I know I promised yesterday that I would talk about the other teams in the title hunt, Tottenham and Man City but I have run out of time for that post. So, instead, I’m going to write that tomorrow. If you take nothing else from this post take this: Sunday is a title decider for Arsenal, win and they have a chance; lose and they are out of it.
Right now the gap between Arsenal and Leicester is 5 points and there are 13 games left to play. If Arsenal lose on Sunday that gap goes to 8 points and 12 games left to play. So, what? You think, 8 points is easily overcome.
Leicester are currently averaging 2.12 points per game and Arsenal averaging 1.95. If they win they rise to just 2.15 but Arsenal drop to 1.85. A 0.30 points per game difference. In order for Arsenal to make up the difference, 8 points, the Gunners would have to average 0.67 points per game MORE than Leicester.
Arsenal have a stronger schedule than Leicester, facing 5 top teams away while playing in the Champions League and the FA Cup. Leicester only have the Premier League left to play and after the Arsenal match they have a run of 9 games in a row against middle-table and lower teams. They do finish the season with Man U away, Everton at home, and Chelsea away, three tricky games.
But even if Leicester lose to West Ham, Man U, Everton, and Chelsea if they win the other 8 games they will finish the season with 80 points, 2.10 points per game. For Arsenal to catch Leicester, they would need 33 points from their last 12 games, in other words they would have to win 11 of their last 12 games. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.
Now, it’s possible that Leicester will slip and drop points against teams like Swansea or Newcastle, so let’s say they fall off a cliff and earn just 1.5 points per game from here until the end of the season. A meager 18 points to bring their points total to 74.
If Arsenal lose to Leicester on Sunday, and then Leicester goes on their terrible run, in order for Arsenal to catch them, the Gunners would still need 26 points from a possible 36 to finish the season, 2.16 ppg.
That’s what Arsenal are facing on Sunday; win the game and the title race is on, lose the game and the race is basically off, tie the game and stay where we are but one game closer to the end. All games are must win games, this one is just more must win than others.
But the thing is, Leicester should not be in this position. They are on their way to being crowned the least deserving champions in Premier League history. No team has ever won the League with a negative shot ratio. No team has ever won any league, as far as I can tell, with a negative shot ratio.
And we will talk about that tomorrow.