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Arsenal to Win the League, Everton 4th?

By Chris James :  24/03/2010 :  Comments (37) :
Yep I know it sounds absolutely mad looking at the table right now and rest assured I'm pretty sceptical myself, but having just looked at the BBC predictor, it seems that both of the above are genuinely possible.

Right now, after an amazing night at Eastlands we're once again sitting on the shoulders of Villa and Liverpool in the 6th and 7th Europe slots, just 3 points back with 7 to play, considering our form, even the most glass half empty fan must consider we have a chance of a European place now.

However, surely Citteh and Spurs look uncatchable with 5 and 7 points ahead respectively plus a game in hand each. That's certainly what I was thinking...until I looked at the run-ins.

Spurs' weekend fixture looks simple enough, Portsmouth at home is surely a gimme now, but look forward a touch and things start to get a bit more interesting.

Next up is the in-form Sunderland away, an eminently drawable/lose-able match in itself but then there's the holy trinity - title chasing Arsenal at home, followed by title-chasing Chelsea at home and then straight into title-chasing Man Utd away...if there's a worse run of fixures for losing points and team composure then I'd like to see them. Even assuming they recover to take on a relegation-battling Bolton, there's then their rivals Man City away to take on before the final match against Burnley.

All in all I can't see the Spurs marching home with more than 12/13 points from their run-in.

City's run-in is more difficult to visualise. We'd like to hope they've been unsettled by their first home defeat tonight, but I still can't see them shedding points to Wigan or Burnley.

After that it gets a lot trickier though, Birmingham away are a genuinely tough prospect this year who don't give up easily, then there's the point-sapping run of United home, Arsenal away, Villa home and Spurs away before the final day against a potentially relegation scrapping Hammers.

Again, it's hard to see much more than 12/13 points here.

Liverpool have it easier but are in indifferent form and could easily draw games vs like of Sunderland and Birmingham plus strugglers like West Ham and Hull and are likely to lose at Chelsea.

Villa are entering their usual end of season power-down, and matches vs Chelsea, Birmngham, Man City and of course the Blues look likely to put the final skids under the challenge.

All of which just leaves us with the simple task of getting maximum points from:

Wolves away
West Ham home
Villa away
Blackburn away
Fulham home
Stoke away
Portsmouth home

Put that all together and after doing my predictor sums, I have us on 69, holding the 4th Champions League spot by a single point.

Okay, so it's a VERY long shot, but heh if we can't get drunk and completely carried away on a little success then well it just wouldn't be Everton would it!

Oh, and as far as the title is concerned, I have Arsenal pipping the title by a point with a slightly easier run-in.

NB: Just so you don't think I'm completely mad, if I remove the heart and focus on the head, I'd be inclined to see United taking the prem and Everton squeaking into 6th, above Villa and the RS.
Anyway, back to one game at a time. Next up Wolves - COYB!

Reader Comments

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Andrew Grey
1   Posted 25/03/2010 at 04:08:47

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Terrific result against City, well done to the lads.

Now, having done another BBC sport website predictor we finish 4th!

I have us down to win every game except Villa, where we pick up a point.

Spurs have to play Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and City. A tough run in.

We can't afford any major hiccups but we are certainly still alive.

Arsenal win their remaining games and win it by a whisker! (Not that I give a fuck!)

Can we do it?

My top eight:

1 Arsenal 88
2 Chelsea 87
3 Man Utd 86
4 Everton 67
5 Man City 66
6 Tottenham 65
7 Liverpool 65
8 Aston Villa 63

Fran Mitchell
2   Posted 25/03/2010 at 04:10:20

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It is a very hard ask, but we can do it. I believe the Shite should be considered favourites for 4th, but if we win our games, which I think we can. We can do it.

Despite being under the cosh against City at times, I was full of confidence that we could get a second and win the game. The players seemed to have that confidence too. Lets try and set a club record and Win as many on the bounce as we possibly can.

WE CAN FINISH FORTH. WE MUST BELIEVE!

Jamie Sweet
3   Posted 25/03/2010 at 05:13:54

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I love the optimism, but the chances of us winning the final 9 games in an EPL season is just pure fantasy..... isn't it?

There are however enough banana skins in those final fixtures for all our rivals to slip up on, and who knows how high we can climb. If we could finish above two of them... and one of those is the RS - then it won't have been such a bad season after all!

Having said that, I think Liverpool have a run in comparable to ours and with their superior goal difference, we would need to claim another four points than them. Sadly, I have a sneaky feeling they might pinch 4th - being the spawny bastards they are!
Ciaran Duff
4   Posted 25/03/2010 at 06:09:10

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Every game from here on in is going to be huge if we are to keep the momentum going.
I'm just concentrating on the next game - away against Wolves is not going to be easy.
Being an EFC supporter means I take nothing for granted.
Geoff Edwards
5   Posted 25/03/2010 at 07:43:18

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I can see us dropping some points in our away games. Villa, Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke are tough places to go. I think those games will stop us getting 4th. Easy home games though.

