When it looked like Arsenal would be fighting for the title, recent events have seen them suffer a reversal of fortune and they now seem to be fighting for a top 4 finish. The battle for the 4th place seems to be hotting up as the Gunners have the Toffees hot on their trail. Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against title favourites Manchester City at the weekend coupled with Everton’s comprehensive victory over Fulham saw the Merseysiders cutting the difference between them and the North Londers to just 4 points albeit having a game in hand. This has seen Everton boss Roberto Martinez talk up their chances of making top 4.
‘Being in this position gives us an understanding of what a good season we’ve had,’ said the Everton boss.
‘With the points we have, we have a realistic chance to fight for that aim.
‘I’m not saying we’re going to get that because we admire Arsenal because they get in the Champions League consistently.
‘That makes Sunday a phenomenal challenge. It will probably go down to the last game of the season.
‘Look at the quality and experience of Manchester United and Tottenham, they will fight until the end.
‘Mathematically seven teams are fighting for four positions.’
Interesting situation Arsenal have found themselves in. I thought the race for top 4 had long ended but Arsenal’s capitulation in recent weeks had breathe new life into the race for 4th place but Arsenal still have their top 4 fate firmly in their own hands. They currently lead Everton by 4 points though the Troffees have a game in hand but the fact that we are playing them next gives us the opportunity to extend the lead to 7 points. Also, the Gunners seem to have easier run in compared to the Merseysiders. While Everton still have Southampton, Manchester United and Manchester City to play, Arsenal have the likes of Newcastle, West Ham, Hull and Norwich to play but Arsenal cannot afford to depend on that as those teams could prove banana skins for Arsenal if the Gunners don’t step up their game.
First things first, Arsenal must beat Everton this weekend as a victory for Arsenal would open up a 7-point gap over Everton and probably extinguish the little embers of hope they might have for a top 4 finish.