Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and United’s run-ins analysed – Who should be favourites

It’s squeaky-bum time! by Dan Smith

The best prices on “Finishing in the Top Four”

Tottenham – 4/6
Arsenal – 5/6
Chelsea – 6/5
Man United – 6/4

It’s been a long time since the Gunners have been one of the favourites to finish in the top 4. After beating Man United though, now if you put 10 pounds on us to finish 3rd of 4th you only win 8.33.
Expect odds to change weekly….

Here I try to give an unbiased view of everyone’s chances:

Spurs – Fixtures – Liverpool (a), Brighton (H), Huddersfield (H), Man City (a), West Ham (H), Bournemouth (a), Everton (H)
Forget their fixtures, momentum is so crucial in sport. Within 16 days, Spurs went from title contenders (at least in their own minds) to looking over their shoulders. Unlike the other 3 clubs in this discussion who have prepared for the possibility of Europa League Football, it would represent a massive collapse for our rivals. Suddenly instead of choosing between Real and United, Poch will be defending his reputation. If they couldn’t handle the pressure of being in a title race (again in their own imagination) do they have the mental strength to play when they have everything to lose and nothing to gain? There’s talk that they will play their remaining home games at their new stadium (which I’m not sure is fair) but how much of an advantage is that? We know when moving into the Emirates, it takes a while to make it your home. Imagine the embarrassment for Daniel Levy. He moves into his new home, which is meant to represent a new future, and it starts by being knocked out of the top 4. I don’t understand why they are favourites?

Arsenal – Newcastle (H), Everton (a), Watford (a), Palace (H), Leicester (a), Brighton (H), Burnley (a), Wolves (a – TBA)
The perception seems to be we have the kindest set of fixtures. Unai Emery’s task is to ensure his players don’t think that way. Too many times this group have been guilty of not showing up away from home and paying for complacency, we saw that last Thursday in France. When you think of our 5 wins on our travels, 3 are in the bottom 3, the other 2 were Newcastle and Bournemouth. So, to suddenly expect us to win our 5 remains away matches, when we done that all campaign, is asking a lot. Think of our matches at West Ham, Southampton, Palace, Brighton, etc. Would losing at Wolves, Everton, Watford, Burnley or Leicester be a shock? My hope is with so much is at stake, there would be no reason to not be 100 percent focused.

Chelsea – Everton (a), Cardiff (a), West Ham (H), Liverpool (a), Burnley (H), Man United (a), Watford (H), Leicester (a), Brighton (H- TBC)

Despite all the talk of a crisis at the Bridge, if they win their game in hand, they are level on points with us, in fact having responded well to their 6-0 defeat at Man City. It might suit the Blues that the talk is not on them. I still think they have the League’s best talent (not based on form) in Hazard, who is capable of providing the magic to carry them over the line. The doubt you have is can Sarri motivate his players the moment things go wrong? How much will their star player care about Champions League qualification if he knows he’s going to Spain in the summer? Therefore, it’s crucial that by the time they go to Anfield and Old Trafford they are not too far off the pace, if they are, they might just focus on the Europa League.

Man United – Watford H, Wolves (a), West Ham (H), Everton (a), Man City (H), Chelsea (H) Huddersfield (a), Cardiff (H)

No need for United to panic just because they lost to Arsenal. Unlike Spurs, they have momentum, having been 11 points off 4th when changing managers. The double header with City and Chelsea could prove critical. Based on their progress in FA Cup and Champions League, they could get to April with a big game every few days.

Gooners, who will finish 3rd and 4th?

Dan Smith


  1. Arsenal have five away games, but those opponents have slim chance to enter the CL or EL

    Everton, Watford, Leicester, Burnley and Wolves are stuck in mid/ lower table positions, thus I expect their motivations have diminished substantially

    When Arsenal faced the mid table teams such as Everton at the end of last season, it was much easier than facing them at the beginning when their spirit are high. This season should be the same, so it is up to Arsenal players

  2. Those away teams have nothing to lose.They would delight in sabotaging
    the gunners.
    Btw,Juventus were given a penalty for the
    slightest of touches compared toFred’s.push.Arsenal better take note.

