The Premier League is a complex division at the best of times, and now, with just a few games remaining in the current season, it feels like we’re no closer to finding out what is going to happen at the top and bottom of the table. That’s the best possible position we could find ourselves in as fans of the league, but if you support one of the teams involved in this chaos, then it must be pretty tense.
One of the most intriguing ‘races’ if you will as we approach the conclusion of this fantastic campaign is the battle for the top four. Every single year we see the top six sides tussling it out, and this time around, it really does feel like there isn’t all too much separating them in terms of quality. Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all have a legitimately great shot at qualifying for the Champions League, and as luck would have it, the latter two teams will face off against one another this weekend.
Manchester United and Chelsea have had some iconic wars over the years, with their UEFA Champions League Final encounter in Moscow being a particular highlight. Bizarrely enough that was 11 years ago now, and in the present day, they’re fighting purely for the right to even get back into the competition next season.
That’s an indication of just how strong English football is at the moment, and if you need more proof, take a look at how Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been able to reach European semi-finals this season. The English game is back, and its back with a vengeance.
In terms of this game it really does feel like the pressure is on the shoulders of both clubs in equal measure. United fans obviously want to see more from their squad and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a poor run of form recently, but as well as that, it already feels like fans have resigned themselves to life in the Europa League.
Stay of execution?
For Chelsea, it’s a little bit odd as it already seems like a given that Maurizio Sarri is going to leave the club next season. We don’t have any guarantees on that one way or the other, but you can just kind of tell from how things have played out so far this season.
Arsenal are waiting in the wings regardless of who wins this game, but in their own right, they have a really tough test on their hands against Leicester City.
In truth, Tottenham seem like the only team in the running right now that look like they actually want to play Champions League football next season – which is probably why a lot of folks consider them the favourites to qualify in this crazy top four race.
Chelsea could well have one eye on their semi final tie next week against Eintracht Frankfurt, and if that is indeed the case, United need to ensure they take advantage of this opportunity.
Oh, and if any Red Devils fans are heading to Old Trafford for this one, remember how much an atmosphere can change a game because you guys seem to have forgotten.