With 10 games to go, it’s time to look at the various races taking place in the Premier League. In Part I we check out the top of the table.
With a full quarter of the season left to play out, it’s honestly a shame that the league has come down to two teams in a single city. This has been a thoroughly mediocre season thus far, as we’ve seen a real drop-off in quality at the top of the league. But hey, if that means that an average United team [it’s all relative : ) ] can swoop in and steal the trophy, I will obviously accept that.
Before we begin, let me give a quick but hearty “fuck you” to Tottenham for failing to put any pressure on City. Seriously, thanks for absolutely nothing. Now 14 points back, Spurs are officially out of the equation, as the largest March deficit ever overturned to win a Premier League title was Arsenal in 1997-98, who trailed Manchester United by 11 points but had 3 games in hand at the time. And honestly, Spurs will be lucky to hold on to a Champions League spot at this point, but we’ll get into that in Part II and the podcast.
So here’s what each side of Manchester is looking at over the next 2+ months:
Manchester United: 67 pts, +41 GD
@ Wolves, vs. Fulham, @ Blackburn, vs. QPR, @ Wigan, vs. Villa, vs. Everton, @ Manchester City, vs. Swansea, @ Sunderland
Good news: outside of the derby trip to the Eastlands, the rest of the schedule is extremely favorable, as the other 9 opponents currently sit 19th, 10th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 15th, 9th, 11th, and 8th. They can go 4 points ahead with a victory at Wolves on Sunday.
Bad news: despite the results, recent team performances do not inspire much confidence. Also, City are spotless at home, having picked up all 42 available points and outscoring opponents 42-6.
Summary: Wayne Rooney is reminding everyone why United were willing to break their wage structure to keep him, and de Gea is starting to look like a $20million keeper. After a run of poor form the defense has been better, led by *gasp* Johnny the Rapist. The title is theirs to lose, but this team is a far cry from past United sides and I could easily see a few dropped points along the way.
Manchester City: 66 pts, +49 GD
vs. Chelsea, @ Stoke, vs. Sunderland, @ Arsenal, vs. West Brom, @ Norwich, @ Wolves, vs. Manchester United, @ Newcastle, vs. QPR
Good news: they get Chelsea and United at the Etihad. The goal differential is basically a free ½ point, which could prove massive in a race that’s tighter than Mancini’s
asshole scarf must feel.
Bad news: their next EPL game isn’t until next Wednesday against a suddenly-rejuvenated Chelsea. They also travel to Arsenal and Newcastle, who will both have European places on the line.
Summary: the schedule isn’t kind to the Blues, who could be 4 points behind before they play their next game. Tevez will be back any day now, and one would assume that Mancini will gladly toss aside his pride in an attempt to keep his job. The writing is on the wall for Carlitos to score the winner in the derby and secure the title, at which point I would look a lot like this pathetic loser:
But for now I will gladly point and laugh.
Come back Thursday for a similar look at the 5 teams competing for 3 spots in Europe.