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The six faces of the English Premier League

Photo+of+Mohamed+Salah+courtesy+of+Peter+Byrne%2FAssociated+Press.
Photo of Mohamed Salah courtesy of Peter Byrne/Associated Press.

Photo of Mohamed Salah courtesy of Peter Byrne/Associated Press.

AP

AP

Photo of Mohamed Salah courtesy of Peter Byrne/Associated Press.

Steven Ruffing, Contributor

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With only eight games left in the English Premier League season, it’s predicted that Manchester City will win the league for the fifth time and the first time since the 2013-14 season.

Right now, Man City is at the top of the table with an astounding 81 points with 26 wins and only one loss. Far behind them are their inner-city rivals Manchester United with 65 points. In any other season, where Manchester City wasn’t continuously making history, the first and second place spot would be neck and neck.

Just because the first-place spot is basically reserved for the Sky Blues doesn’t mean that the league is less competitive. The top four teams are still fighting for a spot in the Champions League next season. If the season were to end right now, Man U, Liverpool and Tottenham would be joining City next year in the European Tournament. Luckily for Chelsea, who are fifth in the table, that is not the case.

With eight games left, Chelsea still has the chance to pass Tottenham. Chelsea is just five points behind their London rivals for the fourth place in the table. Being that Tottenham is currently dropping in the table, this scenario isn’t too far out of reach for Antonio Conte and his Chelsea squad.

Liverpool is also one of the teams battling Chelsea and Tottenham for a top-four-spot in the table. More specifically, they are currently battling Manchester United for that second-place finish. Liverpool is a team that has shocked England this season with 63 points in the league, two points behind United.

Mohamed Salah is the man to thank if you are a Liverpool fan, and if he can keep knocking goals in, Liverpool can have one of their best finishes yet. Salah is leading all goal scorers with 28 goals to his name. Salah and Liverpool have no signs of stopping either. Liverpool has won four of their last five games, and Salah has seven goals in those last five.

If this was any other season, Liverpool could have been fighting for their first ever league title in the Premier League era. Liverpool won the league in 1989-90 when it was called Division I. If they keep pace, they might have to settle for a second-place finish.

The latter five of the big six teams in the Premier League have been living up to fans expectations. The one team left out of the fun is the Gunners. Yet again Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side have been disappointing. The Gunners have dropped multiple matches that should have been winnable in Arsenal fan’s eyes. Among the many detrimental losses they have suffered this season, Brighton, Bournemouth and Swansea City have all dealt a losses to Arsenal.

These three squads stand in the middle or lower-middle table. Brighton is a newly promoted club and Bournemouth hasn’t been higher than tenth in the table this season. Arsenal fans have let their feelings known toward the Arsenal manager but they have yet to get what they want; Wenger out.

This upcoming weekend for Match-day 32 will be a true test for the Big six teams. Liverpool will be traveling to Selhurst to take on a falling Crystal Palace side. Liverpool came away with a victory earlier in the season when they faced the Eagles at home.

Manchester United will be hosting Swansea City, a team who have spent most of their time in the relegation zone but have lately been picking up points in the Premier League after appointing new manager Carlos Carvahal. Manchester United were victorious the last time these two teams played, but should not take the Swans lightly.

Saturday’s last fixture will include first place Manchester City traveling to the city of Liverpool to take on Everton. Manchester City does not want to replicate the last time these two teams met which ended in a 1-1 draw with both teams receiving a red card.

Arsenal has everything to prove on Sunday when they face Stoke City at home. Arsenal fell flat in August when Stoke City stole a 1-0 win over the Gunners.

Finally, the biggest match of the weekend to wrap Matchday 32 up; London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea. Chelsea comes from North London and Tottenham comes from East London.  The rivalry started in 1909 when Chelsea beat the Spurs 2-1 in the first ever match between the two.

These London sides have met each other a total of 159 times. Chelsea has won 68 of those matches, Tottenham has won 51 of them, and 40 matches between the teams have ended in a draw. Chelsea will be entering the game with a touch of swagger after beating Tottenham in the last London Derby, 4-2, in an FA Cup fixture.

The two sides will combine to provide a hopeful weekend of Premier League soccer.

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The six faces of the English Premier League