The Fascinating End of EPL
Assessing occurring events when the English Premier League heads into the homestretch is interesting. The 2016/2017 EPL season is not just any other season. The case is different this year and no surprises like last year’s Leicester City followed up on EPL’s achievement by doing well in the Champions League. It was great performance since giants such as Manchester City and Arsenal failed to make any mark. Representing the blue side of London, Chelsea has been on top of the table since October last year. No one can bet against them to win the league this season.
With the winner almost certain, focus on the remaining matches shifts to those who will make it in the top four. Finishing in the top four positions comes with a ticket to take part in champions league football next season. Already Chelsea and Tottenham are sure of clinching two positions. Four teams have to battle it out for the two remaining slots. The arrival of Antonio Conte changed Chelsea in many ways. He came with new systems and formations besides instilling necessary unity in the dressing. Discipline was missing during Jose Mourinho’s fateful last season at Stamford Bridge. After losing to Arsenal in the first leg, things changed at Chelsea.
A high-octane form of football, speed killing attacking football and the ability to score more goals characterized the performance of Tottenham this season. They have accumulated enough points to keep the second and Champions league football next season. Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal are the four teams battling for the remaining two champions’ league football positions. They retain equal weights to get the two slots. Sixth and Europa football is gone with Everton.
Considerably, Liverpool has an easy path. The remaining three games are easier for Liverpool. The problem is others have one or two games in hand. A third last is a guarantee for Manchester City if they win the last two games in hand and the other three. Wins in their remaining matches will assure them of the third spot.
The steeple for Manchester United is longer. The team finds itself in a dilemma. They are in the Europa League final. Winning the trophy assures them of automatic qualification into the Champions League next season. The priority and main focus for Manchester United is Champions League football. Mourinho and his charges can use this to get their target. Chances are they use this option.
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are their own enemies. Wenger has been there and understands the tricks of EPL. Newbies in the league still keep him away from the title. For the first time in the history of football, Wenger beat Mourinho in a competitive match. Failure to finish in the top four will tent the good record enjoyed by Wenger for qualifying for Champions League Football since arriving at Highbury in 1996. The fight is big and worth for finishing among the top four in EPL.