In 1992, Aston Villa earned the distinction of being one of the founding Premier League clubs. That first season, they finished second in the league, trailing 10 points behind Manchester United. It was a promising start to a new era for the Lions and promised good things to come for a team that had, up to that point, won seven top-flight English football titles.

Fast-forward nearly 25 years and Aston Villa still only have seven top-flight English football titles, having never gotten any closer to ruling the Premier League than they did in that rookie season. However, unlike many of their fellow teams from that founding Premier League class, the Claret and Blue have managed to avoid relegation completely. There have been some close calls, of course: in 1994, the Lions finished 18th-only dodging relegation because the Premier League was a 22-team division at the time. Last season, they ended up at 17th-just three points above the red zone. In fact, in each of the last four seasons, Aston Villa have ranked at 15th or lower.

At this point, narrowly avoiding relegation and keeping the Premier League streak alive has become a part of Aston Villa's narrative. Fans don't mistake this team for a Manchester heavyweight, but are proud of how much Aston Villa has done despite having less money and less draw than some other Premier League soccer clubs.

Relegation Looming

With the 2015/16, it looks like Aston Villa's streak of avoiding relegation could finally come to an end. The Lions have been situated at the bottom of the Premier League table now since the beginning of January. They've sacked a coach (Tim Sherwood) and hired a new one (Remi Garde) without much change in success or momentum. 22 weeks into the 38-game season, they've only won two games and tallied 12 points-six points fewer than any other team in the division.

To be fair, things have seemed to be looking up for Aston Villa over the past couple weeks. On January 12th, the Lions donned the Aston Villa home jersey 2015/16 for a game against Crystal Palace and came away with a 1-0 win. It was Villa's first win, period, since a September 22nd League Cup triumph against Birmingham City, and their first Premier League victory since the very first week of competition.

Under Sherwood, the Lions started their season well with an August 8th win at AFC Bournemouth. But losing nine of their next 10 league matches (and drawing the other) rapidly put the football club in the danger zone.

The Claret and Blue followed up their Crystal Palace victory with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City. Leicester have been one of the Premier League's most impressive success stories this season, shooting themselves into title contention thanks to the incredible performances of forwards Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Aston Villa managed to neutralize both Vardy and Mahrez in Saturday's match, though, paving the way for a 1-1 draw.

Finding a Miracle

If Remi Garde can extend this brief bit of sunshine, then perhaps the Lions could leapfrog the Premier League's other most troubled teams (Sunderland, Swansea City, and Newcastle United) to cheat relegation once more. But will they need a miracle to make it happen?

In this context, the word "miracle" might be a little much, but Garde's soccer squad will need to hit a streak of good luck to escape the danger zone. Right now, as mentioned previously, Aston Villa have 12 points and are in last place. Sunderland are 19th, with 18 points, while Newcastle United and Swansea are currently skirting the relegation zone, with a point tally of 21 and 22 respectively.

To escape relegation, Aston Villa will need to make up that deficit and pass all three clubs within the next 16 fixtures. In addition, they'll have to improve their dismal goal difference figure-which, at -20, is five goals worse than Newcastle's and ten worse than Swansea's.

Do you think that Aston Villa can string together enough wins to make up their point deficit? Or will the 2016/17 be the first-ever Premier League campaign not to include the Lions? Share your predictions with Soccer Box on social media, we are active on Twitter, Instagram, Google + and other popular social platforms.