The Race for Top 4

jod23

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We havent yet fired one of these up this season and it's getting to that time as the run in is well and truly underway. We can all keep an eye on that race for the Champions League and maybe throw out your predictions from here as to who is gonna finish in those coveted four spots.

Here is my take on things.

The current league standings.

Position, Team, Games Played, Goal Difference, Points.

1. Chelsea ---- 27 - 37 --- 66
2. Tottenham - 27 - 33 --- 56
3. Man City --- 27 - 24 --- 56
4. Liverpool --- 28 - 25 --- 55
5. Arsenal ----- 26 - 24 --- 50
6. Man United - 26 - 17 --- 49

RED = game against top 6.
BLUE = game against 7th-12th.
GREEN = game against 13th-20th

Chelsea's run home.

H - Watford
A - Stoke
H - Palace
H - Man City
A - Bournemouth
A - Man United
H - Southampton
A - Everton

H - Middlesborough
A - West Brom
H - Sunderland

Chelsea have a huge head start and have more pressing matters, like actually winning the league rather than finishing top four. With a current 16 point lead over Arsenal with Arsenal having one game in hand means Chelsea are a lock for top four and CL football barring a major choke.


They will however shape other teams fortunes with big games against both Manchester clubs. Wins in those will really damage both Manc sides as they chase Europe.

Tottenham's run home.

A - Palace
H - Southampton
A - Burnley

A - Swansea
H - Watford
H - Bournemouth
A - Leicester

H - Arsenal
A - West Ham
H - Man United
A - Hull City

Spurs have a pretty decent run home. They do have one more road game with six away from WHL and five at home. Tottenham are imperious at home having not lost at home all season. That gives them a big advantage as they welcome United and Arsenal in big top four clashes late in the season.

Their away form may yet play a part. Having won just 4 games from 13 on the road and having more away games than home could hurt Spurs. They travel to awkward places too. Leicester and Swansea scrapping to stay in the Premier League and away to Burnley where Burnley are quite formidable. How Tottenham go on their travels will dictate whether or not they eat at Europe's top table next season.

Man City's run home.
H - Liverpool
A - Arsenal
A - Chelsea

H - Hull
A - Southampton
H - Man United (TBC)
H - West Brom
A - Middlesbrough
H - Palace
H - Leicester
A - Watford


Man City have a really tough seven weeks. The only reprieve is a home fixture against Hull. Hull have been better under new management but still have only avoided defeat three times in 14 attempts. A home banker in the midst of a tough run where they face four top six sides and two more in the top ten.

This run will define their season as they come home with a really easy run. City have actually taken more points on the road this season than they have at home and will need to turn that home form around to ensure a top four finish.

Liverpool's run home.
A - Man City
H - Everton
H - Bournemouth
A - Stoke
A - West Brom

H - Palace
A - Watford

H - Southampton
A - West Ham

H - Middlesbrough

Liverpool actually has one of the better runs home. Only one fixture remaining against a fellow top six side and that comes this weekend against City. The problem with this is that Liverpool seem to beat the top teams and lose to **** teams. This could spell doom for the Reds.

On paper, you'd back Liverpool to come home well but BeingLiverpool is seemingly just around the corner at any given time. It's simple for Liverpool, beat the teams you should be beating and they should make the top four and return to CL football. Whether they do that, is honestly, anybodies guess.

Arsenal's run home.
H - Leicester (TBC)
A - West Brom
H - Man City
A - Southampton (TBC)
H - West Ham

A - Palace
A - Middlesbrough
H - Sunderland

A - Tottenham
H - Man United

A - Stoke
H - Everton


Arsenal are playing catch up as they currently sit five points adrift of Liverpool in fourth. They do have two games in hand but as we all know, it's better to have the points on the board than games in hand. Arsenal also face a tough run home with eight of their remaining twelve matches against top 12 sides.

Arsenal have been poor in the big games against the top six and with key games against City, Spurs and United in the run in, they will be key. It all seems lined up for Arsenal to finally miss the CL but with them completely out of the title race now, expect a barnstorming run to finish the season in true Arsenal style.

Man United's run home.
A - Man City (TBC)
A - Southampton (TBC)
A - Middlesbrough
H - West Brom
H - Everton

A - Sunderland
H - Chelsea
A - Burnley
H - Swansea
A - Arsenal
A - Tottenham

H - Palace

United are giving up a decent head start. Again with the old adage of point on the board are better than games in hand and they still sit six points and goal difference behind Liverpool, not to mention still trail Arsenal as well.

United, like Arsenal also have a tough run with eight of their remaining twelve games against top 12 sides including a trip to Burnley who have been fantastic at home garnering 29 of their 31 points at Turf Moor.

