A lot of things can happen during Christmas21st Dec 2016 |
With this weekend’s round having only one game left, we are very close to having a break from most of the English football until the boxing day game and all that are to follow until a few days after new year’s evening. This should be kept in mind after reading the table and the situation as it is right now, for a lot of things can change fast in this short time space.
Changes behind Chelsea…
Things do change when the games come often, as we have seen this week. Both in the midweek and in this weekend, Arsenal lost their games while their rivals won theirs. From being on second place three points behind Chelsea, they are now on fourth place, nine points behind Chelsea and just one point ahead of Tottenham on fifth place. Manchester City looked like they were falling somewhat behind, but they are now on second place, seven points behind Chelsea. Manchester United is also starting to close the gap on the fourth place; now just four points behind it after a 2-0 win against West Bromwich. Liverpool is currently on third place, but if they win tonight they will pass Manchester City to hold the second place. What does seem quite stable on the top is the hold that Chelsea has on the first place, and I do not think they will lose it during the Christmas programme. But the gap certainly can be closed a whole lot.… But not in the bottom
One should never underestimate the drama, changes and action of a good struggle to avoid relegation. There are, after all, three teams going down, which means that we can have a very chaotic situation with a lot of potential candidates. Sunderland took three very important points against Watford on Saturday, which means that they went from last place to being just one point behind Crystal Palace on 17th place. Swansea could go out of the relegation zone and send Middlesbrough down into it with a win at Riverside, but this did not happen. Middlesbrough won 3-0. When West Ham defeated Hull 1-0, they sent Hull down to the bottom of the league while sending themselves farther away from the relegation area and also away from immediate dangers. Sunderland, Swansea and Hull are still the three teams in the relegation area, while Leicester, Burnley and Crystal Palace are the teams in the most immediate dangers.
Mandatory watching tonight
As noted, Liverpool is fighting to be part of the struggle for gold this season, and they can celebrate Christmas at second place with a win tonight. But it is not just about that, for they are going to Goodison Park to face their rivals Everton. Everton does not look like they will be the most intriguing team to follow this season, being well clear of both the top and the bottom. But keeping Liverpool away from possibilities of winning the title will be a very good motivation for both players and fans tonight.