There are only 12 games remaining (for the majority of clubs) in the Premier League and to say the run-in will be interesting is a massive understatement.
Today we focus on the battles towards the top of the Premier League table, particularly the race for the title and the race for that final Champions League spot.
After reading the predictions from those over at The Football Blog, I thought I would get a few people together to give their predictions as to who will be occupying the top four spots of the Premier League table come the end of the season.
1st – Chelsea. 2nd- Arsenal. 3rd – Manchester United. 4th – Manchester City
At the beginning of the season, I, for some reason, predicted that Liverpool would win the title this season. How wrong was I? With just three months to go in the season now, I can’t even see Rafa Benitez’ men making the top four. If Manchester City can perform on a more consistent basis, I strongly believe they will comfortably finish in that 4th spot.
In terms of the title, I just can’t look beyond Chelsea. Despite the fact they haven’t been playing great of late, I am still quite confident they will come good and eventually win the league by a comfortable 5 points. Also, I think Arsenal’s relatively easy run-in will see them sneak ahead of Manchester United and claim that 2nd spot.
1st – Chelsea. 2nd – Manchester United. 3rd – Arsenal. 4th – Liverpool.
Simple. All this talk about Manchester City, Tottenham or even Aston Villa breaking the ‘big four’, is simply wishful thinking amongst the neutral football fan, it won’t happen. If it was going to happen surely we would have seen one of these teams in a dominant position right now. With Liverpool’s awful start there has never been a better chance.
Ok City have two games in hand and aren’t far off , but I’m not convinced it’s going to happen. Since replacing Mark Hughes with Roberto Mancini nothing’s changed. Spurs are consistently inconsistent and Villa don’t have the strength or depth. If one of these teams are to miraculously move one of the big four from their perch it would appear that Liverpool would be the team to miss out. However, The Reds have really improved over the past couple of weeks and have the experience Villa, City and Spurs don’t. As much as I’d love to see the top four change, I fear we’ll have to wait another year.
1st – Chelsea. 2nd – Arsenal. 3rd – Manchester United. 4th – Manchester City/Liverpool
While I have always maintained that Chelsea would finish top of the league, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Arsenal will finish in second place, ahead of Manchester United.
In this wonderful three-legged race we have, Arsenal have by far the easiest of schedules. While there are three possible stumbling blocks away at Birmingham, at Tottenham, and at home to Man City, Wenger’s squad should pick up three points in the other nine Premier League matches. Wayne Rooney has been the best striker England has seen in quite some time, but I think the pressure of playing Milan in the Champions League along with dealing with Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final and a tough end of the season schedule will prove to be too much for Manchester United.
As for fourth place, Liverpool and Manchester City are currently side-by-side tied on 44 points. The thing is, City have two games in hand, but Liverpool have a far easier schedule. City’s last five Premier League matches are Birmingham, Manchester United, Arsenal (at the Emirates), Aston Villa, and West Ham (at Upton Park), a brutal stretch for any Premier side. Next Sunday, Manchester City hosts Liverpool. I think whoever comes out on victorious in this game will seize the last spot in the top four.
1st – Manchester United. 2nd – Chelsea. 3rd – Arsenal. 4th – Manchester City
Manchester United for the title. They were written off, but seem to be coming good just on cue. United always put a long string of wins together in the final third of the season, and despite the absence of Ronaldo and the draw against Villa, they’ve started to look like they really want it, and let’s face it, they know how to do it.
Liverpool have improved of late, without really playing any nice football. Despite this, Man City find themselves well-placed enough to overcome their abject inconsistency and, please God, they’ll deny a slipshod Liverpool side the Champions League spot, which they simply do not deserve.
Who do you agree with?Or maybe you don’t agree with any of our predictions. Leave your comments below.