After a weekend of great games, extending into Monday with the Manchester Derby, the English Premier League has had some minor changes to the table and a new team is now at the top of the league.
There is a reason why the EPL is such a great league. It is physical, has great players and teams, and the drama keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the season. Every game counts throughout the season, and a few slip-ups can result in your team missing out on the EPL title or worse yet, being relegated. This drama only gets more intense as the season goes on, and with two games remaining in the season, stress is at an all-time high. In another post we will discuss the relegation battle that is going on, however, we are going to discuss the top of the table first.
Manchester City has one hand on the EPL trophy after their win Monday in the Manchester Derby. They are still tied with Manchester United on points though, and they have a tougher game remaining than United. City’s next game is away at Newcastle, who is still vying for a Champions League spot. They also must play QPR in the last game of the season at home, which could potentially be difficult. QPR are on the fringe of the relegation zone and could be playing for their EPL lives on the last day. Manchester United, on the other hand, plays Swansea at home and Sunderland away. Both of these teams are mid-table and do not have as much to play for as City’s opponents. Therefore, even though City won the crucial Derby against United, there is still the potential for United to overtake their rival one last time before the season is over.
After United, teams get a little closer regarding points. Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal are all separated by only one point. Arsenal is currently holding on to their third place spot and has a fairly easy remaining schedule. They play Norwich at home and West Bromwich Albion away, but both games should be easy for the London club to win. The men in Arsenal jerseys have recovered nicely after their dismal start to the season, and even though they still have a lot of needs to address in the next transfer market, a third place finish would be nice considering how they started.
Tottenham and Newcastle are both currently tied on points and they still each have some quality opponents to play before the season is over. Newcastle must play City, who are in first, and then must travel to Everton on the last day. The Newcastle vs. City game will be extremely entertaining. Should Newcastle win, it would just continue what has been a terrific season for the team. No one expected Newcastle to be in this position at the beginning of the year and a top four finish would be a great way to end the season.
Tottenham also do not have any particularly easy games remaining. They must play Aston Villa away and end the season at home against Fulham. Fulham don’t have the greatest team, but they always play hard and keep games close. Therefore, that should be an interesting game to watch. Since Harry Redknapp will most likely be staying at Tottenham now that the England position has been filled, he will definitely want to finish in the top four again.
The great thing about these last two weeks is that the top five spots could completely change by the end of the season. Manchester City and Manchester United are both guaranteed either first or second, however, which team will win is still up for grabs and should keep their fans on the edge of their seats. Arsenal, Newcastle and Tottenham all could change spots as well. Arsenal, currently in third, could drop all the way to fifth and lose their Champions League spot, which would be devastating. Even though every game is great to watch in the EPL, the last few weeks are the most exciting. One teams joy can mean another team’s sadness. So I would recommend finding a television and watching these last two weeks. You will not be disappointed.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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