The arrival of spring means many things to people. The days get longer, snow melts as the sun shines again after it’s wintery absence, flowers begin to bloom, and the English Premier League enters the business end of the season. It is in this final stretch where legends are made and unforgettable moments occur. The season of success and calamity, where the sum of a campaigns effort pays dividends. Aptly known as “squeaky bum time,” it is a pressure cooker where sides discover what boils within. As Freddie Mercury and Queen once said “pressure pushing down on me, pressing down on you.” No man asks for the pressure of the moment, yet it is the response to such adversity that makes one achieve hero status.
Which teams will flourish and which will wilt under the pressure of spring? We are only seven weekends away from the finale on May 11th and there is a lot of soccer to come.
Here are the Premier League Power Rankings after gameweek 31:
“Don’t Stop Me Now”
1. Chelsea – The league leaders demolished Arsenal 6-0 over the weekend. Eden Hazard is in top form and Jose Mourinho’s men have won four out of their last five.
2. Liverpool – One point back and full of optimism, this might be the Liverpool team that finally erases decades of Premier League futility at Anfield. The Reds are on an 7 game winning streak and show no signs of stopping.
3. Manchester City – The blue half of Manchester are on Chelsea’s coat tails with two games in hand and will travel to Arsenal on a four game winning streak. Yaya Toure will need to continue his heroics if the Citizens are to sustain their title chase.
“You’re My Best Friend”
(Champions League Contention)
4. Everton – Everton continued it’s good run of form compiling it’s fourth consecutive win with a convincing 0-3 handling of Newcastle United. Roberto Martinez has a history of making late pushes out of the relegation zone with Wigan Athletic. This time his late push may be rewarded with the Champions League at Goodison Park next season.
5. Arsenal – Arsene Wenger’s best friend in recent years has been his prized “fourth place trophy.” Getting there this year will be a challenge as the wheels seem to be coming off on Arsenals season. If the death knell of their title chase hasn’t rung after their 6-0 demolition at the hands of Chelsea or their 2-2 draw midweek to Swansea City, Manchester City will surely do the honors as they storm into the Emirates this Saturday.
6. Manchester United – The Red Devils looked to be turning their season around with consecutive wins against Olympiakos and West Ham. Tuesdays 0-3 defeat to Manchester City halted the wave of positivity in the red half of Manchester. On the bright side, the remaining Premier League schedule presents United with winnable fixtures and the potential to gain points on those ahead of them.
7. Tottenham Hotspur – Consistency is key in the pursuit for the final Champions League spot. Last minute heroics were needed to defeat Southampton at home over the weekend. A similar performance this weekend at Anfield will almost surely result in a drubbing to Liverpool.
“The Show Must Go On”
8. Stoke City – Mark Hughes’ men are on a roll of late winning three of their last four, including an impressive 1-4 win at Villa Park and a 1-0 win against Arsenal.