The Independent London Newspaper



FEATURE: Could the Premier League title be heading to North London?

Could the Premier League title be heading to North London?

Published: 1 February, 2016

IT would take a brave soul to predict how the rest of the 2015/2016 Premier League season will pan out, with the number of shock results and surprising league positions showing no signs of relenting.

Football always has the potential to be unpredictable as there are no certainties, but with Leicester currently three points clear at the summit and defending champions Chelsea, who Coral and many other bookmakers backed as favourites to retain their crown before a ball had been kicked in anger, struggling in the bottom half, it has been a season where anything and everything is possible. 

A significant increase in quality across the board has created an element of equality that has meant that every team have to be on their game in order to get a result – a crucial attribute that Tottenham and Arsenal have sometimes lacked in the past.

However, both North London clubs have put themselves firmly in a four-horse title race as the Premier League enters the business stage of the season, and with just fifteen games remaining, there is a real opportunity for either team to step up and make the most of an opportunity that may not come round again.

Despite their shock 2-0 opening day defeat at home to West Ham, Arsenal have certainly shown their title credentials through the high quality brand of football that fans have become accustomed to seeing over the years.

Arsene Wenger’s side have always been within touching distance of the Premier League summit this season, but although they managed to overhaul Leicester at the beginning of February by beating Newcastle 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium, subsequent results have seen the Gunners lose their momentum and slide down to third on goal difference behind Manchester City. 

The 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea was made all the more disappointing by the fact that Arsenal never really imposed themselves and took control of a game which served the perfect opportunity to issue a real statement of intent.

It has once again raised question marks over Arsenal’s mentality to handle the pressure when expectation levels are raised, but here's Coral's bet for the day for Gunners fans who believe their twelve-year wait for a Premier League title will end in May.

Excitement is also building just four miles North at White Hart Lane, with arch rivals Tottenham also in a wonderful position to make a serious challenge for the title. It is testament to the work that Mauricio Pocchetino has done this season, with his willingness to give youth a chance paying dividends.

More importantly, Pocchetino appears to have found the perfect formula to solve Tottenham’s Achilles heel over the years: leaking goals.

Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have been instrumental in the team enjoying the best defensive record in the Premier League, but it remains to be seen how Tottenham fare without the latter who has been ruled out for up to two months. 

The bet of the day during the FA Cup Fourth Round was for Tottenham to stick a few goals past Colchester as it is not only a competition Pocchetino will take seriously, but there are goals flowing throughout the team this season.

Dele Alli has been a revelation for Tottenham this season, with Harry Kane also finding his shooting boots again to prove that last season was not a mere flash in the pan.

Being five points behind the leaders with fifteen games to go is a position that Tottenham would have grabbed your hand off for at the start of the season, and if they continue to perform with the same swagger and strength at both ends of the pitch, then there is every chance that the title may end up at White Hart Lane.



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