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September 2020
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There are no easy run ins

By Walter Broeckx

As we approach the final dash to the finish line after the international break I think it would be good thing to compare the games the top 3 has to play.

I will include Chelsea in this because after beating Manchester City they might be in it with a chance. But if they would this would mean that they would be giving Arsenal a bit of a helping hand as they also have to play against Tottenham and Manchester United. The number behind each team is the current position in the league they have.

Arsenal MU CHELSEA
Blackburn (H) – 13 West Ham (A) – 17 Stoke (A) – 10
Blackpool (A) – 15 Fulham (H) – 12 Wigan (H) – 20
Liverpool (H) – 6 Newcastle (A) – 11 WBA (A) – 16
Tottenham (A) – 5 Birmingham (H) – 19
Bolton (A) – 7 Everton (H) –  8 West Ham (H) – 17
MU (H) – 1 Arsenal (A) – 2 Tottenham (H) – 5
Stoke (A) – 10 Chelsea (H) – 3 MU (A) – 1
Aston Villa (H) – 14 Blackburn (A) – 13 Newcastle (H) – 11
Fulham (A) – 12 Blackpool (H) – 15 Everton (A) – 8

Much is being said about “an easy run in”. But what is exactly an easy run in? Is playing against bottom teams easy? It might be easy but I think this year is much different. The way things are going for the moment almost half of the teams can get relegated. So in fact playing teams from 10th position can be very difficult.

In former seasons we had 4 or maximum 5 teams who had to fight to survive. And then you had maybe some 7 or 8 teams who just played their games because they had to play them. They couldn’t play for an European place, they couldn’t get in trouble to go down. So those where the teams you had to play if you wanted “an easy run in”.

But this time of the season the only teams we have in that position seems to be Bolton and Everton. They are safe in the league, have not a real chance of going in to Europe. So playing them could be an advantage. And Arsenal has to play Bolton, and MU and Chelsea have to play Everton.  So not a real advantage there for any team.

Playing against the other top teams is tricky.  And I count the teams in the current top 5 as top teams. Because if you win such a game you get a big bonus, lose such a game and it could be game over. We have to play Tottenham and MU. Mu has to play against Chelsea and us. And Chelsea has to play against MU and Tottenham.  So once again not a big difference for any team.

So this means that the other games are going to be played against teams that more or less in some cases must look over their shoulder to keep out of trouble or to get out of trouble. And I think those could be the most difficult games of them all. Those teams will try to park the bus and more in front of their goal in the games against the top teams to get a point. So it will be very difficult to break them down. So it will be vital and important to score as soon as possible to open those teams up.

What also could make a difference is playing away or at home. Arsenal has to play 5 games away from home and 4 at home. This doesn’t look good but if we keep in mind that we are the best away team in the league so far we just have to keep that up till the end of the season.

United hasn’t been that good away from home and so we can hope that they also keep this up till the end of the season.

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Chelsea has 5 home games and 4 away games in their run in. They only lost one home game this season and the rest of their defeats was on the road. So I think we have to hope for some more defeats on the road. But then again not at United really.  If Torres keeps his “good” run till the end of the season well that would be nice.

So I don’t know if there is any easy run in for either team. Maybe Chelsea has the easiest (but then again not that easy) but they also are a bit behind in the table. It will come down to just trying to win each game as it comes. Fight from the first till the last minute, don’t start sloppy and stay strong till the final whistle.

Oh, and hope that our best players stay fit, come back soon if out injured for the moment and we get decent and unbiased refs.

16 comments to There are no easy run ins

  • Dark Prince

    To be honest, Arsenal has the toughest run in among the 3. We have to face Liverpool and Spurs in 3 days gap and then we have ManU who will also be very hard to beat. But other than these obviously tough games, we have to travel to Stoke, Bolton and Fulham which has not exactly been happy hunting grounds for us in the past. But either ways, we cant complain about it. If we need to win the title, we need to beat everyone, simply bcoz ManU dont have too many tough games. We need to win all of our remaining games. It is as simple as that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Decent and unbiased refs – unfortunately, if we do become a real threat for the title, you just know Dowd, Dean and Webb will be called out to do their worst – or Atkinson should Chelsea be in with a shot. Still – should lead to some nice photoshop pics on the internet of various refs on open top bus parades.

  • JohnW

    The best team will win the EPL, i’m certain. I also think we will beat Spurs, but not sure about a Liverpool side that has revamped itself. We will also beat ManU, the real worry are the so called small teams. The team to win the EPl this year will do it by a single point, that’s my thinking, hope its the Arsenal.

  • Gf60

    Well Newcastle, WBA and Sunderland were easy enough? Oh! Hang on a moment…

  • gooner80

    I think we can get away with dropping 3 more points and that is it, all 3 teams will drop points but it will be the team that drops the least. In each match we need to be mindful of Goal difference as this would be the cruelest way to lose a championship.