Despite last night I think Man C will get 4th. Hope I'm wrong though.
Jon O'Dell
6   Posted 25/03/2010 at 09:14:55

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I did a similar thing last night and went on the BBC Premier League Predictor and got a similar result.

1. Man Utd 88pts
2. Arsenal 88pts
3. Chelsea 87pts
4. Everton 69pts
5. Tottenham 68pts
6. Man City 67pts
7. Aston Villa 65pts
8. Liverpool 64pts

Obviously need the top 3 to win their games against the teams around us. However, we can't afford anymore slip ups but the way we are playing at the moment gives me plenty of optimism.

We're quietly coming up on the rails and I reckon in a couple of weeks time we might be recognised as a serious threat. This weekends fixtures aren't going to change things very much as I can see all the teams fighting for 4th winning with the exception of Villa.
Brian Noble
7   Posted 25/03/2010 at 09:25:27

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Getting carried away, or what? Don`t you know Everton/Moyes will always let you down when you least expect it! Just would love to be wrong-for once!
Brendan McLaughlin
8   Posted 25/03/2010 at 09:57:06

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So did they let you down last night Brian?
Matthew Mackey
9   Posted 25/03/2010 at 09:45:34

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I bet we're still fukin last on MOTD this weekend.
Likeker - you arse, it's about time you paid your previous employer a bit of respect now coz we ain't gonna go away.
Your salivating over the so called top four is embarrassing.

COYBs let's go for it !
Matthew Mackey
10   Posted 25/03/2010 at 09:59:51

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"Trash with Cash" 0 Everton 2

In the words of the late, great James Brown.........I feeeeeeeeel good !!!!!!
Matthew Mackey
11   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:02:29

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In the style of a Barclays advert......

Beating Bolton last Saturday....3 pts
Beating the Trash with Cash......3 pts
Seeing Lescotts face after Mickey scored the 2nd last night..........PRICELESS !!!!!!
Matthew Mackey
12   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:09:16

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On a slightly more serious note regarding our run-in, the two key games which will have a huge effect upon our final destiny I think are;-

1) Blackburn (A) This has got "banana skin" written all over it. They have a pretty decent home record this season and if we go there with even a nats cock of complacency then we could get punished.

2) Villa (A) It's absolutely imperative we don't loose this one for all the obvious reasons. Our record at Villa park over the last 10 seasons is not particularly good (except one 3-1 win about 4 years ago). However, if we apply ourselves there like we did last night then anything is possible.

COYBs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anthony Hawkins
13   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:03:38

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Lineker will be the first person to tell you he doesn't owe anything to Everton.

If the stories are to be believed, he wanted to stay at Everton but was sold, behind his back, to Barcelona during the Mexican World Cup in 1986.

As far as Lineker is concerned, Everton burnt their bridges.
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:40:50

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I've heard similar Anthony. A friend of Lineker's who has a moderate skill at snooker told me Lineker maintains he was sold against his wishes `for club profit'. (Where have we heard THAT, before?)

He added that the Everton team was the best he had ever played in at any level.

Kunal Desai
15   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:49:22

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I had yesterday's game down as a defeat and taking into context our away record this season, that was a first class performance. I'm happy to let the focus be on the four that are challenging 4th spot. We'll take one game at a time. Lets not take our eye of the ball and slip up against the Wolves cos that will be tricky.
Dave Whitwell
16   Posted 25/03/2010 at 10:58:32

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Sssshh, don't tell anyone lets just win at Wolves and see what happens next!
Mike Oates
17   Posted 25/03/2010 at 11:44:37

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Reality check please — 4 wins and 3 draws at best, 63 points and just maybe 6-7th. Hopefully a place in the Europa League.
Alan Clarke
18   Posted 25/03/2010 at 13:04:51

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Hang on, no-one has mentioned the impact the ref's have on this 4th place. As soon as we get near to disrupting Liverpool's chance of finishing 4th, we'll have pens going against us, strange sendings off and other abominable decisions going against us. We already were robbed at Birmingham with 2 stonewall penalties not being given and Gerard should be serving a 3 game band but was completely let off.

Don't underestimate the power of the the premier league when maintaining their brand. Liverpoool are a big marketing product and not having them in the Champions League will lose the premier league money. Liverpool are stil nailed on for 4th.
Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 25/03/2010 at 13:23:13

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"As soon as we get near to disrupting Liverpool's chance of finishing 4th, we'll have pens going against us, strange sendings off and other abominable decisions going against us."
------------------------

Alan, be serious.

Great win last night... the boys are fairly getting it together. Moyes shouldn't be getting drawn into handbags with permed Italians though...
Jon O\'Dell
20   Posted 25/03/2010 at 13:41:07

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Here's a thought.

