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Opinion

The Premier League battle for 8th is where it is at – The 5 clubs and their run-ins to end of season

1 year ago
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Manchester City have already won the Premier League title.

The top four Champions League places are also now pretty much guaranteed, Chelsea eight points behind in fifth.

At the other end of the table, dismal form for both Southampton and Stoke has meant that they are both odds on now to join West Brom in the Championship, five points off safety and only four (Stoke) and five (Southampton) matches remaining.

The Europa League qualification places…that now appears to be a bit of a poisoned chalice for most and doubtful as to whether clubs would take up the chance, if having a choice.

No, when you look at this current Premier League table (on Wednesday morning) it is clearly the race for eighth that is the exciting position still to be decided.

Looking at the table there appears to be five main competitors, with six points separating 8th placed Leicester and Watford in 12th:

premier league

Brighton got a creditable 1-1 draw with Spurs on Tuesday night but seven points off eighth with only four games to go, it looks to be the five clubs above who are feasibly fighting for the glory of that eighth spot.

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These are those five clubs, along with the games they have remaining:

Leicester 43 (+2) Southampton (H), Palace (A), West Ham (H), Arsenal (H), Spurs (A)

Everton 42 (-15) Newcastle (H), Huddersfield (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (A)

Newcastle United 41 (-7) Everton (A), West Brom (H), Watford (A), Spurs (A), Chelsea (H)

Bournemouth 38 (-15) Man Utd (H), Southampton (A), Swansea (H), Burnley (A)

Watford 37 (-18) Palace (H), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H), Man Utd (A)

If Newcastle can beat Everton and West Brom, then get a point at Watford and at home to Chelsea, which isn’t unrealistic with present form, that would give NUFC 49 points.

It would mean Everton having to win all of their other three games to finish above. Bournemouth would need to win all four games to do it, whilst Watford could only reach a maximum 47 points if Newcastle got a draw there.

That leaves Leicester. If they (Leicester) won three games (they have only won two of their last nine PL games) they would have 52 points minimum and I couldn’t see Newcastle winning four of these remaining five matches – if they did it would be incredible.

So as it stands, we need Newcastle to do the business (at least eight points as outlined above) and Leicester to fall away.

The dream of eighth lives on!
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