The Fascinating End of EPL
It is interesting to follow up events in EPL as the season heads into the penultimate. The 2016/2017 EPL season is not just any other season. No team has Leicester City’s last seasons fairytale. Leicester City’s fairytale continued in the EUFA Champions League this season as it reached the quarterfinals. Even regulars including Arsenal and Manchester City failed to get into the quarterfinals. Consistently, Chelsea- representing the blue side of London- has been at the top of the table for sometime now. No one doubts that they will emerge champions.
Other big boys in the league will now battle it four the top four positions. The prize to finish in the top four is playing in the elite championship in Europe next season. Already Chelsea and Tottenham are sure of clinching two positions. Four teams have to battle it out for the two remaining slots. The arrival of Antonio Conte revitalized the rugged Chelsea. The new coach cam with new systems and formations. In many ways, Mourinho had failed to instil discipline in his last season in charge of Chelsea. After losing to Arsenal in the first leg, things changed at Chelsea.
Tottenham season has many features such as fast-paced football, ability to score many goals and use of counter attacks. They have accumulated enough points to keep the second and Champions league football next season. Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have t sharpen their tools to secure the two slots. They retain equal weights to get the two slots. Sixth and Europa football is gone with Everton.
Considerably, Liverpool has an easy path. They have three matches to go and are favorable games. The problem is others have one or two games in hand. Guardiola’s Manchester City is in the form of the season and with two more games in hand, they can leapfrog Liverpool to third. Wins will sort them out.
The biggest question is on Manchester United. It is at crossroads. They have secured their spot in the Europa League Final. A win in Stockholm guarantees Champions League Football. The team wants this. The shortest route to the competition is winning the Europa League. With Tottenham one of the opponents to face, Jose Mourinho is likely to prioritize the Europa League trophy.
Arsenal’s case is laughable. Wenger has been there and understands the tricks of EPL. The question stills lingers over his failure to command performances. For the first time in the history of football, Wenger beat Mourinho in a competitive match. Wenger has never failed to qualify for Champions since joining Arsenal. For the first time in the history of EPL, the top four finish is more challenging.