The Myth of Arsenal’s ‘easy’ run-in
By Football Talk.
Do Arsenal really have the ‘easy’ run-in that everyone keeps talking about? For weeks, ever since Arsenal managed to claw their way back into the title race, we have heard how The Gunners have an easy run-in and by far the easiest compared to Manchester United or Chelsea. Whilst this may have been true with 8-9 games remaining, as Manchester United and Chelsea had to play each other, can the same be said now with only 4-5 fixtures left?
Lets take a look at the remaining fixtures for the three teams chasing the title.
Man City (H)
Man City (A)
Most people will say with Chelsea having to play both Tottenham and Liverpool away that they have the toughest fixtures. But they have 3 relatively ‘easy’ home games in which they should pick up maximum points. Whereas Arsenal and Man Utd only have 2 homes games each remaining, with only 1 that can be described as ‘easy’.
All three teams have to play Tottenham, and Manchester United and Arsenal’s games against the in-form Man City will be just as though as Chelsea’s trip to Anfield. By then, Liverpool may already be out of contention for 4th place and concentrating on their Europa League exploits and they are not currently 6th by accident, they are a poor side this year.
Manchester United have only 4 games left after yesterdays draw against Blackburn. A fixture that Arsenal are yet to navigate. Before the weekend, Arsenal and United both had to play Blackburn, Spurs and Man City in their remaining 5 games. They both had ‘easy’ homes games against Fulham and Stoke, so the only difference between the two sides was Arsenal travelling to play Wigan and United travelling to play Sunderland. Not a lot between those games in my opinion. Sunderland have very little to play for now, while Wigan are in a relegation fight and their pitch is terrible, certainly not suited to Arsenal’s passing game. So it could be argued that United had in fact the easiest run-in compared to Arsenal.
There is a case that Arsenal now have the toughest games left with only 1 relatively easy home game, a very difficult home game against an in-form Man City side, an away North London derby against Spurs, a trip to play Wigan who have already taken points at home against other top clubs and a trip to play Blackburn who just held Manchester United and have a great home record.
In fact, i think Chelsea will be the most confident with their remaining fixtures. The three home games against Bolton, Stoke and Wigan are a massive advantage.
Everybody knows there is no easy game in the premier league, that’s why its the best league in the world. So no result should be taken for granted. But i can see Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all dropping more points during the coming weeks.
I think there is very little between the three teams remaining fixtures and this ‘Arsenal have the easiest run-in’ thing is a complete myth. The decisive factor in who is crowned champions could be that United and Arsenal have only 1 ‘gimmy’ home game left each, while Chelsea play 3 home games that should see them take maximum points.
After Man Utd’s draw yesterday, Chelsea are now hot favourites to win their first title in 3 seasons, but if Arsenal can beat Spurs on Wednesday they will be right on their heels.
Only time will tell, but i can see a few more twists and turns before any blue or red ribbons are tied on the premier league trophy.
What do you think, who has the easiest run-in? Please leave your comments below….
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