If Spurs beat Pompey in the FA Cup Semi-Final and the worst comes to the worst and Everton finish 8th — is 8th still good enough to qualify for the qualifcation stages for the Europa League?

Chelsea are pretty much guaranteed a Champions League spot, and Tottenham and Aston Villa in my opinion are in Europe already.

It's all pie in the sky I know but wouldn't it just be typical if Everton finished in the top 7 and the Reds finish 8th but they still manage to qualify for a European competition.

John Crook
21   Posted 25/03/2010 at 13:42:02

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Despite the inhumane injury list we have had this season, after assessing our results and the points dropped, we would be comfortably sitting in 4th place now. Would the extra quality missing in the earlier parts of the season be the reason for the points dropped?

Take a look at our definite points dropped:

  • Burnley (A) ... 0-1: Saha missed pen — 1 point dropped;
  • Stoke (H) ... 1-1: 2 points dropped;
  • Wolves (H) ... 1-1: 2 points dropped;
  • Bolton (A) ... 2-3: 2-nil down, did all the hard work and threw it away — 1 point dropped;
  • Hull (A) ... 2-3: who cares about ifs and buts in this one, it's Hull — to me its 3 points dropped;
  • Brum (H) ... 1-1: Saha's clearly onside goal ruled out and a Stephen Carr handball/penalty not given — 2 points dropped;
  • Arsenal (A) ... 2-2: fair do's we never win here but we should of - 2-1 up and they equalise in injury time — 2 points dropped;
  • Spurs (A) ... 1-2 Donovan misses from 1 yard — 2 points dropped;
  • Brum (A) ... 2-2 2-nil up and we throw it away— 2 points dropped.
I say its a definite 16 points dropped - others will feel liverpool at home chelsea away and fulham away might of yielded more but i beleive my assessment is fair. Morale of my story???

The squad is there now to compete with the top 4 - I just believe 2 or 3 additions are needed and we can break the monopoly. Sad thing is it could of been this season. Once again its a case of what could've been... would've been great to see us top moneybags City, Spurs and Liverpool with our injured list.

Kevin Gillen
22   Posted 25/03/2010 at 13:27:22

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I love the unbridled optimism of Evertonians everywhere after a truly magnificent result, especially given the style it was achieved in, but I can't see beyond the next game.

I watched Wolves against the woeful West Ham the other night and they are a much improved team with high confidence. The midfielder Jones is a good player and Doyle has gone from strength to strength. I also like the little left winger they have Jarvis.

Saturday will be quite a hurdle for us. I hope we finish as far up the table as we can but I'm immensely proud of the team. The results against Chelsea, Man Utd, City twice and the performance against Arsenal away don't tell half the story.

The football we are playing at times is as good as any I've ever witnessed by the blues. That last goal last night was pure poetry. The intelligence of all the players involved in the move separating them out from the performance of the City players.

I can't wait for next season with a fully fit squad and half of our players rested from not attending the World Cup.

Alasdair Mackay
23   Posted 25/03/2010 at 14:46:10

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I can't see us going unbeaten between now and the end of the season, but then who will beat us?

The main contenders would be Villa at their gaff, but the match comes 3/4 days after they play and, lets face it, probably lose to Chelsea on the sapping Wembley turf, plus Martin O'Neill's teams always peter out at the end of seasons.

Here's what I have -

Everton - win at Wolves, draw at Stoke and Villa and lose at Blackburn. Comfortable at home against West Ham, Fulham and Portsmouth, giving us 62 points.

Villa - defeats at Chelsea, Bolton and Hull as well as draws with us and at Eastlands gives them a total of 60 points.

RS - 0-0 at Birmingham and 1-0 defeats at Burnley and Hull (terrible times to play both those teams from their perspective). Also defeated by Chelsea at Anfield leaving them on 61 points.

Man City and Tottenham have too much and finish on 67 and 68 respectively. We join the RS and City in the Europa league and Spurs get 4th.

For those that care - Chelsea win the league by a point over Arsenal, with United a further point behind. Wigan's defeat at Chelsea on the final day, coupled with Hull's win at the KC against RS sees the Martinez's side relegated alongside Burnley and Portsmouth.
Alasdair Mackay
24   Posted 25/03/2010 at 14:59:33

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Also -

Liverpool's last home game of the season is Chelsea - imagine this scenario.

Win and they keep alive the possibility of CL football BUT hand United a 19th title.
Lose and they fail to qualify for the CL and have to work to get into Europe at all at Hull on the final day, but Chelsea win the title and deny United number 19,

Imagine what the RS fans who have travelled all the way from Norway for the match will be thinking watching that unfold!!
Matthew Mackey
25   Posted 25/03/2010 at 15:20:55

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I also love the Everton optimism after a good win, but do you know what I fear the most in terms of hindering our progress? The dreaded pre-season.

