The Premier League Run-In

Football Tuesday April 23, 2024 By: Duncan Hughes

It’s April and it’s crunch-time in the Premier League. After Liverpool and Arsenal suffered defeats at the weekend, was that the final twist in the title race? Are Spurs going to crumble under the pressure in the hunt for a Champions League spot? Will Luton defy all odds and maintain their place in the ‘big time’?

It’s going to be a nervy end to the season and fans all over the country will be fixed on the edge of their seats until that final ball has been kicked on the 19th May. With only 6 games to go for most teams, who will keep their cool?

A 5-1 win over Luton for Manchester City on Saturday saw them top the table with Liverpool and Arsenal still to play. City’s position at the top was precarious as wins for Arsenal and Liverpool would see them drop back down to third. But home defeats for both sides see Pep Guardiola’s team 2 points clear against all odds.

Poor performances for Liverpool and Arsenal might have seen their hopes of a title scuppered with the pair now relying on a City error if they are to have any chance of stopping the title defence.

All three sides are still in contention for European glory as well with Arsenal and City hopeful of victory against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid this week. On the other hand, Liverpool were serious favourites for the Europa League until they suffered a heavy defeat to Atalanta in the first leg of their quarter final. They have a mountain to climb in the second leg if they are to build on their League Cup victory.

City remain the only side out of the top 3 in the FA Cup. Guardiola’s side will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the competition. Can they do the unthinkable and win the treble for the second consecutive year?

What about the battle for Europe? Aston Villa’s win didn’t just have an impact on the title race, it also strengthened their hopes of a Champions League place at the end of the season. After Spurs were beaten 4-0 away at Newcastle, Unai Emery’s men capitalised at the Emirates to go three points clear of the North London side in 5th place, albeit having played a game more.

Also, still in the Europa Conference League, Villa have the chance of silverware this campaign as well as the opportunity to take on Europe’s elite for the first time since 1983.

A tough run-in for Spurs may dent their hopes of Champions League football, however, European football will almost definitely be on the cards for Postecoglou’s men. Newcastle, Manchester United and Chelsea will also join them in the hunt for European football next season after below-par terms for each side.

West Ham also find themselves in with a sniff of European football next year, however, some poor performances of late put their chances at risk. They are still in the Europa League but face a 2-0 deficit going into the quarter final second leg against unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen who are on an astonishing run.

At the other end of the table, there’s a relegation scrap. With Sheffield United all but relegated and Burnley heading in the same direction, who will be joining them in the Championship next season?

Luton currently hold the final relegation spot. It’s the Hatters’ first time in the Premier League since its inception and everyone had written them off before the season had begun.

However, Rob Edwards has done a magnificent job with the resources he has got and they find themselves 1 point from safety. It was just 10 years ago Luton found themselves in what is today known as the National League. A brilliant rise through the divisions, can they retain their Premier League status?

It won’t be easy but they have their eyes set on a Nottingham Forest and Everton side who have been struck by points deductions. Tough campaigns for both teams see the pair balanced precariously above the drop zone. After Everton’s 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Monday night, and one win in 2024, it’s hard to see where Sean Dyche’s team will regain their fighting spirit again.

Forest, on the other hand, face 2 out of the bottom 5 teams in their remaining fixtures. Defeat for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men was a kick in teeth but a much needed 3 points for Everton, especially with Liverpool and Arsenal still to play for the Toffees. Everton do have a game in hand, which could prove vital come the end of the campaign.

So how do you think the season will finish? Who will win the league? Who will go down? Who will secure European football? With everything to play for, find out who will finish where with Engage Hospitality from the best seats in the house. 

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