Wooo, my first blog post! Hello Blogosphere! How are you? I am fine, I hope you are too! Sorry, I couldn’t figure out a better way to start this thing so you’ll have to excuse my inane ramblings here in my first paragraph of this, my humble little piece of the internet.
The first thing I wanted to bring up was the battle for 3rd and 4th place in the Premier League between Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. For those that do not know, 3rd and 4th place get you to the UEFA Champions League, the top club tournament in the world and 5th gets you to the Europa League, Champs League’s maligned step-child which most teams send their clubs with indifference to results.
Right now Chelsea sits in 3rd with 65 pts (34 games) Arsenal sits 4th with 64 (35 games) and Tottenham sits in 6th with 62 pts (34 games)
19-8-7 65 points, 3rd in Premier League
This Week: 5/5 @ Manchester United (1st), 5/8 vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5th)
Season: 5/11 @ Aston Villa (16th), 5/19 vs. Everton (6th Place)
First lets look at Chelsea. They sit one point clear of Arsenal with one less game played and are 3 clear of Tottenham. They have a tough matchup Sunday against perennial champions Manchester United. The defending UEFA champions started the year strong, but have fell to 5th at a few points this season. With Eden Hazard, Ramirez, rock Petr Cech in back, Fernando Torres and winter transfer Demba Ba up front, the Blues are likely to be back in the Champions League after only qualifying last season by being defending champions after a terrible 2011-12 Premier League season which saw them sink to 6 th place,their worst since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The negative for Chelsea is their schedule. They play the toughest combined schedule, with the Spurs match being the most difficult. This match likely could be the difference in who finishes 5th here. Chelsea has the advantage of playing at home, but Spurs and Bale fighting for their seasons will bring everything into Stamford Bridge. This is the top match left in the Premier League season. Sunday’s matchup with Manchester United will be watched closely
as well as we will see how hard United goes after it. A straight up win for Sir Alex’s United would be huge for both Arsenal and Spurs here.
18-10-7 64 points, 4th in Premier League
This Week: 5/4 @ Queens Park Rangers (19th)
Season: 5/14 vs. Wigan Athletic (18th), 5/19 @ Newcastle United (17th)
The Gunners let 2 points escape with Van Persie’s PK last Sunday afternoon; however with the Blues/Spurs matchup next Wednesday, they still control their destiny, and it looks promising. Arsenal has 2 of 3 on the road to finish the season, but fortunately only have to beat QPR, Wigan and Newcastle to lock themselves into another Champions League bid. Wenger and his boys seem like a lock to finish
3rd or 4th and they should be able to win out. A last day matchup in Newcastle at St. James’ Park is always a challenge and is the toughest match left for Arsenal. Newcastle could be sweating on the last day if Wigan can get some points, however with the beatdown Liverpool handed them last match and Newcastle only with a 9-1-8 record at home this season, the Gunners should have enough class to get the 3 in Newcastle and sweep their final 3 matches.
18-8-8 62 points, 5th in Premier League
This Week, 5/4 vs. Southampton (13th), 5/8 @ Chelsea (3rd)
Season: 5/12 @ Stoke City (12th), 5/19 vs. Sunderland (15th)
The Spurs have the most to lose out of this. Along with having the least points of the 3, they also are on the verge of losing their best player and the best Premier League player in Gareth Bale. Despite the club saying they are confident he will return next season, reports have been rampant that he will be leaving the club for United or Real Madrid. Bale himself has stated that all this is speculation, but as a Spurs fan myself I tend to agree with AVB that Bale is as good as gone without a Champions League birth, and even then it is a possibility that he leaves the club in the Summer.
For the season, after Spurs suffered a terrible draw to Wigan (that should have been a L), they must have help from either Chelsea or Arsenals’ opponents as the Spurs goal differential will not be better than Chelsea’s and so they must finish at least one point ahead. Southampton at home must be 3 points for the Spurs. They cannot give up points here. Again, the Chelsea is the match of the season for Spurs and this will likely decided the finishing position. With both teams bringing everything, it should be one of the best matches of the year in the Premier League. The Spurs must come right back however and take victories over Stoke and Sunderland or they will likely be playing in Europa once again.
3. Arsenal 73 Pts
4. Chelsea 72 Pts
5. Spurs 72 Pts
Nothing out of the blue here. I have Arsenal taking care of the bottom-feeding teams, Chelsea losing to Man U, drawing the Spurs, and winning out vs. Villa and Everton. The Spurs, like Chelsea, I have winning out and drawing at Chelsea. Of course all 3 teams have a penchant for drama and so it is likely that we will
have plenty going into the final days of the 2012-13 Premier League season. Even if you are not a soccer fan, I would advise you to tune in to these last couple of games of the season. You will see great teams playing their best with everything left on the table. This years’ Man City shocker, if it occurs, will involve one of these 3 teams. I hope you’re watching them.