EPL 2011-12: The Most Exciting Season Ever?




With only two weekends left to go in the Barclays Premier League, we still do not have a Champion nor do we know the teams that will be playing in Europe and the teams that will be relegated to the Championship next season. The only thing that is assured after 36 rounds of fixtures is that the Premier League title will remain in Manchester and Wolves will be relegated regardless of results over the next week. Every other team has their position mathematically challenged right from the top to bottom of the table.

The Title Race:

EPL 2011-12: The most exciting season ever?

EPL 2011-12: The most exciting season ever?

After a victory at the Etihad Stadium against United, Manchester City know that the title is in their hands and they would be crowned champions if they gather six points from their next two fixtures. The teams are currently tied on 83 points with City leading the table with goal difference of 61 compared to United’s 53. But Alex Ferguson’s men are not the ones to give up. They would be hoping for Newcastle to come away with something against City; even a draw would put the ball back in Ferguson’s court. Manchester United, of course, will have to win their remaining two fixtures to remain in contention. One of them is a home fixture against Swansea while the last game of the season visiting Sunderland. Ferguson’s men can still win the title if they put in goals by the dozen and overcome the superior goal difference, but that is a bit too far-fetched even for the biggest of optimists.

Teams

Matches

Points

Goal Difference

1

Manchester City

36

83

61

2

Manchester United

36

83

53

The European battle:
Newcastle themselves will be motivated to get a result against City as they are in the midst of a four team battle for the remaining two Champions League spots.  Alan Pardew’s men have already exceeded all expectations by finding themselves on 65 points, in the fifth spot and amidst an healthy battle for a Champions League spot. The Magpies currently trail Tottenham only on goal difference, who were themselves only a point behind Arsenal before the penultimate weekend. The Gunners’ draw earlier today against Norwich made this battle even more intriguing giving both Newcastle and Tottenham an opportunity to leapfrog them into the Champions League spots.

The other team capable of spoiling all these calculations and permutations is the sixth placed newly crowned FA Cup Champions Chelsea. The Blues are currently in sixth place on 61 points, four behind the coveted fourth spot. A Tottenham or Newcastle victory would put Chelsea out of this race but another twist in this tale is that they would automatically qualify for the Champions League if they beat Munich in the final this year and thus only the top three from England would qualify to play in Europe’s biggest Championship next year.

Teams

Matches

Points

Goal Difference

3

Arsenal

37

67

24

4

Tottenham Hotspurs

36

65

23

5

Newcastle United

36

65

9

6

Chelsea

36

61

21

The Mid-table Crisis:
Everton seems to have sealed the seventh place as they sit pretty on 52 points, three ahead of Liverpool and Fulham. Liverpool, after losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final, would be looking for revenge as they host Di Matteo’s men at Anfield during the midweek. A further three points lie West Bromwich Albion in tenth position, who are just one point ahead of Sunderland. Swansea, Norwich and Stoke, all of which have had impressive seasons and harbor hopes of finishing in the top ten are just one point behind Sunderland on 44 points and two behind the tenth spot.

Teams

Matches

Points

Goal Difference

7

Everton

36

52

8

8

Liverpool

36

49

5

9

Fulham

36

49

-2

10

West Bromwich Albion

36

46

-6

11

Sunderland

36

45

1

12

Swansea City

36

44

-6

13

Norwich City

37

44

-16

14

Stoke City

36

44

-16

Below them lies the muddle of the relegation threatened teams. A fortnight ago, Wigan seemed sure to go down with Wolves as Blackburn, Bolton and QPR were fighting out to not be in the 18th and last relegation position. However a surprising resurgence which saw the Lactics win four of their last six including wins against Manchester United and Arsenal, has seen Wigan climb out of the danger zone into 16th place, 3 clear of the relegation zone. Aston Villa aren’t safe either. They lie level on points with Wigan and face a recharged Tottenham during the weekend and a resurgent Norwich on the last day of the season – two tricky fixtures that could get them into trouble. The big match of the weekend would be the clash between 19th placed Blackburn and Wigan Athletic. A victory for Wigan would ensure their safety and relegation for Blackburn. QPR are out of the drop zone, barely on goal difference and with a last day encounter against Manchester City looming, they would be desperate to get some points this weekend against Stoke City while Bolton would be aiming for three points against West Bromwich Albion.

Teams Matches Points Goal Difference
15 Aston Villa 36 37 -14
16 Wigan Athletic 36 37 -22
17 Queens Park Rangers 36 34 -23
18 Bolton Wanderers 36 34 -31
19 Blackburn Rovers 36 31 -28
20 Wolverhampton 36 24 -41

Fixtures:

Satuday:
Arsenal 3 – 3 Norwich City

Sunday:

Newcastle vs. Manchester City

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham

Bolton vs. West Bromwich Albion

Fulham vs. Sunderland

QPR vs. Bolton

Wolves vs. Everton

Manchester United vs. Swansea City

Wednesday:

Blackburn vs. Wigan

Thursday:

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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