Europe too far for West Ham and Chelsea while Leicester can’t be caught – Saturday’s answers

As ever, FFC pose the questions and FFC provide the answers.

The games are running out an alarming rate for teams in the Premier League. After another enthralling day, there are just seven games remaining for sides to reach their goals, however unlikely they may be.

Despite not even playing today, it turned out to be another favourable afternoon for league leaders Leicester City, who saw second placed Tottenham Hotspur held to a draw at Anfield.

Elsewhere, both Arsenal and Manchester City actually proved they aren’t utterly useless with dominant wins over Watford and Bournemouth respectively.

Speaking of utterly useless, Aston Villa continued their quest to be exclusively exactly that with a comical loss to Chelsea just one day after April Fools.

In the battle to remain in the Premier League, Norwich disposed of an awful Newcastle United in a sensational clash at Carrow Road, leaving the Magpies second bottom and SIX points off safety.

North East rivals Sunderland didn’t fare much better, drawing with West Brom at home to leave four points off the high flying Canaries.

So, yesterday we asked you, our dear readers, these questions. Today, we’ll give you these answers.

CAN CHELSEA QUALIFY FOR EUROPE?

Chelsea

In any season other than this one, you would not give a team in Chelsea’s any hope of making up the ground on West Ham United in fifth.

However, due to the nature of this campaign, and given that the Blues are still champions of England, it would be a hard thing to rule out.

We’re going to say it’s unlikely. Of course, it is possible and if they have games as easy as their one at Villa Park today, then why on earth not.

However, football doesn’t work that way and there really is a lot of ground to make up on their London rivals.

HOW IS THE RELEGATION BATTLE GOING TO PLAY OUT?

Newcastle fan

Right now, it seems as if both North East clubs will be joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season.

A sad reflection on an area of the country so mad on their football, but Norwich’s thrilling win has had a major effect on the mini-league developing between the threatened trio.

The Toon Army, despite all their spending, are now six points off the Canaries and it’s hard to see where their next win is possibly going to come from.

Rivals Sunderland finally kept a clean sheet, though couldn’t muster a goal at home to West Brom. It’s their failure to manage both of those feats in games on a regular basis that will probably see the Black Cats, four points off safety, drop out of the top tier.

WILL TOTTENHAM CATCH LEICESTER?

Pochettino

No. Leicester City will win the Premier League.

Spurs closed the game at Anfield largely in the ascendancy, though did not truly deserve all three points.

The fact they were only able to gain a point out of their trip to Anfield has put a major dent in their hopes of catching the Foxes.

Granted, four points is not an insurmountable gap, though with so little time remaining, the leaders can even afford to lose a game and still win the title.

They don’t even look likely to do that.

It’s been a wonderful season at White Hart Lane and they are slightly unfortunate their remarkable rise has come amid the most unlikely usurping of a league title English football has ever seen.

CAN MANCHESTER CITY HOLD ONTO THEIR SPOT IN FOURTH?

Man City cover

Yes. Manchester City are without doubt a truly mesmerising team when everything clicks. That is part of their frustration. On their day, they can simply beat anyone.

With the greatest respect to Bournemouth, there will be harder tests than the one they faced on the South Coast today, but if they play to the best of their ability, there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

David Silva at his very best, Sergio Aguero as clinical as ever and Kevin De Bruyne returning – it’s a wonder they aren’t firmly in title contention on today’s evidence.

Inconsistency has marred the Etihad outfit for a number of years, though they do definitely have enough to keep their place in the top four secure.

JUST HOW FAR CAN WEST HAM GO?

Hammers

With Dimitri Payet in the side, West Ham United really can go anywhere. His free-kick today was astonishing and the Frenchman shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

Still, the strength of Manchester City (when they play well) will surely prove too much for the Hammers. As well as they have done this term, perhaps qualification to the Europa League will be as far are they can go.

Which by no means should serve as a disappointment. They have been wonderful this season.

It’s encouraging times for those in East London. If they can run the top order so close in their current state, imagine just what they could do with a couple of marquee names to celebrate their stadium move.

 


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