Paul Merson and Michael Dawson disagree on Nottingham Forest's relegation run-in

Anthony Elanga of Nottingham Forest competes for the ball with Luca Koleosho of Burnley
Nottingham Forest play Burnley on the final day of the 2023/24 Premier League season (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images) -Credit:Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Michael Dawson and Paul Merson were at odds as they discussed whether Nottingham Forest or their rivals stand the best chance of Premier League survival.

With Sheffield United now confirmed for the drop, only two places remain undecided. This will mean only one of Forest, Luton Town or Burnley will retain their place in the top-flight beyond the end of the season.

There is a two-point split between the three clubs, so that just shows how tight the situation is. In their remaining matches there are various challenges for all concerned.

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Forest must play Sheffield United, then welcome Chelsea to the City Ground for a final home bout of the campaign. In this space Burnley entertain Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, before the the 17th and 19th-placed sides clash on the final day of the season at Turf Moor.

Meanwhile 18th-placed Luton Town are to play Everton - who mathematically escaped the relegation picture last weekend - plus West Ham United and Fulham.

"Sheffield United takes care of itself, they’ve been relegated, tough game," Dawson began to analyse for Sky Sports. "Then Chelsea - Saturday Night Football.

"Forest stayed up last year after beating Arsenal on a Sky game, and they will look at that thinking if they can get a result against Sheffield United away from home, beat Chelsea - which you never know with Chelsea, they can turn up and be good, but City Ground, 5:30pm kick-off, that place will be rocking. Can they make that night special?

"Then Burnley away, they will not want it going to the last game. Burnley are only two points behind, they could still be in it."

This rallying cry for the Chelsea meeting and admission of hope from Forest's former centre half was then later challenged by Merson. The ex-Arsenal and England man was asked which club's fixtures he would rather have in front of himself, to which he placed full confidence in Luton whilst swatting away Dawson's Chelsea notion.

"You’d take Luton’s. Everton are safe, Fulham are safe, West Ham, you know. I wouldn’t say they’re the easiest fixtures because they haven’t won in so many games, but if you had to pick them I’d take them games.

"Chelsea played fourth in the league last night and literally destroyed them second half. If they [Luton] win on Friday night the pressure is on, because I expect Luton to beat Fulham on the last day of the season."

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