This season's Premier League title race has been one of ups and downs. Now though, as we reach the business end, with less than two months of league football remaining GMS contributor Daniel Nixon assess the candidates for the coveted league title.
Arsenal: Played - 31, Points - 63
Arsenal now face an uphill struggle to win this season's league title. A demoralising 6-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend has drained confidence, along with Tuesday's 2-2 draw with struggling Swansea which has seen them slip further off the pace. Arguably their biggest challenge now is sealing fourth place, with Everton just six points behind them with a game in hand and a home advantage when the two sides meet next month. However, a strong finish may just see them arrive back in contention, and that must start with a win over Manchester City on Saturday.
Man City (h) - Saturday
Everton (a) - April 6th
Norwich (a) - May 11th
Manchester City: Played - 29, Points - 66
In my opinion, City are probably the favourites to win the league. Their outstanding attack nearly always guarantees goals, and at home the Blues can demolish any team. Provided they win their two games in hand, Pellegrini's men will find themselves three points clear at the top. It seems straight forward and simple. However, while their attack has flourished all season, their defence has proved unreliable at times. When Vincent Kompany is not available, Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis seem shaky at the back and that has led to cheap goals conceded and easy points dropped. With this, added to the fact that they still need to travel to Arsenal and Liverpool, you can see their work is far from done.
Arsenal (a) - Saturday
Liverpool (a) - April 13th
Everton (a) - May 3rd
West Ham (h) - May 11th
Liverpool: Played - 31, Points - 68
The rise of Liverpool has been simply phenomenal this season. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are in outstanding form up front, Steven Gerrard is still running the game exceptionally and players such as Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have become key to the Reds side.
Add to the fact that Chelsea and City still have to visit Anfield, which has become a fortress once more, and you see that Liverpool have a fantastic chance of a first Premier League title.
However, like City, the Reds can be unreliable at the back. Mistakes by many defenders at key moments have led to dropped points that could prove significant come May. Despite this though, they still have a fantastic chance of a league title.
Tottenham (h) - Sunday
Man City (h) - April 13th
Chelsea (h) - April 27th
Newcastle (h) - May 11th
Chelsea: Played - 31, Points - 69
The table toppers will go into the tail end of the season very high on confidence after their 6-0 mauling of Arsenal on Saturday. Mourinho got his tactics spot on once again and throughout the season the Blues manager, currently in his second spell at the club, has played his cards perfectly, helping Chelsea to where they are currently.
John Terry and Gary Cahill have proved rock solid in the league's best defence, while the club is also undefeated at home in the league under Mourinho. Complacency is a key factor though, and the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on March 15th proved they can be beaten. Despite that, they should finish strongly with a good run in in the last few games.
Liverpool (a) - 27th April
Cardiff (a) - 11th May
Personally I see Manchester City as favourites, but Chelsea and Liverpool are proving just as worthy challengers, while Arsenal could yet come into contention with a late surge of results.
Who do you think will be lifting the trophy? Let me know in the comments section below.
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