There are eight games remaining for the Barclays Premier League, with one of the tightest and hopefully most fascinating finish to a title race for a while.
It appears to me that the biggest decider is going to be the head-to-heads between the big teams, with Chelsea playing Arsenal and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates, and Man Utd playing Liverpool at Old Trafford. However, these games are so big, that none of the teams can afford to lose these, and as such they will most likely be tense, but dull affairs, ending in a draw. The title depends on these games, for any loss of points will surely be made to count by the other teams.
On a similar line, many of the teams still have to play others pushing for European Qualification, and as such Everton and Villa could play a key role. It also seems important that the big teams pick up these easy points during a hectic schedule. I think it will be Manchester United’s year again. Chelsea don’t look confident enough, Liverpool to far behind, and Arsenal are in a rut.
The importance of the FA cup usually effects this, but since all of the big four are out, this is different this year. Portsmouth are the only top-flight team left, so i feel it has got to be them. Meanwhile, it is the Champions League where the big four will be focusing all their strength. Chelsea and United should make it into the Semi-finals, as should Barcelona. Joining them, I foresee, will be Liverpool, deadly in Europe and with little to play for domestically, who will throw everything against Arsenal. This is where it gets tricky. We are, almost, guaranteed an English Team in the final. Could we have an all English final? I don’t see it as an impossibility. However, I predict Man Utd, to see off Roma and then fail against Barcelona, who will go on to once again prove that even with three English semi-finalists, we don't have a European champion.
Oh, and just to keep up the tension, even though I feel he deserves it, David Beckham will be unfit to claim is One-Hundredth England International cap on March 26th against France, but will make a token appearance. And do awesomely! We will beat the French, Michael Owen will score, and Fabio Cappello will have regained the English spirit for the World Cup Qualifiers.
But we will see how this goes before I put my stake on for the European Championship this summer.
Prediction: Man Utd for the Premiership, Barcelona for the Champions League, and Portsmouth for the FA Cup.