Yep, the one thing that will fuk us up more than anything else will be the summer shut down where clubs like Citeh will "target" a particular player and bombard them and the club until we have no choice but to cave in. It sent our manager "demented" last August due to the Lescott affair.

Now role on 12 months and post World Cup. If players like Peanuts and Johnny the Rock do well, which one expects they will, then they will be prime targets for the wealthy vultures hovering. Add to that the murmurings about Rodwell being looked at by the Manure and Chelski then we could have another summer of madness on our hands.
In my opinion, the best and only solution that would nip such things in the bud would be if Moysie and the club buy their transfer targets early and send out a positive message to the squad that we can push on (upwards) next season and hopefully hit the ground running.

Mike Oates
26   Posted 25/03/2010 at 17:55:38

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With you all the way Malcolm. I too fear the dreaded summer break particularly with the World Cup taking place.

As well as potentially loosing key players, we aren't likely to get a full "squad" together until mid/late July — only 2-3 weeks before season starts. Hope to God we quash the US trip this year as it will be only kids going!!!
Brian Wilson
27   Posted 25/03/2010 at 17:44:44

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After all we've come through I'd love us to get a Europa slot again and send Rafa Beneathus one last time before he jumps or is pushed.
Alan Kirwin
28   Posted 25/03/2010 at 18:21:03

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Looks like being the most exciting run in for many a year. And no coincidence that (City excluded) the financial realities biting into Chelsea and ManU have played a part.

I would be delighted to see Arsenal take the league. It's a class club in every way. It's beyond unlikely, but in the incredibly ridiculous case that we took 4th this season I would happily take up yoga & learn to kiss my own arse.

But we have dropped some infuriating points so we should prepare ourselves for the frustrations ahead. What's great is that a) we really can just go for it, no holds barred, no pressure, b) Moyes seems to agree and has discovered a real cheeky twinkle in his eye of late, and c) we are playing the stuff we all want to see. If we had Fellaini I'd be more confident, but Rodders looks like he could have a real role to play.

Great stuff.
Dave Smith
29   Posted 25/03/2010 at 20:39:13

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Let's not also forget that, by the time we play West Ham, Zola will have been sacked and they will be an entirley different team.

Hammered by the hammers at home? Just our luck....
Iain Love
30   Posted 25/03/2010 at 20:43:27

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we can but hope.
Peter Warren
31   Posted 25/03/2010 at 21:44:59

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If we win every game we'll get fourth - BIG IF !
Alan Ross
32   Posted 25/03/2010 at 22:09:58

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As I said earlier in the season, couldn't give a flying fuck as long as we finish above the shite.
Mike Allison
33   Posted 25/03/2010 at 23:26:28

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Alan, yoga's so good for you, James Vaughan should do it, he'd stop getting injured, and that's not an exaggeration.

I'd never heard of this BBC predictor thingy but found it and had a go, letting the head rule the heart as far as was possible and estimating the results without studying what I 'wanted' in the table.

I had 4th to 8th within 3pts, a tiny margin of error if ever there was one, meaning the whole thing can turn on a ref's decision, a bounce of the ball or anything. My predictions have us 5th, but I don't want to tell you comes in 4th...

As for counting how many points we've dropped in real life, that's a genuinely futile exercise, because its not even fun, and every team can say the same thing about games they've played in. Save yourself the heartache.
Matthew Mackey
34   Posted 26/03/2010 at 11:34:23

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Just give me three more fukin points at the Molenux and i'll volunteer to kiss anybody's arse.

Andrew Oxton
35   Posted 26/03/2010 at 14:15:59

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Just did the predictor, Arsenal Champions, Shitty 4th, Blues 5th. Settle for that. COYB
Mike Green
36   Posted 26/03/2010 at 20:42:47

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I stuck £20 on Arsenal to win the league in Jan at 5-1 and £10 e/w on us @ 40-1 to win the league without the Sky 4 when we were floundering so this scenario would suit me just fine Chris!

However, I cant see it. I think it's a gevien to have a chance of 4th we've probably got to win all our remaining games which would be a bit Herculean. I think Sp*rs and Villa will fade away leaving LFC who are stubbornly hanging in there despite being absolutely shite which leaves City and here lies the problem for us I think. It's theirs to lose in my eye's.
John McLoughlin
37   Posted 27/03/2010 at 18:25:29

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We have no chance of 4th, we never did. After blowing a great chance to heap pressure on sides above us, we must hope we can finish above Villa in 7th. Realistically, that's our best hope now. Expecting one team to flounder is reasonable, two hardly likely given the RS opponents and City & Spurs are both too far ahead of us to even think about catching them.

We'll look back on a season of terrible injuries and lots of missed opportunities.

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