So as we near the end of the season, some may call it the ‘business end of the season’, and having already played the most amount of football this year, there doesn’t seem to be a gap among our upcoming fixtures!
The Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League are the competitions we’re a part of and remain in. So I’ve decided to make some bold predictions, and give you detailed reasons for these predictions. I expect this be another stunning season for us!
Premier League (Home):
West Ham, Sunderland, Tottenham, Swansea, Everton.
Of these games, I expect us to win 12 of the 15 points available.
Premier League (Away):
Southampton, Liverpool, United, Villa.
Of these games, I expect us to win 7 points of the available 12.
This leaves us with a total of 19 points, ending with 71 points come the end of the season. Last season, Arsenal finished 3rd with 70 points, so I expect us to finish in the top 4 with ease.
Based purely on the fixtures that Spurs and Arsenal have, I don’t see Arsenal finishing top 4 this season, as it’s apparent to me that Spurs have fixtures which they will find easy at this point in the season.
Arsenal have United, Newcastle, a relegation fighting QPR, Swansea away tomorrow and Everton. Spurs’ toughest fixtures are Chelsea and City, and at a push, Everton and Swansea. Liverpool are also creeping up on the top 5, being 7 points behind Chelsea and just 2 points away from Arsenal, who though, have a game in hand.
Premier League table predictions:
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- (Interestingly) West Brom
Now let’s have a look at the FA Cup.
Chelsea/United vs City
Millwall vs Wigan
So one thing’s for sure, whoever wins that semi-final against City, wins the FA Cup.
Reality is harsh, but on the big stage, you need big players, and unfortunately, my bet is Wigan to go through, Wigan just don’t have enough to beat teams like City, United or Chelsea. However, it will be a huge achievement in itself, for them to play a Final at Wembley.
We’ve seen how frail United’s defence can look, and on the basis of us having home advantage as well as players that are on form, I’d put my money on Chelsea going through to the Semi-Finals, and actually giving City a game at our 2nd home, Wembley. We performed poorly against them at the Etihad a few weeks ago, but that’s what Cup competitions can do – Get the most out of every team with a fear of getting knocked out.
So, biased as it may sound, the way things are panning out in the Premier League, it seems that City won’t give up the chase on United. There are 10 games and 30 points left to play for, with City trailing United by 12. Realistically, United can lose 3 of those fixtures – Chelsea, Arsenal away and City – So I feel City haven’t yet given up the chase for the Premier League. For this reason, players will be rested and the priority for Roberto Mancini and City will be the League rather than risking their main players in the FA Cup.
So in my opinion, we’re on course to win our 3rd FA Cup in 3 years, come the 11th of May 2013.
So there’s Benfica, Newcastle, Chelsea, Rubin Kazan, Fenerbahce, Lazio, Spurs and Basel remaining in the competition.
For us, we’re capable of beating all the remaining teams, in my opinion. My biggest fears in the competition were Napoli and Atletico Madrid, understandably. Both, however, are knocked out.
But I look at that list and Spurs and Fenerbahce are probably the only ones that could pose as any kind of threat to us. But again, we’re superb at the business end of the season, having beaten Spurs 5-1, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich all in big games last season. It’s just the type of team we are, whether it’s luck or pure effort.
Injury and fatigue permitting, we should be looking to win the competition, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s another big trophy for us as well as getting another shot at winning the UEFA Super Cup, which we would prepare ourselves better for with our new manager.
So my answer is yes, we should be looking to win the competition.
Where does that leave us? Well, in the hope that my predictions are correct as well as our team putting in the right amount of effort, this horrid season would see us finish comfortably in the top 4, 3rd spot is my guess, winning the FA Cup and winning the Europa League. Not bad for a team in turmoil…
We’re known to be at our best during the business end of the season, in any season you want to assess, it’s just in us. Maybe a lack of effort during the winter slump is the cause of our strength winning maximum games and points at the end of the season. This will be another season where we hope the same will occur, and things have started to look up for us. The belief is there, and the fruits of our labour are there for the taking!
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