Chelsea more secure at the top, Arsenal lose to Everton, the bottom of the table is as exciting as the top16th Dec 2016 |
We’re getting closer to Christmas, and we all know what that means: A whole lot of football of course! Before the incredibly tough programme from Boxing Day until the days after New Year’s evening, every team needs to gather as many points as they can because surprises will come.
Tight grip from Chelsea and Newcastle
With their 1-0 victory over Sunderland on Wednesday, Chelsea now has a tight grip on the first place. Since Arsenal managed to lose after leading 1-0 against Everton at Goodison Park on Tuesday, they now have a lead of six points down to Liverpool and said Arsenal. Actually, Arsenal was the only club at the top half of the table not to get any points at all in this round, and all the other teams except for Southampton got three points. That is bad for the Gunners, and their fans might once again see a season of almost. In the Championship, Newcastle seems to have an even tighter trip on things. They may have only one point down to Brighton on second place, but that does not really matter as both first and second place gets a straight promotion. What matters is that they have nine points down to Reading on third place.No one is safe
One might argue that the struggle for survival seems just as exciting as the struggle for the crown at this point. All the teams from Burnley on 13th place are in what might be called an immediate danger of falling down into the relegation zone. Slaven Bilic’s West Ham has managed to get themselves in a somewhat better position with four points in two games, but they are still only four points away from the relegation area. The team that seems most hopeless is without a doubt Sunderland, although Hull isn’t looking too bright either.
Ready for the weekend
Let’s just jump straight to Sunday, for there cannot be any doubt as to where the biggest game of the weekend will be. At 16:00, Manchester City will be the host to Arsenal in what is much more than a game of three points at this time. If Chelsea wins against Crystal Palace at 12:30 on Saturday, the loser in Manchester will suddenly be very far behind in the quest for the Premier League trophy. Nine points for Arsenal and ten points for City is not in any way an impossible task, but it sure is a very long way to go. Equally exciting is the two real games for survival at 15:00 Saturday. Middlesbrough is three points clear of Swansea, who occupies the first relegation space. They will face each other at Riverside. West Ham has a chance of really leaving the relegation area behind for a while, but their opponents Hull will be very eager to take the three points from them as they are currently on 19th place.