The EPL is down to the last several weeks (most teams have 6 matches remaining) and the race for the title hasn’t been this tight in years. Currently Manchester City sits in first with 73 points followed by Arsenal and Liverpool both with 71 points. You have to go clear back 10 years to the 2013-2014 season to find one where 3 teams were this close at the end. In that year Man C finished with 86 points followed by Liverpool with 84 and Chelsea with 82.

So lets look at the top 3 and assess their chances of winning it all.

EPL Title Chase:

Manchester City

No strangers to winning trophies their experience in tough late season challenges is clearly a strong point in their favor. In recent seasons no team in Europe has won more trophies than the Citizens. And now that they have been knocked out of Champions League by Real Madrid their focus will be on the EPL title (and the FA Cup). They have a star studded roster and the depth to stay strong down the stretch., They have the league leader in goals (Erling Haaland with 20), the #4 guy in assists (Julian Alvarez with 9 only one behind the leaders) and the top passer in the league (Rodri with 2,962 passes).

EPL Form: 3-2-0 in their last 5 matches including winning the last 3. If Man C goes on a run they won’t be caught.

Remaining Matches: Away at Brighton, away at Nottingham Forest, home with Wolverhampton, away at Fulham, away at Tottenham, home with West Ham. Not a a overly tough schedule but not an easy one either. Having 4 road matches and only 2 at home makes it a bit tough. The key match here is going to be the away tie with Tottenham. The Spurs still have a shot to finish in the top 4 but need every point they can get. The other game they need to not overlook is Nottingham Forest. Forest is fighting to avoid relegation and teams in that situation can be dangerous…they have nothing to lose so go all out.


The Gunners have one big advantage at this point and that is goal differential. They sit at +49 ahead of both Man C at +44 and Liverpool at +41. Although unlikely to have a tie in points come seasons end it is a possible scenario. And that large goal differential is due mostly to having the top defense in the league. They have only allowed 26 goals, 5 fewer than next best Liverpool at 31. Time will tell but the cliche “defense wins championships” is built on some truth. And that defense is anchored by the leagues top keeper in David Raya (12 clean sheets).

EPL Form: 3-1-1 in their last 5 matches but, and its a fairly big but, they got shut out at home 2-0 by Aston Villa in their last match. Getting shut out at home when you are in the hunt is concerning.

Remaining Matches: Away at Wolverhampton, home with Chelsea, away at Tottenham, home with Bournemouth, away at Manchester United, and home with Everton. This is a bit tricky of a stretch. Chelsea has actually been playing well of late, Tottenham is solid, and Man U is well who knows but they are Man U. They will need to not slip up especially in their home matches with Bournemouth and Everton. They will need Ws in both of those.


The Red had a major stumble in their last match losing at home 1-0 to Crystal Palace. CP is an ok team but not one you should lose to at this stage of the season if you want a shot at the title. And getting shut out at home is not a good look. Still they have the second best goals scoring defense in the league and they have Mo Salah who is the only player in the league with both top 5 in goals scored and assists.

EPL Form: 2-2-1. Acceptable but they need to go on  a run.

Remaining Matches: Away at Fulham, away at Everton, away at West Ham, home with Tottenham, away at Aston Villa, and home with Wolverhampton. They may have the toughest schedule left of the three contenders. Much will come down to Aston Villa and if they have clinched a top 4 finish by the time they meet up. And Everton is tricky as well still fighting to stay above relegation and they are not as bad as their standings indicate. Remember they have been docked 8 points for Profitability and Sustainability Rules violations.

Prediction: The overall key here is who handles Tottenham the best. Liverpool has maybe the toughest remaining schedule but they get the Spurs at home. Arsenal has an edge with 3 home matches. Man C is playing the best right now. Lets use the historical W at home and draw on the road mantra. This would mean Man C would earn 10 points, Arsenal 12 points, and Liverpool 10 points. The final standings would be Man C and Arsenal with 83 points and Liverpool with 81 points. That would give the Gunners the title based on goal differential. As much as I’d like to see Arsenal pull this off its just hard not to give the nod to Man C. In the end I think they win it.

UEFA Champions League Qualification:

The top 4 (and it can actually be 5 this year) EPL finishers qualify for UCL. This one is fairly straight forward. Man C, Arsenal, and Liverpool with make it. Yes they haven’t mathematically qualified yet but lets not quibble this one. They will be there. This leaves Aston Villa and Tottenham fighting for the guaranteed 4th spot. Given that the Spurs have to play all 3 of the sides fighting for the title the odds are that Aston Villa finishes 4th. But there are numerous scenarios wherein the EPL 5th place team gets a spot in UCL.

Europa League and Conference League Qualification:

Suffice it to say that a LOT is in play here the rest of the way. Over half of the 20 EPL teams have a shot at qualifying for European play next season. Its convoluted and a bit hard to follow unless you are a diehard soccer fan. But here’s a link to a pretty good summary of just which teams can make it and how.


A concept that few sports fans in the US have understood until recently. Relegation simply isn’t a part of the sports model in this country. But as soccer’s popularity has grown now even less than casual fans understand what it means to be relegated. And its a big deal. Not only for the ego deflation but financially. Being relegated leads to a significant loss of revenue. And like it or not money matters.

The bottom 3 teams will be relegated come seasons end and as of now two teams, Sheffield United and Burnley are surely going to drop. Although with a miracle Burnley could escape. This leaves one dreaded spot left and Luton Town Currently holds that spot. So lets handicap that last spot.

Luton Town

In their first season up in the EPL they have actually played some pretty entertaining soccer. They like to attack and aren’t afraid to try and score against anybody. Unfortunately they also can’t hold a lead once they get one. This has cost them mightily this year.

EPL Form: 1-1-3. Its been a pretty dreadful stretch for this club and probably has them doomed.

Remaining Schedule: Home with Brentford, away at Wolverhampton, home with Everton, away at West Ham, and home with Fulham. The good news is that they have an ok schedule the rest of the way. They only play one match against a team in the upper half of the table. This gives them a shot. But they probably need 7 points down the stretch to have a shot and some help from teams playing Forest.

Nottingham Forest

What a strange club they have been. They struggled to score goals so they got some loan help in the January transfer window bringing in attacking midfielder and USMNT star Gio Reyna. Then they promptly parked him on the bench and continued to struggle offensively. Weird as hell. But they finally smelled the roses and started him in their last match. Reyna can be a difference maker for them down the stretch. IF they use him.

EPL Form: 1-3-1. They have played a bit better the last two weeks. Might be just enough and just soon enough to save them.

Remaining Schedule: Away at Everton, home with Man C, away at Sheffield United, home to Chelsea, and away at Burnley. First the good news. They play the two worst teams in the league down the stretch. Now the bad news they play Man C and an improved Chelsea.

Prediction: Forest by virtue of getting to play both the Sheffies and the Clarets probably staves off Luton Town.

So plenty to watch the last month of the season and it will all be on NBC and Peacock.

Steve Birrer
Steve Birrer

Soccer Analyst

Steve is an avid fan of all things soccer and the O’s. Originally from the west, he grew up in the Baltimore area. He returned to the west for college where he earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Montana State University and spent 36 years working at the Idaho National Laboratory prior to retiring in 2013. It was during his school years in Baltimore where he learned to play soccer and that developed into a life long passion. He played competitively for over 40 years and was a four year starting goalkeeper at MSU. He also coached and refereed in the Idaho premier soccer and High School programs for many years.