Depending on your team of choice, the 2018/19 English Premier League season has been a blend of frustration, exhilaration, or heartache. There has been a two-way horse race for the title for essentially the entire season between Liverpool and Manchester City, as they’ve traded places on a weekly basis. Liverpool is seriously challenge for the title for the first time in years and Man City is looking to defend their record setting title run with another historic season. Meanwhile the race for the 3rd and 4th spots in the league has been heavily contested between Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United, with their positions switching as often as there are matches.
While the battle wages atop the league for the title, the rest of the ‘Big 6’ seem to be racing to the bottom. All four teams are playing as if they do not want a coveted Champions League spot. The four teams fighting for two spots have all lost games they’ve needed to win to solidify their positions. Tottenham have dropped 6 points from 5 games, Chelsea 7, Arsenal 12, and United 11. Every team’s saving grace for their abysmal form has been the similarly terrible form from the rest of their rivals.
To demonstrate the myriad of opportunities the teams have had, look no further than Chelsea going into the week of April 21st. They were on the outside looking in, sitting outside the top 4 and needing help in order to finish with Champions League football. That week started with Tottenham, United, and Arsenal all losing on Saturday or Sunday, allowing Chelsea to go into Monday with the ability to take a lead on Arsenal and Man United when they took on lowly Burnley. A golden opportunity to jump past their rivals and gain a necessary advantage. Predictably, Chelsea followed their rivals’ lead and drew Burnley, dropping key points in the battle for fourth.
Following the rough start to the week the teams kept up their poor form. United couldn’t take any points from Man City in their midweek game, while Arsenal continued their awful form, losing to giant slayers Wolverhampton. Tottenham took care of business against relegation candidate Brighton to move a few points of their challengers in third place.
To end the weekend Arsenal and Tottenham were set to play midtable teams in Leicester and West Ham respectively, while Chelsea and United played each other. United and Chelsea left the weekend with one point respectively, allowing Man United to close the gap with Arsenal for 5th and Chelsea to ever so slightly close the gap on Tottenham for 3rd.
With two games remaining, Tottenham and Chelsea control their own destiny however they are both still playing European soccer and will face two midtable teams over the next two weeks. Arsenal (also playing in Europe) and Man United will play teams at the bottom of the table, giving them an easier schedule, even though they are still in need of help from the two teams currently residing in third and fourth. Will the teams shape up and improve their recent form as they fight for the top 4, or will they continue to flounder their towards Europe? Regardless, the race has been one for the ages with four of the biggest clubs in the world battling it out in the final games of the season. Oh, and Liverpool and Man City are still battling it out for the title in on of the closest title races in years.