In the Premier League, there are 5 games left and as many as 7 for Liverpool. In the midfield of the league, there is little to aim for. Most are safe, while there are not enough points left to play for to get far. However, for 3 sets of teams – there is a lot at stake! Europa League, the Title and Relegation. Here is the remaining fixtures for each side, and how I see it playing out:
There are three sides in this one. Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich. The last of those are the favourites to stay up, being 6 and 5 points ahead of the others. Here are the remaining games:
Newcastle: Swansea (H), Man City (H), Liverpool (A), Palace (H), Aston Villa (A), Spurs (H). 6-8 Points
Norwich: Sunderland (H), Arsenal (A), Man Utd (H), Watford (H), Everton (A). 3-5 Points
Sunderland: Norwich (A), Stoke (A), Chelsea (H), Everton (H), Watford (A). 3-6 Points
Newcastle have the most games, but three very tough games. Other than that, 3 winnable games, but the way they are playing I don’t think they will manage more than 2 wins. Norwich equally have a lot of hard games – but should they beat Norwich this weekend they are as good as safe for me as Newcastle are highly unlikely to get 9 points or more. Sunderland have winnable games against Norwich, Stoke and Watford, but are struggling to find the net. I think it will finish how it is now, with both North-Eastern sides going down.
There are four teams vying for 2 places, potentially 3 as Man City won the Capital One Cup meaning that at least one more place in the Qualifying rounds will go to 6th. Should a team already in Europe win the FA Cup, 7th place will also go into the early rounds:
Man Utd: Aston Villa (H), Palace (H), Leicester (H), Norwich (A), West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H). 10-12 Points
West Ham: Leicester (A), Watford (H), WBA (A), Swansea (H), Stoke (A). 8-10 Points
Southampton: Everton (A), Aston Villa (A), Man City (H), Spurs (A), Palace (H). 6-8 Points
Liverpool: Bournemouth (A), Everton (H), Newcastle (H), Swansea (A), Watford (H), Chelsea (H), WBA (A). 12-15 Points
All of these are pretty bunched up. Liverpool have the easiest games, and the most so the way they are playing, I can see them getting 4-5 wins. I can’t see many sides there that will beat them. Man Utd are probably favourites for 5th, facing Palace, Villa and Norwich. Even with them struggling, I see at least 3 wins and between 10-12 points. Southampton have just 5 games, and with matches against Spurs and Man City they could end up 8th! West Ham are the last of the four I’ve looked at. With the likes of Payet and Lanzini in form, and the likes of Carroll able to do what he did on the weekend, they are a huge threat to any team. Their impeccable defence has gone, but they can outscore most on a good day. They have 4 winnable games, and Leicester – so I think as many as 10 points are achievable.
Overall, I think a team the length a team will really go for 5th depends on who gets into the FA Cup final. It could well be 2 of the four chasing these spots, so in the end 3 of these four should get some kind of Europa League place, either via the Cup or a league spot:
The Title Race:
The most simple of the three. Spurs vs Leicester, and a 7 point gap to make up, and a superior goal difference. However, I don’t think it will come to that. Both have tough games, so for me there shouldn’t be a 7 point swing, even if Leicester implode.
Leicester: West Ham (H), Swansea (H), Man Utd (A), Everton (H), Chelsea (A). ??? Points
Spurs: Stoke (A), WBA (H), Chelsea (A), Southampton (H), Newcastle (A). 9-12 Points
For me, I can’ tell what Leicester will get. 4 of the 5 teams they face are very good, so points could be dropped easily. Spurs have the easier games, but still have to play Chelsea and Southampton – two who can and have beaten them before. Spurs should beat the likes of Stoke, WBA and Newcastle. As long as Leicester win one, maybe two and take a point in the rest, they will be okay.
What Will Happen?
In my opinion, the following will be the result of the final 5-7 games:
5th Place: Man Utd
Relegation: Sunderland & Newcastle