There are only ten games left and the clock is ticking. Before you know it, those games will have come and gone to leave a final league table for the season. We’ll know who succeeds in lifting the first league title in the absence of Sir Alex Ferguson, a manager who has been dominant in the Premier League era. At this stage, Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side is well-placed to...get battered by Liverpool. Possibly. Probably not.
Successors to the Dark Lord
Chelsea are the current league leaders but Manchester City hold three games in hand. The gap between the two is just nine points. Dramatic. Sandwiched in between the two favourites for the title are Liverpool and Arsenal. The erstwhile "top four dreamers", now outside title challengers, could be ten points behind Chelsea by the time their away games kick off on Sunday. Their fiercest domestic rivals lie in wait. Even more dramatic.
While Manchester City can solely focus on the Premier League after recent cup exits and use superior goal difference to their advantage as they look to win their games in hand, the less noisy neighbours in the city are struggling in the shadow of the Dark Lord. David Moyes is in the middle of it all. He's in it and he can't get out.
Despite doubts about David Moyes' capability to continue Manchester United's success story, a title winning squad remains in place.
Doubts about David Moyes were well founded and many members' comments in part one reflected the belief that this he was incapable of succeeding such a dominant, legendary, and successful manager. José Mourinho wanted to do it, believed he could have done it, and if he was appointed would have surely done it but it's done now. Chelsea have their Special One back and Manchester United have someone. It is often said that Manchester United should never be written off but I'll do it right now. They won't finish in the top four. They won't win the Champions League. They might win a big game as they did against Arsenal but they'll need to regroup in the summer. Whether that's with David Moyes or someone else, that's up to them.
Top four dreamers - Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham have experienced contrasting fortunes this season. Tottenham's season has been a resolute failure and some humiliating results against the league's better sides make a top four finish unlikely. A win against Arsenal this Sunday would keep some crumbs of hope alive but defeat would be unthinkable with Southampton and Liverpool to come later this month. There's always the Europa League to save this season and garnish the following one.
Arsenal are a mixed bag. While a top four spot looks guaranteed once more, Arsène Wenger's team has led the rest for significant portions of the season. A title challenge is still on but with key players injured, a top four finish along with a domestic trophy could be seen as a profitable season. Liverpool need not dream of the top four anymore.
Top six upstarts - Swansea have not performed as well this season under strain of Europa League football and Michael Laudrup was sacked in February. Everton are likely to secure a top eight finish and harbour hopes of finishing at least sixth, a feat that would be respectable in Roberto Martínez's first season at the club. Perhaps a 46 point finish for Swansea last season did not merit being positioned above Newcastle and Southampton.
Potential wild cards - This section looked ludicrous with the addition of Fulham, West Brom, and West Ham. The need to improve season upon season is extreme and the Premier League can be unforgiving if these demands are not met. Southampton and Newcastle were good bets for a solid finish but one may deny the other a place in the top eight. While West Ham would be satisfied with remaining in tenth position, a top eight finish is certainly out of the question with ten games to go.
ejbauer's prediction for the top six looks to be the likeliest considering how the season's panned out so far. What about a full prediction for the top eight? Lis. thought her predictions were "a bit random" but they were similar to ejbauer's. Swap Liverpool for Arsenal and Man United for Spurs to see her vision of the future.
1. Man City
6. Man United
Professor Ch@os predicted a likely top seven if Liverpool were to finish as champions. Would a third place finish for Manchester City cost Manuel Pellegrini his job?
3. Man City
6. Man United
totokia provided a strong set of predictions and Man City need to win their games in hand to provide a perfect top seven. Maybe Newcastle will disrupt a chance for TLO immortality.
1. Man City
6. Man United
Swap Manchester United for Liverpool and my predictions weren't too bad. Conor went for broke by laying out the whole league table and Eliz made her bid for glory. Make sure you check out part one to see how participating community members got on. Make your predictions with ten games to go and at the end of the season, we'll revisit those who were successful in parts one and two. Hopefully Liverpool will end up at the top of the pile irrespective of what we think may or may not happen after 38 league games. Good luck!