Tottenham’s comprehensive 3-0 win over Arsenal yesterday has heaped the pressure on the Mikel Arteta’s side with two matches left to play.
With the resounding win, Tottenham climbed to within a single point of the Gunners for fourth place.
Tottenham, who must win both their remaining matches at home against Burnley and away to Norwich on the final day of the season, needs Arsenal to trip up on one of their two remaining hurdles.
So will Arsenal slip up and if so, to whom?
What sort of challenge does Newcastle pose on Monday?
The Gunners travel to Newcastle on Monday before hosting Everton on the final day of the season. While neither match is against a juggernaut, both fixtures present potential banana skins.
Newcastle is one of the in-form teams in the top flight. In the last six matches, Newcastle is sixth on form, wedged between fifth-place Arsenal and seventh-place Spurs. Newcastle are a much-improved side since Eddie Howe entered the scene.
The Magpies, however, are coming off back-to-back defeats, the last of which in emphatic 5-0 fashion to Manchester City. Aside from pride and trying to make their way into the top half of the table, Newcastle doesn’t have much to play for.
That could work for or against Spurs. Newcastle should play loose, free and unencumbered. Whether that will transition into a better home performance remains to be seen. Regardless, playing at St. James’ Park should present a few robust challenges for Arsenal.
In terms of personnel, Arsenal are decimated at the back, which should increase the likelihood of Newcastle scoring at least one. If they can limit Arsenal’s clear-cut offensive opportunities, a 1-1 draw is a possible outcome.
What about Everton on the final day?
And then there’s Everton on the final day of the season. The likelihood of Everton taking at least a point at the Emirates will probably depend on whether Frank Lampard’s side is still battling to remain in the Premier League next season.
If there is still uncertainty, the Toffees will fight tooth and nail for their Premier League lives. That would provide the impetus Everton will need to snatch an otherwise unlikely point.
If Everton’s status in next season’s Premier League is already secured, it’s unlikely they’ll have what it takes to take something from Arsenal.
For Tottenham’s sake, let’s hope Everton’s status is still uncertain. For that to happen, Leeds will most likely need to win one of their two remaining fixtures, preferably the first at home against Brighton this weekend.
Leeds travels to Brentford on the last day of the season, while Everton also has to face Brentford and travels to Crystal Palace on the penultimate day.
Burnley travels to Tottenham on Sunday before finishing the season against Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Everton’s future must be hanging in the balance when they travel to Arsenal on May 22. If that’s the case, anything can happen.