Sunday, 21 May 2017

It's Do And Die Time: Arsenal v Everton Preview

The Premier League comes to a conclusion today with Arsenal playing at home to Everton and looking for a win in the hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League. As it stands they are three points behind City and one point behind Liverpool with City travelling to Watford and Liverpool at home to Boro. To catch City it will take a defeat for them and a win for Arsenal as well as a five goal turnaround on goal difference, but a defeat or draw for Liverpool would be enough if Arsenal win their game.

There's even a scenario where a 2-0 defeat for Liverpool and a 1-1 draw for Arsenal would bring a play off for fourth place and that crucial final place. Considering the opposition for both Liverpool and City the chances are they will both do what they need to do, but hope springs eternal and last season taught us that you cannot give up that hope. Of course the chances of either Liverpool or City doing a "Spurs" are slim, but all Arsenal can do is win their game and keep their fingers crossed.

To make things a little more interesting and probably a little more difficult too they have an FA Cup final to play just six days later. Arsene Wenger might be tempted to rest one or two players ahead of that Cup Final, but I would be very surprised if he didn't play his strongest team in the hope that things might go our way elsewhere. As always in tight situations like this, goals change games and Arsenal could put some pressure on Liverpool in particular if they can be the first team to score. If they can get themselves into a comfortable lead before Liverpool can score it could become very nervy at Anfield and who knows what might happen.

To be honest though I don't hold out much hope of Boro doing anything other than being well beaten despite how poorly Liverpool have played at home recently. Boro have shipped a lot of goals in recent weeks after looking pretty solid defensively for most of the season and their lack of goals has been the main reason they were relegated. Maybe Arsenal's only hope in that game is the fact no other team has drawn more away games in the Premier League this season than Boro.

In the other game I hold out virtually no hope of Watford getting anything from a City team who have been very good away from home this season. They have won as many games on the road as they have at home and have scored more goals away from home than they have at home. Even if they did somehow contrive to lose the game I can't see a five goal turnaround happening.

It's been far from a good season for Arsenal and all the old failings have been shown up yet again. The annual collapse from a good position in the league was followed by the usual round of 16 exit from the Champions League and it was the must humiliating of all exits this season too. At least the FA Cup has brought some respite, but Arsenal will go into that game as second favourites to a Chelsea team looking to do the double.

The chances are we will be playing Europa League football on Thursday night's next season and that Chelsea will complete that double too. This Arsenal team have let us down so often when the chips are down that it's hard to believe anything else will happen, but as football supporters we always have to be hopeful. I could be sitting here this time next week writing about how we have pulled off an improbable but glorious double of Champions League qualification and the FA Cup. I don't think I will be, but I most certainly hope I am.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Whether Arsenal beat Everton and hopefully qualify for the cl,I still believe
    the fm shd go. Enough of his passing frenzy and yes men environment.
    Arsenal is a premium soccer brand but has degenerated into the laughing stock of cl soccer.
    The big losses and ko from the last 16 for 7 years is unacceptable for a world club like Arsenal.
    At any other club,he would have been fired ages ago.