BY KEVIN PEACOCK
I don’t think there can be much arguing that the Premier League title this season is heading for London. At this stage in proceedings, it’s difficult to see beyond Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur lifting the trophy.
In his post match press conference following Wednesday’s narrow victory over Manchester City, Antonio Conte was keen to point out that Chelsea still need 18 points to secure the champions crown.
That is of course mathematically and politically correct. Publicly he has no other option, anything else would look incredibly arrogant.
The question I ask, is, will Spurs win all their remaining 8 games? With fixtures at home to Manchester United and North London rivals Arsenal to come, it will be difficult. They also face London derbies away at West Ham and Crystal Palace. Points will be dropped by both sides. The difference being Chelsea can afford to.
However, it’s all ‘ifs and buts’. Spurs are a much stronger and more resilient side than a year ago, so it is possible for them to eek out the victories needed. The problem for Spurs is, even if they win all their games, Chelsea can lose at Manchester United and Everton and still take the title by a point. Were Spurs to drop just 4 points in the games mentioned above and 4 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats would give Chelsea the league, 14 points would secure the top spot, P1, numero uno.
As for the rest, City have looked impressive at times, going forward, less so going backwards. Liverpool, like City are good at times, attacking, but just don’t have a good enough squad. United have had too many draws. They all have big name managers and they all need to spend in the summer to improve.
There’s some joy for Arsenal though. Despite the fact they may fail to finish in the top 4, their 3-0 defeat of Chelsea back in September was the catalyst that forced Conte to change the blues playing system. Arsene Wenger will surely consider that a trophy!
Don’t let the pundits fool you though, the pressure is all on the chasing pack, they can afford no slip-ups. Sorry Sky Sports, sorry BT Sport, but while ‘some of the crowd might not yet be on the pitch’, they are certainly congregating around the advertising hoardings getting ready to jump, and they’re all wearing royal blue.