this article has been shared to us by Palash Siddamsettiwar
With just a couple of matches to go to the end of the season, Arsenal finds itself in another Champions league qualifying mash-up with Chelsea and Tottenham. Interestingly, the 3 th team to compete for these positions last season, Newcastle, now finds itself at 17th, even after trying to emulate our French revolution. Meanwhile, Everton’s hopes were totally crushed when Arsenal beat QPR last weekend and Everton couldn’t beat Liverpool.
The Chelsea-Tottenham match, billed as the decider for the Champions league spots, didn’t disappoint. Surprisingly enough, the much-hailed Bale looked off-color while the off-color Adebayor was the one who was hailed. He showed glimpses of his best, his days at Arsenal. Chelsea weren’t going to give in easily and they showed their talents going forward, but on the balance of play, a 2-2 draw looked a fair result, even though Adebayor looked offside for his assist. In the end, a draw means the fight for 3 rd becomes very hot (as if it wasn’t before).
So, with two games to go, Chelsea sit at third with 69 points, Arsenal a couple points behind at 4 th and Tottenham another point behind at 5th. Everton sit a long 6 points back at 6th, and though theoretically they can still go above Tottenham, it looks very unlikely. Arsenal’s or Tottenham’s luck, if they drop any more points, lies with the other two teams. Chelsea can afford a draw and still stay on 3 rd or go 4th, depending on goal difference. But in the end, Chelsea and Arsenal’s future lie very much in their own hands while Tottenham will have to depend on either of the two to lose or draw, to get into top 4 again.
With the theoretical 8-way fight for avoiding 18th position goes on, the remaining fixtures of the top 3 London clubs aren’t going to be easy, with 5 of these 6 opponents being in the 8, with the exception of Everton, who everybody knows aren’t pushovers. As a result, Newcastle, Wigan, Stoke, Aston Villa and Sunderland and Everton are all sure to put in spirited fights to ensure even a single point.
Arsenal have two fixtures that look pretty easy on paper, Wigan at home and Newcastle away, given their form; but these two lie 17th and 18th and would fight for their lives. But given Newcastle’s quality, desperation, and the fact that they play at home, they will surely make it tough for Arsenal to beat them there. Chelsea’s toughest test is going to be Everton (H), whose Europa League hopes will make them put in good fight, while a rejuvenated Aston Villa will look to get back for their humiliating loss to Chelsea in the reverse fixture. A Europa League final against Benfica cramped up in between doesn’t help either. Tottenham have a relatively easier list, but Stoke away is never an easy fixture for any team,
and it would be an interesting match to watch.
Arsenal: Theo Walcott with his good form, Santi Cazorla with his ever-creative-ever-energetic-presence, Koscielny with his ability to prevent goals from dangerous opposition plays.
Chelsea: Juan Mata with his dangerous deliveries and chances created; Frank Lampard, with his many valuable goals, and David Luiz with his energetic gallops forward.
Tottenham: Bale, the savior of the chickens; Adebayor, the returning to form yet so unreliable traitor; and the ever-so-reliable Vertonghen.
VERDICT: With Chelsea’s congested fixture list, Everton fixture, Benitez’s desperation to add a European cup in his CV for next season’s job hunt, Arsene’s experience in such situations, Arsenal’s huge need for CL next season, and the lack of form and quality in the teams Arsenal face, I expect Arsenal to finish 3rd, and Chelsea 4th. Tottenham, on the other hand, would lose out on CL, this time deservedly so. (The only player in that squad that deserves it would get to play it elsewhere.)