The race for a top four finish is well and truly on. The Gunners have pulled off two convincing back to back League wins after their North London derby loss, while Chelsea’s woeful form continues after their latest loss to Southampton has brought Arsenal within two points of the fourth placed side and four off third-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
Last season the Gunners over came the odds and finished an unlikely third thanks to the self destruction of both Chelsea and Spurs. The latter suffered a run of one win in nine matches which allowed Arsenal to sneak back in, while sixth placed Chelsea took the final Champions League qualifying spot thanks to their emphatic European victory leaving Tottenham out in the cold.
There certainly won’t be a repeat of last seasons UCL victory as Arsenal became the last English club knocked out of the competition, so all eyes will be on the top four final run in with the Premier League title already in Manchester United’s bag.
It’s down to Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs once again but Everton are not to be ignored. If Wenger and Benitez’s sides win their games in hand there will be just two points separating the themselves and Spurs. Everton are six points back but still can have an influence as they face all of the top four contenders in the run in.
Here is a list of the ‘top tier’ fixtures for the race for a top four finish:
APRIL 7 SPURS v EVERTON
APRIL 14 CHELSEA v SPURS
APRIL 16 ARSENAL v EVERTON
APRIL 21 SPURS v MAN CITY
APRIL 21 L’POOL v CHELSEA
APRIL 28 ARSENAL v MAN UTD
MAY 4 L’POOL v EVERTON
MAY 4 MAN UTD v CHELSEA
MAY 19 CHELSEA v EVERTON
Chelsea have arguably the worst fixture list as they must still play Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, and a visit from Swansea as well as competing in the Europa League and a tricky fixture against United in the FA Cup on Monday creating a hectic schedule.
Spurs also have some difficult encounters on the horizon against the Toffees, Manchester City, Chelsea and Stoke City while also competing in the Europa League
Arsenal have perhaps the ‘easiest’ list of the bunch as will host United on April 28, who may have already won the title by then, and Everton, as the likes of West Brom, Norwich, QPR and Fulham look more enticing opponents then their rivals.
David Moyes’ men have a big battle ahead as they face all of the top four sides and face a Merseyside derby as they hope to close the gap on the Premier League’s elite.
Wenger believes they can be the kings of London once again and celebrate St Totteringham’s Day again because they have done it time and time again. The Frenchman said:
We have the experience, we have done it before and is what we want to do again. I am sure we will, but it demands a lot of dedication and nerves until the end.
It will be an intense final eight games, every single match is a cup final and while it will take some luck to achieve Champions League qualification, absolute quality is required from the Gunners. No game in the Premier League is an easy affair no matter the opponents league position
But if they can continue their superb form that has stemmed from their 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich then it will only be down to their opponents fixtures which look favorable for Wenger’s side, it will go to the wire so… Common You Gunners!