Since the launch of the Premier League in 1992 there have been some memorable seasons in the English top flight. However, there haven’t been many as closely contested as the current season, at either end of the table. After yesterday’s win for Arsenal at The Emirates, 6 points separate the top three and Chelsea visit Old Trafford next Sunday!
A Chelsea win could mean for the first time ever three teams can still win the title on the last day of the season. Things are even tighter at the bottom end of the table as we negotiate the business end of the season. All ten of the teams in the bottom half of the table could still mathematically face the drop. Although, it is unlikely that Stoke, West Brom, Newcastle, Aston Villa or Sunderland will end up in The Championship, as they have all exceeded the magic 40 point milestone. One more win for any of them should secure their Premier League status.
The battle for the fourth Champions League place appears to be going down to the wire as well, Manchester City are in pole position, but Tottenham and Liverpool will still fancy their chances. With Man City and Tottenham still to play each other there are mini battles all across the Premiership table. The rest of the league all have three games to play and with nothing concluded it’s going to be a fascinating climax to the season.
It’s clear to see that this has been the most competitive season in Premier League history, but why is this? One reason is the break in hierarchy of the so called big four, Liverpool’s stronghold on the top four has been relinquished due to Tottenham and Man City’s emergence as genuine contenders for a top four spot. This twinned with the bad start to Liverpool’s season has seen the Merseysiders look set to miss out on Champions League football for a second consecutive season. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all failed to capitalise when one of their adversaries has suffered a poor run of form. From a neutral point of view I would like nothing more than for Chelsea to go to Old Trafford and win next Sunday to set up a grand finale to the title race.
At the other end of the table the teams have all been picking points off one another, therefore in comparison to previous seasons, no one has been left behind at the foot of the table. A big factor is also that none of the promoted sides have fallen foul to being the whipping boys, as so many other promoted sides have in the past. With Newcastle and West Brom almost safe, if Blackpool survive as well it will be the first time since 2001-02 season that all three promoted sides have avoided the drop.
It’s going to be a tense finale, in what has been a memorable season thus far. It is refreshing to see such a competitive season with everything to play for at both ends. Every Premiership season has been full of twists and turns and full of excitement, this has never been in question. This current season has just had an extra special competitive edge, ensuring that it will be remembered as one of the most exciting title races and relegation battles ever!