Gunning for the Title? Arsenal & Chelsea’s Premier League Run-Ins Examined

Even non-Arsenal fans have stood back and admired how well they have done since being well-beaten by local rivals Tottenham on the 7th of February.

That day, a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs overturned a one goal deficit to triumph at White Hart Lane and leap-frog Arsenal in the Premier League table.  That prompted a lot of concern from Gunners fans about which players should be sold and so on.

How things have changed since then, though.  Wenger’s men have gone on an incredible eight match winning streak and now sit second in the Premier League table with 66 points after their hard fought win away to Burnley.  They are comfortably behind Chelsea (73 points with a game in hand) but now ahead of both Manchester teams and the chasing pack.

Speaking of the pack, that’s realistically now Liverpool and Southampton. Even though Spurs were ahead of Arsenal in early Feb, they have had their traditional late-season lapse and after picking up just one point from their last two games (draw at Burnley 0-0, home loss to Aston Villa) must now be considered out of contention for a top four place.

Arsenal’s Run-In

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Looking at the remaining fixtures, Arsenal’s next home match against Chelsea is clearly THE critical one.  Victory at the Emirates would give the Gunners some hope that the gap can be further reduced over the remaining games.  Given current form, the only other team that might be expected to take points off of the North Londoners are Manchester United.

So, if Arsenal beat Chelsea and all others except Manchester United their total points would be 81.

Chelsea’s Run-In

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Now this is interesting.  Chelsea have to play some decent teams before the season is over.  Manchester United are re-invigorated. Arsenal can smell blood and are on a roll.  Leicester are desperate to avoid relegation.  Crystal Palace are transformed under Pardew like no one could have predicted. Liverpool are hungry to get back into the top 4.  Those games aside, you can see fairly likely wins against West Brom and Sunderland, but this just goes to show that this Premier League title race is not quite over yet.

If the Blues have a stalemate with United, lose to the Gunners and finish by beating West Brom and Sunderland (likely), they’ll have 80 points.  This would means that they’d need to amass just 2 points from the Leicester, Palace and Liverpool matches to win the title.  You’d think that pretty likely, but pressure can take its toll and things could start to get quite nervy down at Stamford Bridge in May.

Perhaps Arsenal have left it a little too late this season, but their run has at the very least made for an interesting finale.  Unless you’re a Chelsea supporter, no one wants to see one team run away with the title without a fight.  Let’s hope it goes down to the final day and may the best team win.