Inching Closer

Having just watched Leicester City thrash Swansea 4-0 to reopen an eight point lead at the top of the Premier League table (Spurs host West Brom tomorrow), I can only continue to marvel at a season that has defied convention almost every step of the way.

Leicester are already guaranteed Champions League football next season – this time last season they were fighting to avoid relegation. Their transformation is the most meteoric surge upwards that I can think of in any sport, and Claudio Ranieri deserves every bit of credit and praise that comes his way for overseeing this incredible journey. His side are now at the stage where they need five points from their last three games to clinch the title – assuming Spurs win every one of their remaining games. Should Tottenham fail to beat West Brom on Monday, a Leicester win at Manchester United would see them crowned champions (what an atmosphere that game would have).

Tottenham themselves would be worthy champions in their own right, and with Harry Kane blasting in the goals and Dele Ali proving to be a dynamic dynamo in midfield, they have played very well all season. The prospect of finishing above hated local rivals Arsenal for the first time in 22 years would be powerful motivation enough, but they are not out of the title fight yet (indeed, they are realistically the only ones who can stop Leicester). In any other season, they’d be roared on by most neutrals, given the style of football they’ve played.

Arsenal slipped up yet again at Sunderland, outplaying the home side in the first half but lacking the composure to score, whilst in the second half they were very much under the cosh, and might be grateful for the point they got. The possibility of missing out on Champions League football still very much exists for Wenger’s men; they need to sharpen up quickly if they are to avoid not only seeing Spurs finish above them, but also missing out on Europe’s premier competition.

So, will Leicester hold their nerve? Can Spurs catch them? Will Manchester United yet snatch a top four place? And who will join Aston Villa in the Championship next season?

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