So all the sides who have games in hand will finally catch up to the 37 game mark this week, ahead of the final games of the season in a weeks time. The big question is, will there be anything to play for next week? Chelsea are champions and Spurs will definitely finish second. All of the relegation places have been decided, with Hull joining Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Championship next season. The only thing to really be decided is who will win the the mid-table mini league and who will finish in third, fourth and fifth.
Monday 15th May 2017
Chelsea Vs Watford (8pm)
Chelsea are Champions! Do I need to write anymore about Conte’s side? They left it late though against West Brom on Friday night to clinch the title. Chelsea are the side who’ve made the fewest changes to their starting 11 this season and you cannot help but feel that not playing in Europe has helped with this. Chelsea have two home games to go and will be looking forward to having a week long party till they get their trophy. This season they’ve played well and found a tactic which suits them. The change to a back-three with flying wingbacks has proven to be very effective since Conte switched to it following their defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal at the start of the season. Chelsea will be hoping to pick up their 5th straight league win and will want to ensure they keep their momentum as they have the FA Cup Final to look forward too and a possible Double winning season!
Watford, will be hoping to avoid their 5th straight league defeat at the Bridge on Monday. It is going to be a tough ask to get a win at Stamford Bridge, especially given that Chelsea have won 15 of their 17 home games and Watford have only won 3 away games this season. Watford will feeling that they did well at Goodison on Friday night despite losing 1-0 to Everton and will be hoping to try and do better on Monday night. I get the feeling that, as much as Watford want to upset the Chelsea party, they will be more focused on ensuring they have a good final game of the season…
Tuesday 16th May 2017
Arsenal Vs Sunderland (7:45pm)
Arsenal are still pushing for a top 4 finish and could win the FA Cup. If they did finish fourth and won the FA Cup then would it be a bad season? Or is just a standard season in comparison to recent years? I get that Arsenal fans want more from their club, they expect to at least be challenging at the top, but is getting rid of Arsene the answer. They go into the game against Sunderland having beaten Stoke for at the 365 Stadium for the first time in years, and in the end the scoreline was convincing, 4-1. The form of Arsenal has been getting better recently and go into the game on the back of 3 straight league wins.
Sunderland are going to finish bottom of the league unless they get a result at the Emirates. This a game which you would say on paper is going to be very difficult for the Black Cats and it will be interesting to see how many fans travel from the North East to North London. Sunderland’s form of 7 defeats, 2 draws and a win in their last 10 games highlights why they’ve been relegated, especially when you see that over the course of the season they have lost 67% of their games and won just 17% of their games. The fans were calling for Moyes to go during their defeat to Swansea on Saturday and it will be interesting to see what happens to them next season. However, they need to focus on the here and now to ensure that they try and finish the season with their heads slightly higher.
Manchester City Vs West Brom (8pm)
Manchester City will know that if they want to challenge for the title next season then consistency is the biggest thing they need to work on. This will be City’s third home game in a row and they will be hoping to continue their form, having won the previous two against Palace and Leicester. City will know that they are in the driving seat in the race for securing Champions League football next season and a win against West Brom will pretty much seal it.
West Brom’s season pretty much ended in March, once they got the 40 points they seemed to have relaxed and taken their foot off of the gas and have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Pulis has however done okay against the big sides, even since getting the 40 points with a win against Arsenal, a draw at Manchester United and then two 1-0 defeats to Chelsea, Leicester and Liverpool showing that they will still try and put in a fight. Therefore, I get the feeling there is every chance they will lose this game, but it’ll be close.
Wednesday 17th May 2017
Southampton Vs Manchester United (7:45pm)
Southampton’s win against Middlesbrough was probably expected and it means that they now have a chance of finishing 8th this season and leap frogging West Brom. However, they’ll have to overcome United to move into this position before the final games of the season. The win over Middlesbrough was Southampton’s first win in 5 games and will be hoping to come out on top of the mid-table mini league. They’ll be hoping that next season they can build on this one and try to get back into the European competition places next year having qualified in the previous two seasons.
Manchester United have a chance of Champions League football, thanks to making it, just, into the Europa League Final, where they will face Ajax. United can not finish in the top 4 and need Arsenal to slip up and for them to win both their final games to finish any higher than there current spot in 6th place. United players will need to put in a performance as they have been poor in the league recently and will know that they are playing for their futures as I’m sure Mourinho will be wanting to make changes over the summer.
Thursday 18th May 2017
Leicester City Vs Tottenham Hotspur (7:45pm)
Leicester City will be glad that this season is nearly over, everyone expected them to struggle after their Premier League title last season, yet they were so close to being involved in a relegation scrap that a mid-table finish is looking quite good. Having won 6 of their last 10 games they’ll be hoping to bounce back from their defeat against Manchester City when they host Spurs. Leicester will confident of getting a result from this game, given they are unbeaten at home since Shakespeare replaced Ranieri as manager in February.
Tottenham Hotspur may have been the closest to Chelsea, but will feel that they need to improve next season if they’re going to take the next step and win the league. Finishing second this season will be an improvement from their third place finish last season and fifth place the season before that, and it’ll be their highest league finish in 50 plus years. Having won their final game at White Hart Lane on Sunday against Manchester United, to finish unbeaten at home, they’ll know that it is their away form which they need to work on, as they’ve only picked up 27 of their 80 points on the road. So the game against Leicester is not a straight forward one, but I’m sure Tottenham will be hoping to end the season on a high to prepare for next season.