Stoke City's English goalkeeper Jack Butland looks on during the English Premier League football match between Stoke City and Manchester City at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on March 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

7 Premier League Players Who Need to Rediscover Their Best Form to Save Their Clubs From Relegation

With just seven or eight games remaining in the Premier League this season, it is crunch time. The threat of relegation looms large for up to eight teams, with four points separating Swansea City in 15th position and Stoke in 19th.  


While some clubs may have had their survival hopes all but written off, as they say it ain't over until it's over. 


Form is temporary and in order to turn their club's fortunes around these eight players need to rediscover their best form to give their respective club the greatest chance of survival..

1. West Brom - Gareth Barry

The Baggies look all but Championship bound having won just three of their 31 league fixtures to date, but with survival still a slim possibility, a rapid and exponential return to formidable form is required.


While Albion should not have to rely on a 37-year-old to drag the side out of trouble, Gareth Barry is the experienced head - which admittedly exploded during Taxi Gate  - required to turn the Baggies' fortunes around. 


Barry's ability in attack has not fluctuated dramatically from seasons prior which is a stark contrast to his defensive capabilities this term. His passing accuracy (76.5%) has hit an all time low since season 2009/10, while his tackling and interception average of 1.4 and 0.6 per game respectively has left a lot to be desired. 


With Albion having already conceded 49 goals this season, Barry needs to return to his defensive best if he has any hope of dragging the club to unlikely safety.  

2. Stoke City - Jack Butland

In his first full season back in-between the sticks following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Jack Butland has conceded 49 goals and kept just five clean sheets in 27 games and looked a shadow of his former self who had all but grasped the title as England's number one stopper. 


Despite being linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer, the 25-year-old has been guilty of a series of catastrophic errors which have mirrored Stoke's disastrous form of late. 


With the highest goals against tally in the league, the Potters need to tighten up defensively if they have any hope of securing Premier League safety next season. Butland has shown he is capable of spectacular saves and performances throughout the years, and the time is now for him to rediscover a rich vein of form. 

3. Southampton - Charlie Austin

The luckless striker has long been plagued with injuries, Charlie Austin's torn hamstring at the end of December could not have come at a worse time. 


During the 28-year-old's three months absence the Saints have won just one league match - scoring just 11 goals in as many games - slipping into the relegation zone with a whimper as Mark Hughes was chosen to replace the lacklustre Mauricio Pellegrino. 


Austin had scored five goals in seven games prior to his injury and having returned to training this week Southampton will be desperately hoping his return to action reaps a similar return, as a daunting fixture list of five games against the current top nine awaits.  

4. West Ham - Michail Antonio

Hovering two points above the drop zone, West Ham are precariously placed in the league table as their remaining eight games sees them face up against four of the top six, and two sides currently in the relegation places. 


The Hammers recent run of form has seen the club ship 11 goals in their last three Premier League games, and while Michail Antonio has faced criticism for a lack of fitness this season, the 27-year-old's ability to hit the back of the net has never been as important. 


With two goals and an assist in his last four appearances, Antonio is capable of conjuring a moment of brilliance and his work alongside the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic will prove crucial to West Ham's survival hopes. 

5. Crystal Palace - Mamadou Sakho

The Eagles have not had any luck with one of their most lucrative signings of late as Mamadou Sakho has spent more time on the sidelines than he has on the pitch since his arrival from Liverpool. 


With the defence leaking 48 league goals to date, Sakho's return prior to the international break has come at just the right time as the 28-year-old could hold the key to survival. In his last seven appearances for the club - dating back to mid-November - Crystal Palace have failed to lose having won two and drawn five. 


Adding experience and defensive stability, the France international must maintain his fitness. What better time to prove his worth than against his former side Liverpool next time out. 

6. Huddersfield - Aaron Mooy

Aaron Mooy is undoubtedly Huddersfield's greatest threat and while his level of performance has generally been high, the Australian international's importance to David Wagner's side is only set to grow in the final weeks of the season. 


As the linchpin of the side Mooy shoulders much of the expectation for a club battling the odds, and with the joint second lowest goal scoring return in the league (25), the Terriers are reliant upon the 27-year-old to create opportunities, having played a part in 28% of Huddersfield's league goals.


Being key to both the offence and defence, Mooy's experience will be telling to the club's fortunes leading into the final seven games. 

7. Swansea - André Ayew

Carlos Carvalhal has worked wonders with Swansea since his arrival at the club in late December, having overseen just two defeats in his first 10 league games at the club; propelling the Swans to 14th in the table. 


However, with just three points still separating the club from the drop zone, Carvalhal needs players like André Ayew to step up and provide some much needed quality in the final third in order to ensure the club's Premier League survival.


The 28-year-old has shown signs of an impressive link with his brother Jordan, but with just eight games to go he needs to show a goal return (12) which earned him the move to rivals West Ham in the first place.  

*Statistics obtained from WhoScored