The Battle for top of the EPL 3

The battle for the EPL title is a foregone conclusion with all signs showing that the trophy is heading back to Old Trafford and the home of Manchester United. United currently have a 15 point lead over 2nd place Manchester City after picking up a 2-0 win over Stoke City, while City were idle.

Manchester United's Robin van Persie scores a penalty against Stoke, breaking his goal drought

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie scores a penalty against Stoke, breaking his goal drought

United are in need of only a further 8 points from here remaining 6 games to secure their 13th premiership title. However, after being convincingly beaten by neighbors Manchester City on Monday, they don’t look as dominant as things may appear.

The battle to win the three remaining spots and earn a place in the Champions league is the much more compelling story. City in second, have finally began looking like the team that won last year’s title with a number of sparkling performances of late, look to have that spot sewn up. That leaves Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea fighting for the next 2 positions, with Everton, on the outside, trying to crash the party, but their inconsistent form has left them with slim hopes.

The North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal have had two totally different seasons. Spurs came into the season with a new manager and some skepticism. Their highly popular manager Harry Redknapp was dismissed in a swirl of controversy and their 4th place finish proved not to be enough, as they missed out on a Champions league spot through a technicality, as their spot went to Chelsea.

For the new manager, ex Chelsea boss, Andreas Villas Boa, the pressure was on. He had a lot to prove after an unsuccessful stint at Chelsea. After a slow start they have gotten things together and at one point in the season had an amazing 12 game unbeaten streak, with the amazing Gareth Bale leading the charge. They have cooled of late, and have dropped to 5th in the table.

For Arsenal, they are in the midst of their worse campaign in Arsene Wenger’s 16 years at the club. As bad as it has been, Arsenal have somehow managed to resurrect their season. Their  comeback win over Norwich, was spearheaded by 3 goals in the space of 7 minutes to secure the game. Arsenal leaped frogged both Chelsea and Spurs as they both were off. Their 0-0 tied against Everton, is a good result for both Chelsea and Spurs, as with a win, Arsenal could have tightened their grip on 3rd place.

The other contenders Chelsea seem to somehow manage to continue being a force in English football. The current Champions league holders have had another controversy fueled season filled with management changes and player unrest, but regardless they seem to get all together and get it right on games days, mostly.

The Blues got it right last week as they came up against a sticky fixture with Sunderland, who had new manager Paolo di Canio in the dugout. Chelsea’s good form was halted however, as they were beaten convincingly in the FA cup by an impressive Man City. In the run in they have a a massive game versus Spurs on the calendar which just might be the decisive game as to who gets that 3rd spot.

The permutations and possibilities loom large as we come down to the end of the season, but one thing is for sure. There’s no room for error.