May 19, 2024

EPL: Who gets the crown today?

EPL: Who gets the crown today?

Patrick Omorodion

By Patrick Omorodion

The Bible describes Faith in Hebrews 11:1 as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It signifies trust and belief in God and His promises, even though we can’t physically see God or how He’s working.

Even if you believe there is nothing God cannot do and you have faith in Him, you must not go to sleep believing that what you hoped for will fall on your laps. Again the same Bible tells us in James 2:26 that Faith without deeds is dead.

Bishop David Oyedepo will always say that if you rely on Faith to pass your examination without reading, the kind of failure you will record, the examiners will come looking for you.

This is the situation with Arsenal fans, especially their Nigerian fans as the English Premier League ends today.

When Arsenal were topping the league as at the last week of February this year with 60 points to Man City’s 55, their Nigerian fans were already celebrating and throwing tantrums at other teams including City they know have a manager who has been king on three consecutive times.

I told some of them who are my friends that it was too early to celebrate but they waved me off, saying the title was already theirs, that they were just waiting for it to be delivered officially.

Week after week, Pep Guardiola taught Mikel Arteta that he was master of the EPL as he gathered the points and chalked off the goals difference little by little.

As at last Tuesday when Man City played Tottenham in their last rescheduled fixture, Man City had taken a two point lead and also cut the goals difference to just one, 60 to Arsenal’s 61.

Guardiola was merciless against his opponents and scored as many goals as possible, believing that the title may be decided by goals at the end.

As it is today, Guardiola is no longer worried about the goals difference because the destiny of Man City lies in their hands. They just need to beat West Ham to be crowned the English champions for an unprecedented consecutive fourth time.

The City of Manchester holds the record of having the only two teams to hold that record of three consecutive EPL wins in the modern era, that is from 1992 when the Premier League berthed.

The red side of Manchester, United were the first to achieve the feat. And they did it twice. First was in the

1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons. They repeated the feat, also under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in the 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009 seasons.

In the 2017-2018 and the 2018-2019 seasons, City joined United as the only two clubs to have won the title consecutively since 1992.They however, failed to make the treble in the 2019-2020 season to equal United’s record when Liverpool punctuated their run by winning the title that year.

Even though United have the honour as the only club with a consecutive double treble titles, City will also make history today if they beat West Ham as it will make them the first in England, irrespective of the era, to win the title four times in a row.

That is why, United fans are in the forefront of prayer warriors who wish that City should either draw or lose today and hope Arsenal will also do their part by beating Everton to emerge Champions.

If Arsenal had not been hoping or believing that City will falter along the way and had won three crucial matches they lost in December against Aston Villa, West Ham and Fulham and the 0-2 loss against Villa again on home ground on April 24, 2024, maybe they could have been crowned champions before today like we have in the other four top European leagues, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, LaLiga and Serie A.

Interestingly both Man City and Arsenal are playing on home ground at the Emirates and Etihad against West Ham and Everton respectively.

Both have won their last five matches, which had to take the title to the wire. Both teams before today won 27 matches each and if they win their matches today, the table will remain the same with City claiming their fourth consecutive title with 91 points to Arsenal’s 89.

When West Ham hosted Man City last September at the 62,000 capacity London Stadium, the Cytizens were 3-1 better. And it is not expected to be different today because head to head, City lead with 28 wins to West Ham’s 8. They have drawn 8 matches.

Any result posted by Arsenal today against Everton at the Emirates will have no effect if Man City beat West Ham. So the prayer by Arteta, his players and fans alike is that West Ham should do them a favour. But God is not partial. He listens to prayers from everybody.

The difference today will be the one who backs his prayer with the deed on the field. Otherwise James 2:26 which says that Faith without deeds is dead will come to play. This is not taking anything away from Arsenal though.

Like Huddersfield Town who were the first to win three straight titles in 1923-24, 1924-25 and 1925-26, Arsenal also won a hat-trick of titles between 1932 and 1935 with Liverpool the next and last to complete the feat in 1984 before the advent of the Premier League.

Arsenal still hold the invincibility record in England, but that was equalled by the Xabi Alonso-tutored Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga yesterday.

My take therefore is that the EPL title for the 2023-2024 season will go to Man City today.