City. They showed fight to equalise in the 90th minute for a 1-1 draw in the first meeting while they hit the lead twice in a 2-2 draw later in the season.
Lowlight: Middlesbrough were thumped 4-0 away from home to Bournemouth. Three weeks later their relegation was confirmed.
20th place- Sunderland
After season after season of pulling off great escapes to stay in the Premier League, Sunderland have finally been relegated back to the Championship for the first time in 10 years. The appointment of David Moyes as manager failed to save the Black Cats as they finished at the bottom of the table and 16 points adrift from safety. After Round 3, Sunderland couldn’t escape the relegation zone as they finished with one more win than 19th placed Middlesbrough.
Highlight: Jermain Defoe. The 34 year-old striker saved Sunderland in the last two seasons however he couldn’t pull off the same feat this time around. The Englishman still managed to score 14 goals, almost half his side’s tally while also achieving a call-up to the England national team.
Lowlight: There can be a few but Sunderland blew a chance to take three points at home to Crystal Palace when they surrendered a 2-0 goal lead to lose 3-2.