    I think if chelsea hit form they are capable of winning all their matches which I believe would give them 81 points if we drop 3 points we get 82 points so I wouldnt mind that scenario. if man u lose to chelsea but beat us that would give them 84 points which wouldnt be good, so we would need man u to lose at least one game and draw at least one. Now if we beat them and chelsea draw against them we win the title if we only drop 3 more points I like this scenario best because it means it is in our own hands.

    chelsea have a great defensive record so I believe they have an outside chance

  • Wrenny

    The Champions League could make the difference, the two games that Man Utd and Chelsea will be playing against one another are a big physical and mental drain. And one of them will proceed to play another two big European nights in the semis.

    Chelsea’s double last season was helped by their CL exit at the last-16, they were a good deal fresher going into the run-in.

  • MoreFire!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Walter, your analysis always stimulates the mind and not emotion. Very refreshing!

    I predict that Arsenal will win the league because we will not lose any of our matches, and we will draw one i.e. Liverpool. We will win the rest. Here is why!
    The game against West Brom finally gave us the Plan B we have have always lacked, especially against teams that park the bus. The formula is
    Drop two slow midfielders (Denilson & Ramsey or whoever) and add two strikers with aerial ability i.e. Chamack and Bendtner. Supply them with crosses and put lots of pressure on the ‘bus’. The strikers must remain in the penalty area at all times, save the odd occassion to chase back an ulikely counter attack. Every cross must have a 50% chance of finding an Arsenal player.
    Arshavin must move into the penalty box to pounce on any lose ball as his VERY LOW CENTRE of gravity gives him the edge to pounce on lose balls and knock downs (think Crouch). Von Persie must move to the wing to supply accurate crosses.
    Do this very early in the game hopefully long before half-time. Don’t wait for half-time just wait until the bus is confirmed i.e. 20-30mins.
    Cover for counter attacks with two pacy and creative midfielders, Jack and Samir who will also control the distribution of the ball to the strikers and crossers.
    We will win against United and Spurs for the same reason we beat Chelsea 3-1. The team will be 110% motivated. Our single biggest weakness against lower teams is lack of motivation. We lost 5 points to West Brom from complacency.
    United will drop points against West Ham ( at least a draw) Arsenal and Chelsea (losses) i.e is 9 points compared to our 2.

    Chelsea will drop points at Stoke and West Ham from two draws.

    We will be well rested between matches and our key players Csec (creative), Walcott (unsettles any defense) and Song (defensive cover for Squillachi) will be back.

    I am placing my bets tommorrow.
    Come Arsenal!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Last year, Spurs had one of the toughest run-ins of anyone, but made 4th place, courtesy of beating Arsenal, beating Chelsea and going to Eastlands and winning there.

    Arsenal’s run in is easier than that was, so if they are ready to win the title, their run-in is fine.

    End of story.

  • gooner80

    @More fire and others

    I have heard numerous times that Westham are gogin to beat or draw with UTD, westham are not consistent and I wouldnt put money on them

    Rhys is right if they are up for it the Run is fine

  • Shard

    It’s a little quite around here these days 🙂

    I almost never look at the fixture list in terms of analysis. There are simply too many imponderables, and I just want us to take it game by game. That’ll remain my attitude too I guess. 9 games is still too many to look ahead. Maybe with 3 left I’ll venture a bet of any sort. Right now, I’m just starved of football. Captain Ramsey and young Jack have made even crappy international football a bit interesting though.

  • Ugandan Goon

    off topic, slightly but has anyone heard the latest on tomorrows ref for England – Wales match?
    he co owned a restaurant with jose mourinho in Portugal but this did not represent a sufficient conflict of interest to uefa when they appointed him to ref last years semi final between inter and barca.

  • Shard

    @Ugandan Goon

    You serious? Where’d you hear that? What the hell? How can that be true? Surely UEFA can’t get away with THAT..Surely…

  • Wrenny

    Ramsey captaining Wales tomorrow, Nasri wearing the armband for France tonight, Wilshere said to be the biggest leader at such a young age that Capello has ever worked with…

    Damn our lack of leadership!

  • FinnGooner

    Wrenny you forgot Rosicky is captain of Czech Rep… and Spain without Cesc is 1 goal behind after 60 mins.

  • DogFace

    @Rhys Jaggar – and courtesy of ‘arry dishing out a bit of the the old ‘energy drinks’ before kickoff?

  • Ugandan Goon

    @shard,
    the story is on the F365 mediawatch page, owing to some furore over a lyrics in a little karaoke where he seems to sing the portuguese for i am from milan. i haven’t followed up the story yet but here you are http://www.football365.com/mediawatch/0,17033,8749_6834262,00.html