The EPL fight for Europe – Closer than it looks

EPL Run in 5

The battle for the English Premier League title is about as exciting as the 2nd hour of a 6 hour provincial chess game, with Manchester United so far ahead that the gap between them and second place could avoid relegation. The same is true for most of the top leagues in Europe, but the real excitement lies in the battle for the Champions League positions. Today I will look at the English race as Tottenham lead the way over their two London neighbours, with Everton and Liverpool lurking.

Tottenham Hotspur – 3rd 54 points

EPL Run in 6

Remaining Fixtures
Liverpool (a)
Fulham (h)
Swansea (a)
Everton (h)
Chelsea (a)
Man City (h)
Wigan (a)
Southampton (h)
Stoke (a)
Sunderland (h)

Jabu’s Thoughts
All though Tottenham are on an incredible run of form and have Gareth Bale in an incredible run of form, Spurs have arguably the toughest run in. This all at the same time as trying to win the Europa League. I think 74 points will be enough to get top 3 secured and with that in mind we look at Spurs fixures. The definite 3 pointers for me would be Fulham, Wigan, Southampton and Sunderland, the possible 3 pointers are Swansea, Stoke, Man City and Everton and the two tough games are the Liverpool and Chelsea away. So if we work on 3, 1 and 0, that takes Spurs to 70 points. Turn two of the possible’s into 3 pointers and Spurs have top 3.

Chelsea – 4th 52 points

EPL Run in 2

Remaining Fixtures
West Ham (h)
Southampton (a)
Sunderland (h)
Tottenham (h)
Liverpool (a)
Swansea (h)
Man Utd (a)
Aston Villa (a)
Everton (h)
Fulham (a)

Jabu’s Thoughts
Chelsea frustrate in equal medium as delight their fans. They are still in the FA Cup but face a tough task against Man Utd, they are also still going strong in the Europa League that will see them travel to Romania. Their run in is far from easy, but in the probable 3 points there is Aston Villa, Sunderland, Southampton and West Ham. The possible 3 points are Fulham (West London Derby), Swansea and Everton. The tough games are Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham. I think their inconsistency could be the biggest stumbling block for them, well that and the hate for Benitez.

Arsenal 5th 47 points

EPL Run in 1

Remaining Fixtures

Swansea (a)
Reading  (h)
West Brom (a)
Norwich (h)
Everton (h)
Fulham (a)
Man Utd (h)
QPR (a)
Wigan (h)
Newcastle  (a)

Jabu’s Thoughts
Arsenal have arguably the easiest run-in and have the least distractions as they are out of every cup (They will be out of the CL next Wednesday), and face only a few top teams. If we look at the probable 3 points its Reading, Norwich, Fulham, QPR and Wigan. The possible 3 points will be West Brom, Swansea and Newcastle. The tough games will be Everton and United (although at that stage United will have won the league and it will be in between CL Semi’s). Of course if Arsenal do win 8 out of 10, I think they will qualify for CL, but Arsenal winning 8 out of 10 does not look likely. At all.

Everton 6th 45 points

EPL Run in 3

Remaining Fixtures
Man City (h)
Stoke (h)
Tottenham (a)
QPR (h)
Arsenal (a)
Sunderland (a)
Fulham (h)
Liverpool (a)
West Ham (h)
Chelsea (a)

Jabu’s Thoughts
Everton had a fantastic start to the season and have made themselves very difficult to beat. They have, however, also drawn far too many games. Their run is as tough as they get. The probable 3 pointers are limited to West Ham, Fulham, Stoke and QPR. Their possible 3 pointers are Sunderland. But their tough games are still Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham (all away) and Man City. Everton may struggle to finish in the top 6 if the FA Cup becomes the priority that it should be.

Liverpool – 7th 42 points

EPL Run in 4

Remaining Fixtures

Tottenham (h)
Southampton (a)
Aston Villa (a)
West Ham (h)
Reading (a)
Chelsea (h)
Newcastle (a)
Everton (h)
Fulham (a)
QPR (h)

Jabu’s Thoughts
Although they do not have the toughest run-in, Liverpool may be too far back to mount a serious challenge for the Top 4. They have some probable wins in Southampton, Aston Villa, West Ham, Reading, Fulham and QPR. The possible wins in Newcastle and Everton and the tough games in Tottenham and Chelsea. I would challenge Liverpool to pick up 24 points in this time, but that will be short of top 4. In all likelihood they are looking at 6th place, an improvement from last season at least.

Who do you think will make the top 4? Let me know below, on Twitter or on Facebook

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