    1. All we need to be worried about is handling our own business, do that and no worries. You start looking at everyone else all you do is watch them pass you by

  3. I truly believe it’s going to be between Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd. It depends on us, if we are going to end this year strongly. If we continue being poor away from home, it’s unlikely that we keep that 4th place.

  4. IF and it’s a big IF,
    We finish in the Top 4, nobody can justify saying Emery has not been an improvement in his first season. In fact even if we finish in the Top 5, he has still be an improvement

    United, Spurs and Chelsea are favourites over us because they more Top Quality players than us. We are underdogs even for 5th place. I reckon only Aubameyang and Lacazette would walk into the starting line-ups of United and Chelsea. I rate them higher than Lukaku, Morata and Giroud

    If we finish higher than 6th than Torreira and Guendouzi are big Emery acquisitions that would have helped us.

    Anyway, a long way to go. We could still finish 6th, 5th or 4th

    1. Chelsea loaned Morata to Athletico Madrid, and brought in Higuain on loan. I’d still prefer either of our front two over Higuain though.

        1. Still can’t believe we missed the boat on that one, I don’t know why we were looking at Benzema, Higuain always looked the more accomplished marksman. Like Aguero at City but Higuain was doing it for much longer it seemed.

  5. Arsenal will nick third place ahead of the chasing pack. We have the easiest run in and only Watford away can cause any trouble.

      1. Yes Watford because they play Fulham at home first before Arsenal. The last thing we want is to face a confident Watford at home which is exactly what we’ll get after they trash Fulham. That match can be a tricky one.

  6. I swear if we cannot beat those midtable teams away from home then we don’t deserve to finish in the top 4.

    So away against the other top 6 teams we struggle to win games which is understandable. But then you want to tell me on top of that we also are scared out of our pants to play the likes of Wolves, Watford, Leicester, Palace etc? Can’t wait for Emery to get in his own players next season. This current crop we have has lost us so much confidence.

  7. Tott wanting to move into the home now instead of freshly at the beginning of the year, this is showing Tott’s lack of mental courage. They want to play in it while still a CL playing top four side, they fear how next season opening up the stadium might be in a Europa league season. It doesn’t make sense to go into it now, like you say, you need time in the stadium to get used to the pitch. They would have the whole summer, pre-season games is the obvious choice, get some time on the grass. Everything will start to feel like home by the time the competitive games start. Wanting to move in now is showing Tott’s weak little mentality, we opened up in a CL year after we made it X far in the CL while Arsenal were playing Europa football, they fear the reversal for next season, and probably believe in bad omens and the likes. They might argue that they wanted to use it to give the team some feel good factor after the wind being taken out of sails recently, trying to lift the mood, and give an excuse for players to fight more etc etc. The board are making the decision, the board fear what a next season opening could mean against this one, totally weak. The board over there doesn’t even believe in Poch and his players, so it seems. Looks like they banked on Tott being in the CL next season and are now squirming their sweaty asses off, this is too funny!, funny little tott’s.

  8. Definitely agree, our away form hasn’t been the best this year though still an upgrade from Wenger’s woeful away form last season. That being said, I feel that the players are feeling the momentum, they’re starting to find their feet in Emery’s system after a very “revolutionary” year. So for that, I not only expect Arsenal to finish 4th but 3rd even. I believe the St. Totteringham’s day festivities have not concluded 😛 Auba might even clinch the golden boot with our kind run in and some fortune.

    As for Rennes, I really hope we can turn up like we did against United. Like author mentioned, we were far too complacent against a clearly weaker said but we need to learn how to bury that kind of opposition before they notice our dilly dallying and hitting us where it hurts like Rennes did. Just for god’s sake, keep Mustafi off the pitch

  9. I honestly think we have the squad capable of finishing third, I’ve thought it all season, I just hope Emery can get the tactics right consistently.

    He done well against UTD, keeping my fingers crossed that he can get us through to the next round and build our momentum.

  10. As it stands our destiny is in our own hands. It’s a plus that our rivals have tough games left against each other, and allows us some wiggle room to draw an away game, and being realistic, Watford/Leicester/Wolves are all away and getting 9 points from those tricky sides will be tough. If we want UCL then we will have to find a way though. Do or die time. We got ourselves here with crucial 4 points, let’s finish it.

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