Analyzing The Race for the Premiership Title
Now that the race for the Premiership title is entering its final stage of the season, how close is Manchester United to lifting the trophy and can Chelsea snatch the title before the season concludes on Sunday, May 13?
Despite the current six point gap, the key for Chelsea, no matter how simple it sounds, is that the club needs to concentrate on winning each match and hoping that Manchester United stumbles at some point. It’s going to be difficult based on Man United’s magnificent record and their easier schedule between now and the end of the season.
Alex Ferguson’s side has only lost three matches all season (versus Arsenal; twice, and West Ham) and drawn three (against Chelsea, Reading and Newcastle). And in their remaining eight fixtures, it looks unlikely that they’ll drop many points, if any, against the following opponents: Blackburn (home), Portsmouth (away), Sheffield United (h), Middlesbrough (h), Everton (a), Manchester City (a), Chelsea (a) and West Ham (h).
Chelsea’s remaining matches, meanwhile, appear to be more difficult especially their trip to the Emirates: Watford (a), Spurs (h), West Ham (a), Newcastle (a), Bolton (h), Arsenal (a), Manchester United (h) and Everton (h).
Even if Chelsea wins all of their remaining matches and Man United continues to achieve maximum points from their next five Premier League matches, the Red Devils will be Premiership champions on Saturday, May 5th if they defeat cross-town rivals Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium.
If Man United slips up at all — either losing or drawing — then everything changes. That is, of course, if Chelsea continues winning their share of EPL matches.
And if Man United does slip up while Chelsea continues getting three points from their matches, Man United’s next match after the Manchester derby could have huge consequences when United travels to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea on Wednesday, May 9th — just days before the final day of the season.
Complicating matters for both clubs is the fact that their success in the Champions League could stretch either side’s squad if they continue to progress through the demanding tournament. You also have to wonder whether some of the England international players will be suffering hangovers after the dismal performances during the past 10 days?
For the neutral fans reading this, you have to hope that Chelsea keeps on winning their matches for there to be a dramatic end to the Premiership season. I wouldn’t put it past Jose Mourinho. Would you?
Founder and publisher of EPL Talk, The Gaffer (aka Christopher Harris) is a journalist who has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications as well as on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT.
Harris, who lives in Florida, has supported Swansea City since 1979. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005.