Well here we are at another run in. Obviously Chelsea are away with it – Man City have, I believe the easiest schedule apart from away trips to Old Trafford and The Lane. So we need to finish ahead of three of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Southampton. It is not going to be easy.
The weakest of the 4 is Southampton. We have the same points as them (at the moment) but an inferior goal difference. We have surprisingly similar schedules ! Out of the 8 remaining fixtures we both play Everton & Stoke away and Hull and Villa at home. We both play Man City although they are away and we are at home. We also clash at St Mary’s. The other two fixtures are for us away at Burnley and Newcastle, for Southampton away at Leicester and Sunderland. If we can get something from the St Mary’s game we will finish above Southampton.
We are effectively two points behind Pool and they have to go to both Chelsea and Arsenal as well as Hull, WBA and Stoke. They have three home games against Newcastle, QPR and Palace. With Gerrard out and Lalana injured the trips to Chelsea and Arse seem beyond them. They might drop points at Stoke but you can’t see them doing anything but win the rest. 14 point minimum probably 16 for a total of 70 points and +18 gd
They have looked great the last two games (credit Juan Mata and Stevie G !). They have the advantage of playing more games at home (4) than us, Pool and So’ton. Home to the Arse, Man C, Villa and WBA. Away at Chelsea, Everton, Palace and Hull. Their season is likely to hinge on 3 games in 3 successive weeks home to City away at Chelsea and Everton. Even if they lose these 3 and draw two others (contrary to their form) they will have a 11 point haul for a total of 70 points and a +28 gd
They have hit form and have the knack of disposing of lower table teams early and hanging on ! They have 5 home games (more than any in consideraion). Home to Pool, Chelsea, Swansea, Sunderland & WBA. Away at Burnley, Hull and Manure. If they manage to lose to Pool, Chelsea and Manure and draw two (contrary to their form) they will get 11 points for a total of 71 points and +32 gd
What can we do ? We need to get to 71 points and hope two teams (out of Manure, Arse & Pool) completely stumbles. That would mean for us 18 points from the last 24 – possible but not easy. We are dreading City at the Lane, so, with the expectation that we lose that game, we have to get 18 points from 21 !! Including away trips to Burnley, Newcastle, Everton and Stoke – as well as the tricky game at So’ton. So there is not much chance that both Arse and Manure will collapse and even less chance that we can win 6 of the last 8. Form is against us. We are playing more poorly now than at any time during the season. Townsend, Walker are looking very poor down the right (how did they get England call ups ?!). Dier and Vertonghen look desperate through the centre. If dear old Harry dries up we are well and truly buggered !
So mathematically we are still in with a shout – realistically (statistically) our season is over.
Don’t feel too bad it has been a good season of rebuilding and with any luck we can get rid of a lot of deadwood over the summer. But we will leave that article for another day !
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