Saturday, 26 March 2011

A look at our run-in


If we win all of our games until the end of the season, we're champions. It's as simple as that.

Can we do it? Yes. Will we do it? That's a whole other story. That's what I'll be covering in this post. However, even if we don't, we can still win the league if Man United slip up. But can we really rely on that happening? I don't think so. Here's a list of the fixtures and my verdict on the result.

Blackburn (H) - April 2nd
While Blackburn are a tough team to play against away from home, we usually have enough to overcome them at the Emirates. Our games with them at the Grove are sometimes high-scoring; the last time they came to town, we beat them 6-2, and I remember there was a 4-2 in our first season at the Emirates. It may have been our second actually, but oh well. Their form on the road is fairly average, and they've also struggled at home recently. Verdict - win.

Blackpool (A) - April 10th
Despite the fact that we beat them 6-0 at home early on in the season, Blackpool are a really tough team to play at Bloomfield Road. United struggled to a victory, Sp*rs and Liverpool lost and other "bigger" teams have fallen there too. We can take solace in the fact that Man City and Chelsea both won there though, and we can match those performances hopefully. We should have all the big guns back by then, if not by the previous week. Verdict - win.

Liverpool (H) - April 17th
The Reds have come back into form recently under Kenny Dalglish, despite one or two dodgy results. They beat Man United 3-1 with ease, and brushed aside Sunderland more recently. Without a doubt, the danger man is Luis Suarez, but we will have to be equally as wary about Andy Carroll - obviously he got the winner for Newcastle at the Emirates and caused problems all day. This game is difficult to call, it could go either way. Verdict - draw.

Tottenham (A) - April 20th
If we're still in the race by the time this game comes around, which we should be, so much will be at stake for both teams - a Champions League place for Sp*rs will probably still be up for grabs. It's a tough place to go - last time we fell 2-1 - but now we actually have the spine of our team fit and mostly in form, other than Djourou, Vermaelen and the goalkeepers. Szczesny could be back by then anyway. Still, again it could go either way. Verdict - draw.

Bolton (A) - April 24th
Formerly our bogey team, Bolton have probably been replaced by Wigan. We don't seem to get travelsickness when visiting the Reebok anymore, and ground out a great 2-0 win there last year, Fabregas and Merida on the scoresheet. Bolton should be a more attacking side under Owen Coyle, and should leave themselves open at the back, and since Theo should be fit by then, we can definitely exploit that. Verdict - win.

Man United (H) - May 1st
The big one. It will go a long way to deciding where the title ends up. If we win, that's a huge, huge boost. If we lose, they open up the gap (if it still exists, which it probably will). It's a must-win, and I have a feeling the players will step up to the plait - the fans will be behind them 100%, and Wenger will make sure they're aware of how big a game it is if they don't already know. Verdict - win.

Stoke (A) - May 7th
Another team we've struggled to beat on the road is Stoke. We all know what happened last time we played them, but we still came back from Ramsey's horrific injury to triumph 3-1. It was a great show of our mental strength. I think it will be a huge boost to have Szczesny instead of Almunia this time, he's so much better aerially. Plus if we have Djourou we'll be even better equipped to deal with the long throws and corners. We should be OK defensively if we do have those two and our other first choice players at the back, but it's whether we can break them down that worries me slightly. With RVP, Cesc, Theo, Samir and Arshavin though, we should have enough in the Arsenal, if you'll excuse the pun. Verdict - win.

Aston Villa (H) - May 14th
We beat them 3-0 at home last season, but the scoreline really flattered us. We struggled until we brought on a 70% fit Cesc, who changed the game in our favour, and got us 2-0 up before going back off. We should have him and the rest of the absentees on the day starting from the off this time though - plus Villa are weaker than they were then. Verdict - win.

Fulham (A) - May 22nd
The final day of the season. If these results come true, which they probably won't, we should still be in it and have a great chance of lifting the trophy. I don't think the players would bottle it this time, they've done so twice (wouldn't count Barca) and I'd say it may just be third time lucky. Verdict - win.

If my predictions come true, we'll end the season on 81 points. A little optimistic, but I don't see any reason why that can't happen. If Man United draw once or twice, then I think we'd win the league off those results. An unbeaten end to the year doesn't seem likely with Arsenal, but we can do it. We just have to believe!

That's all for today, by the way the title of the blog is finally correct - I turned 15 today. Cheers.     

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