United also have four massive games against top six sides. The only home fixture of the four is against run away leaders Chelsea. The other three against City, Arsenal and Spurs (who are imperious at home) are all away. This could spell doom for United and they may have left it too late to squeeze into the top four.

So who is it gonna be lads? Who makes it and who doesnt?
 

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jd2010

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#3
Before Kane's injury I would have said we'll definitely make it. Now we are right back in the mix with the rest. Maybe Janssen can score 4-5 in this run home and make himself the unlikely hero!
 

WealstoneRaider

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#4
Before Kane's injury I would have said we'll definitely make it. Now we are right back in the mix with the rest. Maybe Janssen can score 4-5 in this run home and make himself the unlikely hero!
We are not a one man team by a long stretch. This isn't Spurs circa 2012 relying on bale to win us points. Not saying losing Kane isn't a blow, but looking at our fixtures I fancy us to chalk up enough wins.
 

WealstoneRaider

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#5
Can't see United making it from here - too much to do with such a tough set of fixtures. Also reckon Mou will concentrate heavily on the EL - as he does love a cup competition anyway.

Question for me is can Arsenal find some form and deny one of Spurs/City/Liverpool a place in the top 4
 

moomba

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#6
Think Spurs and Chelsea are there. We should be alright but could have done without the Stoke result. Reckon Liverpool might get a spot although Arsenal have been there done that once or twice before.
 

jd2010

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#7
We are not a one man team by a long stretch. This isn't Spurs circa 2012 relying on bale to win us points. Not saying losing Kane isn't a blow, but looking at our fixtures I fancy us to chalk up enough wins.
Last time we were without him we stalled in front of goal.

Now this time at least we are playing some pretty fast paced attacking football so the chances should come more than last time he was out. But until that is proven I remain a tad worried
 
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#9
Last time we were without him we stalled in front of goal.

Now this time at least we are playing some pretty fast paced attacking football so the chances should come more than last time he was out. But until that is proven I remain a tad worried
Stagnant formation last time, far more fluent now. We'll make it, just not sure precisely where.
 

jd2010

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#10
Stagnant formation last time, far more fluent now. We'll make it, just not sure precisely where.
Yeah I'd like to think so too. But at the end of the day we are replacing one of / if not the best finisher in the league with Son/Janssen. We'll need to create 15+ chances a game to replicate what we've been doing lately.
 

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ADL9798

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#14
Great write up Jod.

Chelsea already have their name on the trophy.

I can see City dropping away slightly with that tricky run of fixtures against fellow top 6 rivals, who they've had a 50/50 record against so far this season.

Tottenham and Liverpool toss of a coin for 2nd/3rd. Kane out will be a huge loss for Spurs, but looking at that fixture list they really should be beating most of those teams without him.

Arsenal and United 2 games in hand but need to win both to pull themselves back into the mix, and also have arguably the 2 toughest runs home to negotiate. I wonder when was the last time neither of these sides finished in the top 4?

1. Chelsea
2. Tottenham
3. Liverpool
4. City
5. United
6. Arsenal
 

Flameboy

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#19
Chelsea won't drop out and United won't get in, that's about all I'm willing to run with at this point. Seen too much craziness in this league to discount anything else.
 

SM

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#20
Chelsea won't drop out and United won't get in, that's about all I'm willing to run with at this point. Seen too much craziness in this league to discount anything else.
Unfortunately Liverpool's win yesterday morning meant we've been mathematically ruled out.
 
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#25
Yeah I'd like to think so too. But at the end of the day we are replacing one of / if not the best finisher in the league with Son/Janssen. We'll need to create 15+ chances a game to replicate what we've been doing lately.
Just had this pointed out.

Results after we lost Kane in the 1-0 win over Sunderland (all comps)

5-0 Gillingham (EFL) - W
2-1 Boro - W
1-0 Moscow (CL) - W
2-0 City - W
1-1 West Brom*
0-0 Leverkusen
0-0 Bournemouth
2-1 Liverpool (EFL) - L
1-1 Leicester
1-0 Leverkusen (CL) - L
1-1 Arsenal
3-2 West Ham - W (LOL Spam)
2-1 Monaco (CL) - L
2-1 Chelsea - L (no rose either)
5-0 Swansea - W
3-1 Moscow - W
1-0 Man Utd* - L

Any guesses what happened between * at Brom and at Utd?
We lost Alderweireld. We kept fewer clean sheets in this time, this time around if we can keep clean sheets (particularly at home) whilst he's out we should still be able to win, we're pretty ****** if we can't create 1 goal whilst he's out.
 
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