Leicester City will be bottom of the Premier League at Christmas after a dismal run but can they upset the odds and escape the bottom three in the New Year?
When the Foxes beat Manchester United 5-3 in September, having won at Stoke City the previous weekend, Nigel Pearson’s side appeared to be on course for a memorable campaign.
But since that outstanding comeback victory against Louis van Gaal’s side, City have taken just two points from 12 matches and have lost their last five matches.
They are now five points away from safety with just over half the season remaining, but perhaps all is not lost following Sunderland’s revival last term.
Being bottom at Christmas famously meant until recently you would definitely be relegated, but West Brom performed a Great Escape in 2004/05 before the Black Cats managed the same feat.
The Baggies, managed at the time by Bryan Robson, were actually still bottom going into the final match of the campaign, but survived thanks to their victory against Portsmouth and the fact that Norwich City and Southampton both lost and Crystal Palace could only draw.
Last season, Sunderland had accrued only ten points by Christmas but, bolstered by a run to the Capital One Cup final, they enjoyed a brief revival in January before a run of two points from nine matches appeared to have sealed their fate.
However, four successive victories against Chelsea – when Connor Wickham and Fabio Borini scored the goals to secure the win – Cardiff City, Manchester United and West Brom lifted Gus Poyet’s side out of the bottom three in scintillating fashion.
Whether this Leicester side can go on a similar run is debatable and it certainly doesn’t get any easier for Pearson’s men as they have a tricky festive programme that includes games against Tottenham, Hull City and Liverpool.
Fail to win any of those matches and the chances of the Foxes still being a Premier League side next season appear slim.