The least popular team on Match of the Day revealed

SoccerBy Sunday World
Gary Lineker regularly comments on the running order
Gary Lineker regularly comments on the running order

Swansea made the most appearances in the bottom slot on the main Match of the Day programme this season, with Garry Monk's men last on the bill 10 times.

The Welsh side had been tipped for a season of struggle under their rookie manager and after the mid-season exit of top scorer Wilfried Bony but were never in any real danger of relegation. Their comfortable mid-table position might in fact have made some of their matches less compelling to the schedulers who control the running order at the BBC's Premier League highlights show.

Swansea made just two appearances at the top of the bill, in August and September - a win over Manchester United and a defeat at Chelsea.

Reacting to the news that his team had been bottom of the bill more than any other side, Monk told Press Association Sport: "We must be crap!

"I tend to think it goes on most goals. It seems to be whatever the game with most goals in then filters down, but then I've seen it where our game has had more goals than other ones and they are showing them, or they're showing teams that are lower than us before us.

"I don't really care, but it is a bit funny. I know Swansea fans have been having some banter with (presenter) Gary Lineker and sending tweets and that.

"Sometimes it's good to fly under the radar a little bit as you get underestimated and other times you think we deserve better recognition.

"It's kind of 50-50 at times. It's not the end of the world, but at least we're on there. That's the main thing. There have been many times when we haven't, so let's just enjoy being on there."

The Press Association survey looked at every Saturday night Premier League highlights programme throughout the season, the final show last Sunday night and the programmes covering the festive action on Boxing Day, December 28 and New Year's Day.

Sunderland had made the most appearances in the bottom slot when Press Association Sport conducted a similar survey at the end of January, with seven.

But as the season progressed - and the threat of relegation deepened - the Black Cats only made two more bottom-of-the-bill appearances and opened the show on three further occasions including the vital win at Everton on May 9 which gave them a great chance of staying up.

Stoke are the only team not to have appeared in the opening slot all season, while four teams - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham - avoided appearing last on the show throughout the campaign.

Champions Chelsea opened the show the most times - 10 - but made fewer appearances in the top three overall than Manchester City, with 18 appearances against the 21 for Manuel Pellegrini's runners-up.

Crystal Palace and Burnley made the most appearances in the main programme - 30 - while Manchester United and Tottenham jointly made the fewest, with 19 each, as their games were moved away from Saturdays for television or, in Spurs' case, because of their involvement in the Europa League.

Aston Villa had been last on the show six times when the survey was first conducted in late January, but made just two more appearances in the bottom slot as their form and flair returned under new manager Tim Sherwood - against Swansea on March 21 and in their final game of the season at home to Burnley on Sunday.

  • Swansea made the most appearances (10) in the bottom slot on Match of the Day.
  • Chelsea topped the bill on the most occasions - also 10.
  • Manchester City appeared in the top three matches more than any other team - 21 times.
  • Stoke were the only team not to appear in the opening match all season.
  • Sunderland made the second-most appearances in the bottom slot (nine), followed by Aston Villa (eight).
  • Gary Lineker's beloved Leicester made four of their five appearances in the top slot between March 21 and May 2 as they hit form at just the right time to secure survival.