Tuesday 27 September 2016

Will this be the final Premier League table? Kevin Palmer looks at all the title rivals' fixtures

Published 03/02/2016 | 17:13

Leicester are in pole position in the title race but will they be first past the chequered flag?
Leicester are in pole position in the title race but will they be first past the chequered flag?

Predicting the outcome of this season’s Premier League title is a pastime for the brave and crazy, so we at Independent.ie have put ourselves forward to fill those dubious roles in the most fascinating sporting drama in recent memory.

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With 14 games to go, the novelty of Leicester City leading the title race is no longer a temporary blip on the sporting landscape as remarkably, Claudio Ranieri’s men are now being viewed as serious contenders to be crowned as champions in May.

Tottenham are also establishing themselves as credible title contenders, while the fancied big-hitters of Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are struggling to convince any of us that they are ready to establish their authority in the race for top spot.

Using no scientific gauge other than opinion, here is a view on how the most unpredictable title race in memory will conclude and given how hard it is to predict this Premier League story, please don’t remember this article was written when we are wrong in May!

LEICESTER CITY

SOCCER Leice_3.jpg  

Status: Top of the table and finally considered to be title contenders.

Claudio Ranieri’s men have taken 24 games to confirm they are the real deal in the race for the Premier League title, but their thrilling win against Liverpool on Tuesday night silenced the doubters.

They need to keep Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez fit and if they do, the Foxes should be playing Champions League football next season. The question now must be: can that become the most unlikely champions of all-time?

Remaining games:

Man City (a) Lose

Arsenal (a) Draw

Norwich (h) Win

West Bromwich Albion (h) Win

Watford (a) Draw

Newcastle (h) Win

Crystal Palace (a) Draw

Southampton (h) Draw

Sunderland (a) Win

West Ham (h) Draw

Swansea (h) Win

Man Utd (a) Lose

Everton (h) Win

Chelsea (a) Draw

 

TOTAL POINTS: 74

 

MANCHESTER CITY

PANews_P-f03af9ec-44ce-4ac1-8367-349b526f86e9_I1.jpg  

Status: Title favourites, but not at their best.

Confirmation that Pep Guardiola has agreed to take over as Manchester City manager next season was hardly a surprise, but it does clear the path for Manuel Pellegrini to avoid continued speculation over his position.

It remains to be seen whether his players can focus on the job in hand and not the future of their club and themselves at City and that will be crucial to their title hopes.

Remaining games:

Leicester (h) Win

Tottenham (h) Win

Newcastle (a) Win

Liverpool (a) Draw

Aston Villa (h) Win

Norwich (a) Win

Man Utd (h) Win

Bournemouth (a) Draw

West Brom (h) Win

Chelsea (a) Lose

Stoke (h) Win

Southampton (a) Draw

Arsenal (h) Win

Swansea (a) Win

 

TOTAL POINTS: 80

 

TOTTENHAM

PANews_P-5e41ca4e-859c-4b17-8965-f08b6c7ed23f_I1.jpg  

Status: Up into third position and looking more resolute than in previous years.

Mauricio Pochettino has instilled grit into Spurs that has been lacking in their recent history and this could be their once in a lifetime’s chance to push for the title.

Tottenham’s hopes will evaporate if lead striker Harry Kane or playmaker-in-chief Dele Alli are out for an extended period, but that doomsday scenario has not happened yet.

Remaining games:

Watford (h) Win

Man City (a) Lose

Swansea (h) Win

West Ham (a) Draw

Arsenal (h) Win

Aston Villa (a) Win

Bournemouth (h) Win

Liverpool (a) Lose

Man Utd (h) Draw

Stoke (a) Draw

West Brom (h) Win

Chelsea (a) Lose

Southampton (h) Draw

Newcastle (a) Win

 

TOTAL POINTS: 70

 

ARSENAL

PANews_P-0a8041ba-89f5-49ba-88b7-f607033d262f_I1.jpg  

Status: Threatening to run out of momentum in the title race once more.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows he dare not miss out on the chance to win his first Premier League title since 2004, but the evidence of the last few games suggest his side still lack the killing instinct they need to be champions.

Goals need to start flowing quickly for the Gunners or they could be cut adrift by Leicester, Man City and Spurs in the title push.

Remaining games:

Bournemouth (a) Draw

Leicester (h) Draw

Man Utd (a) Draw

Swansea (h) Win

Tottenham (a) Lose

West Brom (h) Win

Everton (a) Draw

Watford (h) Win

West Ham (a) Draw

Crystal Palace (h) Win

Sunderland (a) Win

Norwich (h) Win

Man City (a) Lose

Aston Villa (h) Win

 

Total points: 71

 

MANCHESTER UNITED

501136874.jpg  

Status: Would be happy with a top four finish after a troubled season.

This has been the season of unpredictability, but not even the most optimistic Man Utd supporter can will dare to suggest their team are on the brink of a title challenge after all that has gone before for much-maligned manager Louis van Gaal.

However, hope lingers on and with their win against Stoke on Tuesday night hailed as their most complete performance of the season and if they can continue that form, a rise up the table is not out of the question.

Remaining games:

Chelsea (a) Draw

Sunderland (a) Win

Arsenal (h) Draw

Watford (h) Win

West Brom (a) Win

Crystal Palace (h) Win

Man City (a) Lose

Everton (h) Draw

Tottenham (a) Draw

Aston Villa (h) Win

Leicester (h) Win

Norwich (a) Win

Bournemouth (h) Win

 

Total points: 68

 

HOW THE FINAL PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE MIGHT LOOK

1st: Manchester City - 80 points

2nd: Leicester - 74 points

3rd: Arsenal - 71 points

4th: Tottenham - 70 points

5th: Manchester United - 68 points

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