By the end of March, the Premier League table will depict a clearer picture of how the season might end. However, in English football, nothing is for certain until the last minute of extra time in week 38.
28 intense weeks of British football have concluded; with ten more to go, this EPL season is already turning into one of the most memorable ones with only a single popular-choice team, Arsenal, in the top four as of now.
This time, we take a look at the March fixtures of the top four on EPL table and try to analyse and predict how the table would look like by the end of this month.
Manchester City kick-started this season in an impeccable form. The dilemma, as it always is with the Sky Blues, is that they could not capitalise on those performances upon which to build their momentum.
Coming from a thumping defeat against Liverpool two days ago, City has four more games to play in March. As of now, they stand fourth on BPL table and are equal with Manchester United regarding points. Only their goal difference of 17, which now seems a bit overstated, is keeping them at bay from fifth-placed Manchester United.
The good news in Manchester is that City is one game short because of rescheduling of their fixtures. The Citizens will lock horns against the shoddy Aston Villa and Norwich City while their last Premier League fixture in March happens to be against Manchester United. The first two games won’t be too tough on them. However, Manchester United will give them the taste of fury since the Devils would be hoping to bypass City in the surge for fourth place. Not to mention that Pelligrini XI will host Dynamo Kyiv at home in the second leg of UCL Round of 16. 3-1 on aggregate, it won’t be too much to handle at Etihad for the Sky Blues. But quarter-finals seem to be a dead end for Manchester City.
Arsenal plays five more games in March, one of which is a Round of 16 second-leg against Barcelona, and another an FA Cup bout while the remaining four games are Premier League fixtures. The Gunners will be playing two tough encounters in BPL against Everton and title rivals Hotspurs, which is up next. Everton won’t be too harsh on the Gunners. But Wenger XI must be buckled up against Hotspur, who will give them no chance to loosen up in the title race. West Brom is also picking up the pace and will test Arsenal after a top of the line performance against Leicester.
Arsenal stands third on BPL table with 51 points while the month of March is not going to be a walk in the park. UCL is already a lost cause for Arsene Wenger, so, his concentration must be on the Premier League.
Should anyone be surprised to see Tottenham put up such a ferocious fight for the title?
Well, it has been the talk of the town since the last two season that Spur’s haven’t been able to leverage its talented infantry. Pochettino, who arrived at Tottenham in 2014, has turned it around for them.
As of now, Spurs stand second in line for the title race after Leicester City. The good thing about them is that they are not a club about one or two players. Yes – there is Harry Kane, who has performed exceptionally well in the last couple of years. But, out of 49 goals in Premier League, only 16 have come from Kane’s feet for the Hotspur.
In March, Tottenham have five upcoming games: two versus Dortmund in the round of 16 Europa League and one each against Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Bournemouth; a headbutt for Pochettino!
It would be rather easier if the London-based club chose which tournament is more important to them. At least, it seems like it. But if they go game by game, like Pelligrini always says, there is a fair chance that March can bring joy. One thing is clear that their real chance of qualifying for the Champions League next year lies within Premier League. So, they must concentrate on how to tear Arsenal apart in their upcoming thriller of a match at White Hart Lane.
Leicester City will be rubbing noses against four clubs in Premier League. Their opponents include Watford, Newcastle United, and Crystal Palace. None of these sides have either the quality or the form to shatter the foxes’ title dreams. With the performances Ranieri’s side has produced, these four opponents would be a walk in the park as long as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are alive.
The dark for Ranieri is the draw against West Brom in the previous fixture. His cause, however, was given a boost by his title rivals, all of whom lost their fixtures after Leicester’s draw.
Another bummer for the Foxes’ is their goal difference of 19 which will not support their cause either since the battle might just head to a tie on the points table and the goal difference will be the ultimate deciding factor.
Tottenham has a goal difference of 27, and Arsenal, 18. A couple of hiccup and Leicester will go tumbling down the road.