The race for the top 4 rolls on tonight as Arsenal face a tricky trip to Watford.
It was not too long ago that Arsenal were in 3rd place and in poll position to finish in the top 4. A couple of weeks and a single defeat later, Arsenal find themselves in 6th, playing catch up.
Victories for Manchester United and Tottenham have left Arsenal in 6th place, despite a defeat for Chelsea. Win tonight and Arsenal return to 4th.
Looking forward, 75 is still the magic number for 4th place.
To achieve this, Arsenal would need to win both their remaining home games, as well as beat Watford tonight.
With trips to Leicester, Wolves and Burnley still to come, coupled with Arsenal’s poor away form, those 2 away victories will not come easy.
Looking at the remaining fixtures, Chelsea and Manchester United have the hardest run ins.
Taking into account Manchester United’s poor form – despite getting the 3 points against West Ham, they were the worst team – it is unlikely they will come away from the next 3 games with 9 out of 9 points. They could find themselves cut adrift as we go into May.
Tottenham have 1 tough game, and it is up next against Manchester City. After that you would expect them to get 12 from 12. They will probably secure 3rd.
When you look at the remaining fixtures Arsenal face, you can see the importance of winning tonight.
Victory would take the Gunners into 4th place and, with Crystal Palace up after, Arsenal could find themselves in 3rd place with 4 games to go.
6 points from the next 2 games will see Arsenal up to 69 points. That will likely put them level with Chelsea (who will surely beat Burnley at home) and 2 points ahead of Tottenham in 5th (who surely will not beat Manchester City).
The next key weekend will be when Manchester United host Chelsea. At this point Man U will probably find themselves 5 points off Arsenal, and could result in the strange situation of Arsenal fans wanting Manchester United to win.
Were Arsenal to lose to Leicester, that would likely leave us in a situation where 2 points separate Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. With all 3 sides having 2 games to go, 1 at home, 1 away.
At this point, facing Huddersfield and Cardiff, Man U would have the easiest run in, but they would be 2 points off 4th.
This 2 point gap is likely to remain into the last game of the season.
At this point Tottenham would have secured top 4, and only need a draw to finish 3rd.
With 1 point between Arsenal and Chelsea, with both facing away trips to Burnley and Leicester respectively, it will be a straight shoot out between the 2 to finish 4th – at this point Manchester United would be relying on both sides to fail to win to be in with a chance.
And it all starts tonight with Arsenal facing Watford….