Arsenal impress, Chelsea spoil the party but Leicester will not crack – Five Questions answered

FFC pose the questions, FFC provide the answers.

Never fear dear readers, the 5 questions we so gleefully probed yesterday have now been answered after yet another dramatic day in the Premier League.

Though tomorrow brings us two derbies with very contrasting things at stake, the five fixtures today spoke volumes about how the Premier League might play out with only eight games remaining for all those involved earlier.

Arsenal impressed against Everton, though the Toffees at times made it very easy for their visitors in a 2-0 loss earlier. The Gunners avoided making rounding off a dreadful week in even worse fashion, alleviating the pressure on Arsene Wenger ever so slightly.

West Ham kept the pressure on Manchester City by closing the gap between 5th and 4th to just one point, though twice surrendered the lead away at Chelsea.

The Leicester City train shows no signs of slowing down as they disposed of Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, with the Foxes stretching their lead to EIGHT points before Spurs play tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Norwich City gave their survival hopes a kiss of life by beating West Bromwich Albion away, ramping up the pressure on North East rivals Sunderland and Newcastle.

Last but not least, Stoke City managed to hold off a late Troy Deeney penalty to claim all three points over Watford and record a 2-1 win at Vicarage Road.

So, yesterday we asked you these questions.

Today, we’re giving you these answers.

Are Arsenal still in a title race?

Welbeck

Yes, they are. But ever so slightly. The Gunners looked at their best today in a 2-0 win over Everton, combining very well all day. Mesut Ozil was as creative as ever, while even Alexis Sanchez looked to be getting back to his best.

Some of their football was excellent and their big players showed up on the day. Danny Welbeck’s opener was a marvellous team goal and reflective of just what the Gunners can do at their best.

Francis Coquelin made 12 interceptions today, the most one player has done in a single game for 3 years. It’s these sort of performances that will give Wenger the faintest hope of catching Leicester City.

Such is the quality in their side when they play like they did today, it’s feasible they could still win the league. Feasible, but not likely.

Can West Ham break into the top four?

Carroll

Definitely. The Hammers have been flying high for much of the season and are in such a good position, that a draw away at the champions of England’s home seems like a loss.

Granted, they let a lead slip twice, though clearly posses top quality throughout their ranks. By his exceptional standards, Dimitri Payet had a relatively quiet game. After all, he only assisted Andy Carroll with a no-look pass.

Still, even when the Frenchman is not in full flow, partner in crime Manuel Lanzini stepped up with an excellent opener at Stamford Bridge.

Considering the circumstances, Slaven Bilic will be disappointed to be travelling back across London with all three points. However, yes his side can break the top four.

Especially with Manchester City looking chaotic.

Do Norwich City have the quality to stay up?

Norwich

Norwich City, oddly, are actually a quality side. Simply, the Canaries find it hard to score and hard to defend. Not a good mix and something that initially sounds contradictive of the opening statement.

However, few would doubt their prowess on the ball, it’s their struggles when converting chances that have undermined Alex Neil all term.

Today, they managed to break a stubborn West Brom side down away from home and climb out of the relegation places. They’ve done their bit, putting huge amounts of pressure on the already toxic Tyne-Wear derby tomorrow.

So, yes, you would have to say that the East Anglian outfit DO have the quality to stay up. They are no Aston Villa. Still, if both the North East sides sort themselves out, it may not be enough.

Are Swansea and Crystal Palace safe?

Pards

Crystal Palace shouldn’t really be safe due to just how bad they’ve been for most of 2016, though the Eagles probably did enough in the opening part of the season to stay up. So yes, due to how the likes of Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich have struggled all season, they are.

Despite again losing today, Alan Pardew still has breathing space between his side and the treacherous waters below. Somehow.

Swansea meanwhile are still five points ahead of even Norwich, who sit safe in 17th. Though there is a game in hand to play for the Swans, it is against Aston Villa. So yes, they are too.

Will Leicester crack?

Mahrez

That’s the million dollar question. But no, no they will not. After this weekend, there will be only eight games to play and the Foxes will have a five point lead at the very least.

Though they are no longer romping to victories like they did against Manchester City and Liverpool earlier this year, Claudio Ranieri has clearly installed a winning mentality into his ranks that runs deep.

A third successive 1-0 victory in a row suggests they can grind out results when they need to.

No Leicester City will not crack. They’ll shatter everyone else’s title dream. But they will not crack.