While many have already started making jokes about Arsenal’s ‘collapse’ in the pursuit of their first Premier League success since the North London club won the title unbeaten in 2003-04, there is still a chance that the memes and sneers are somewhat immature.
Indeed, it’s hard to build a case against a machine-like side like Manchester City capitulating in the closing stages of the campaign now they have their noses in front at the top of the table and are such overwhelming favourites to retain their crown at 1/18 in the Premier League winner odds.
However, at the time of writing, their advantage over the Gunners is nothing more than a single point and while Man City still have their game in hand which could extend their advantage to four, just one poor result could blow the title race wide open once again.
That said, read on as we take a look at both side’s remaining fixtures and see if there is any potential for another twist in the tale of what has been a very strange Premier League season.
Since Man City hold the advantage, all they need to do is win out the rest of the season and they will be Premier League champions for the third time in succession. Pep Guardiola’s side most recently defeated a struggling Leeds United outfit. Sam Allardyce was brought in a desperate bid to save the Yorkshire side from the drop and this was his first game in charge — which can often lead to a shock result in the football forecast — but City ran our 2-1 winners.
The reigning champions will now play three of their four remaining games away from home, with Chelsea at the Etihad on May 21 their last game in front of their own fans. A trip to Goodison Park to face Everton is before that while trips down south to Brighton and Brentford follow. On top of that, City must juggle the Champions League semi-final ties against Real Madrid.
When you consider the fact that Man City have a jam-packed seven games in May, including two against relegation strugglers who are fighting for their lives and two against sides hoping to play European football next season in the form of Brighton and Brentford, this title race might be far from over.
When you compare Mikel Arteta’s side’s schedule in the coming month to that of Man City’s May fixtures, it is clear only one of them is to going to have fitness on their side — and that’s Arsenal. The Gunners don’t need to worry about travelling around the continent and fitting in European fixtures at this stage and they have a full week to recover between their final four games as a result.
After a tough April, in which they dropped points against Liverpool, West Ham United, Southampton and Man City with three draws and a defeat in four straight games, Arsenal do need to rediscover form in May. It was initially hard to tell if the 3-1 win over Chelsea was as convincing as the scoreline suggested due to the Blues’ horrid run, but it certainly appears to have done the Gunners a world of good.
Up next was a difficult trip up north to face an on-tune Newcastle United side at St. James’ Park, but Arsenal had another huge momentum boost when running out 2-0 winners against the top four hopes. The Gunners now host the aforementioned European football chasing Brighton at the Emirates. They then travel to the City Ground to take survival hopefuls Nottingham Forest in the penultimate game and host Wolves at home on the final day — by then it could all be over though.