Six games left, three spots up for grabs…
If there’s one thing we can all agree upon when it comes to being a Liverpool FC fan, it’s that it’s not for the faint-hearted!
32 games gone, more points in the bag than in the previous season, yet we’re still perilously away from potentially dropping out of the top 4.
So what are the possible outcomes to ensure LFC are back in the Champions League next year, fighting against Europe’s elite?
There are two lines of thought while looking at this table:
- We have the points in the bag, which is a much safer bet.
- If City, Arsenal and Manchester Utd all win their games, they are above or even with us on points.
Natural instinct is to say that having more points is better than games in hand, but I think most LFC fans are still reeling from the 13/14 season where games in hand meant little at the end of the day.
So, let’s look at the final run-ins.
A betting man would say 6 wins (18pts) from these final games, but we all know that Liverpool have the ability to falter, even against the weakest teams.
Predictions: 14 points from 18 (same tally as our previous 6 games).
That puts us on 77 points.
NOTE: This image doesn’t show a re-scheduled match between City and West Brom on 22nd April.
With a tough FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal coming up, that leaves Man City playing 4 games in the space of 8 days, including a Premier League derby match against Manchester Utd.
Leicester City are also currently on a 6 game winning streak, so if that form continues through to 14th May, they could serious challenge City in that game.
Prediction: 15 points from 21.
That leaves them with 76 points.
As with City, a tough FA Cup semi-final awaits, which forces the postponement of the Sunderland match. In any case, Arsenal still have to contend with tough away trips to Palace, Tottenham and Stoke before the season is over.
If Everton have any fight left in them by the end of the year, they COULD put up a bit of a challenge.
A home tie against Manchester United will draw a lot of attention as it could very well mean the difference between finishing in the top 4 or in Europa for both clubs.
Prediction: 11 points from 21.
Harsh, but Arsenal have been a shambles this year and I can only see them capitulating further at this point.
This leaves them with 66 points.
The old foe, the only team left in Europe, and I couldn’t be happier. After today, they face the prospect of playing 4 games in 9 days, including 2 x knockout games against Anderlecht as well as a home game against the all-conquering Chelsea squad, before traveling to face Burnley who have beaten them in the past.
To think that life is going to get easier after that is a complete mistake. They then face City away, Arsenal and Spurs away, then finishing up against a plucky Crystal Palace who can surprise anyway (as we all know too well).
Given that Man Utd’s most likely hope of Champions League next year is to win the Europa League, it’s not hard to predict that they could potentially play their very best squads against Anderlecht and subsequent follow up games in the semi-finals.
This means that they wouldn’t be able to field their best squad against the likes of Arsenal, Spurs or even Palace.
Prediction: 9 points.
This leaves them with 63 points.
So how does the final ladder look like based on my predictions?
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
What are your thoughts on my assessment of the final run in? Do you think Liverpool can catch Spurs? Can Arsenal or Manchester United over-perform and jump into 3rd or 4th place?
Let me know your reasoning and we can have a discussion.