English Premier League: The Possibilities In The Hottest Race For Top 4 Ever!

The English Premier League 2016/17 season is fast drawing to a close. With four matches to go, as pundits predicted, this season has been the toughest one yet in recent times. After Leicester City’s unbelievable feat last season – winning the EPL with a 10-point difference, everyone expected the regular top teams to scuffle, draw blood and rise up and reclaim their respective thrones and positions, while possibly dethroning other regular top-4 teams in the process.

#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
Chelsea
33
25
3
5
69
29
40
78
2
Tottenham
33
22
8
3
69
22
47
74
3
Liverpool
34
19
9
6
70
42
28
66
4
Man. City
32
19
7
6
63
35
28
64
5
Man United
32
17
12
3
50
24
26
63
6
Arsenal
32
18
6
8
64
40
24
60

League leaders Chelsea have a game in hand and will need to win four of their remaining five matches to lift the trophy on the final week (or penultimate week). A single defeat can mar their chances and with tough teams who are either fighting for higher rankings like Everton and West Brom or battling relegation like Middlesbrough and Sunderland, the final victory may be very hard-fought and a slip up is quite possible.

Should Chelsea slip up, Tottenham Hotspurs who are in hot pursuit of Chelsea will waste no time in taking advantage of any slip up The Blues make. Having reduced Chelsea’s initial point-gap deficit from eleven to four, the current most consistent team in the EPL will definitely not want to make the same mistakes as last season which saw them not only lose a shot at winning the title, but also saw them lose the second spot to bitter rivals Arsenal on the final day after a terrible 5-2 loss to Newcastle. That is why the North London derby to be played on Week 35 will see Spurs lay it all on the line to make sure they defeat Arsenal to keep the chase on Chelsea.

In a fidgety position, even though they have maintained third for the past 5 weeks is Liverpool. The Reds’ ability to finish in top four depends largely on both Manchester teams and Arsenal’s ability to win their remaining games since Liverpool have no game in hand at all. While making sure they win all their remaining matches, the possibilities of both Arsenal and Manchester United overthrowing them is extremely high – which will see them drop to sixth position.

Manchester City holding on to their firm grip on fourth spot has probably stressed Pep Guardiola more than any other year in his managerial career. The Citizen’s inability to challenge for the title with the high-class and expensive signings they made at the beginning of the season has been one that has confused every single football fan worldwide. But then again, it’s the English Premier League. Should Manchester City lose to Manchester United on Thursday night, the Citizens will forfeit their fourth position to the red devils. Though Manchester United are in the same boat with the world-class signings they made and penning a world-class manager in Jose Mourinho, the current fifth spot they’re sitting on even though they’ve been unbeaten for over 18 games is somewhat shameful. However, Manchester United will be looking to capitalise on their game in hand, and possibly use their unbeaten run fever to win their remaining matches and upset both Manchester City and Liverpool (should City slip up) to possibly finish third.

Arsenal, who are currently in an agonising sixth position have two games in hand. But with their current rollercoaster form and the surprising lack of motivation to make at least “the usual fourth position,” no one is sure of where Arsenal will be by the end of the season. Although, if they eventually win the FA Cup, they’ll make it to the Europa League regardless of what position they finish (if they finish outside the top four). Arsenal need to win all their remaining matches while hoping Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United all slip up so that the gunners can either finish third or fourth.

The race for the top four this season is definitely the hottest ever. A single defeat or a terrifying draw can cause irreversible damage to a team’s title hopes or top four hopes.

Come 21st of May (or before then, depending on their next couple of results,) every team will know their fate. So what do you think? what will the top four teams at the end of the 2016/17 season be? Let me know in the comment section below.

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