By Tom Fraser
Contact Tom - Details in bio at page bottom
The business end of the English Premier League is upon us and it is crunch time for multiple teams.
We have a two-horse race for the title, champions league spots are hotly contested and it’s go time for the best of the rest in the crowded middle. Two teams have already been relegated, resigned to the depths of the championship and the battle for survival is a scene akin to the battle for fuel in Mad Max.
The title is going to come down to the last game day of the season. Liverpool (Reds) currently lead Manchester City (Citizens) by two points however the reds have played one more game than citizens due to FA Cup commitments.
Liverpool’s run home includes Chelsea, Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolverhampton and have arguably the easier final month compared to Manchester City who face Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Manchester United, Burnley, Leicester and Brighton. The title could go either way.
One slip up from Liverpool (pun intended) could hand the Citizens back to back titles.
The jostling for prized champions league spots is just as exciting. Chelsea (66 points), Tottenham (64 points) Arsenal (63 points) and Manchester United (61 points) all buying for the two places behind the league leader. Just like the title race this is going to go down to the final half an hour of the season to decide who will take the remaining champions league places.
The mid-table log jam currently has just 5 points separating seventh placed Leicester (47 points) and 11th placed West Ham Untied (42 points). Wolverhampton currently eighth (47 points) and Watford (46 points) both have a game in hand on the rest of the pack and are primed to surge in to Champions League calculations. Everton currently ninth (46 points) cannot be written off either given they have won their previous 3 games (Arsenal 1-0, West Ham 2-0 and Chelsea 2-0). West ham are the team most off the pace and falling away from the pack and considering they have to play Tottenham and Manchester United in coming weeks as well as finishing the season against Watford, expect West Ham to slide in to the off season.
The battle for Premier league survival is intriguing with Cardiff (28 points) most likely to make the drop to the championship - Southampton and Brighton currently sit 5 points clear of the drop zone. Newcastle and Burnley would seem to have secured top flight status for another year barring a catastrophic collapse.
Its the Championship for Huddersfield and Fulham, who have both been relegated collecting just 31 points between them.