While the two Manchester clubs battle it out for the title, and Chelsea in third place, To the Lane and Back looks at the contenders for fourth place, and their fixtures over a busy month in the Premier League. Starting off with current fourth placed team, Everton, followed by Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal.
Everton’s next four fixtures:
Stoke City (a), West Ham (a), Wigan (h) and Chelsea (h)
Everton’s last three away games at the Britannia Stadium haven’t been fruitful for the Merseyside club. Picking up only two points out of the three games away at the Potters.
West Ham United
Visiting the Boleyn Ground, however, has been a fruitful venture for Everton – picking up seven points out of nine away at West Ham.
Everton have been dominant at home to Wigan Athletic in recent seasons, and the results show that – picking up seven points out of nine against Roberto Martinez’s men.
Like Wigan, Everton have welcomed Chelsea to Goodison Park, and left Chelsea with nothing but despair. The Toffees have won their last three home games against the West London side.
Tottenham’s next four fixtures:
Swansea City (h), Stoke (h), Villa (a) and Sunderland (a)
Spurs were victorious against the Swans at home last season, 3-1. But, it had been 11 years since we had played the South Wales at White Hart Lane; nonetheless the North London side are unbeaten against Swansea in our last three home games.
Spurs haven’t had the best of records against Stoke; at home we have only picked up four points in our last three home games against the Potters.
Spurs’ recent results against Villa have been promising, home and away. Andre Villas-Boas’ side haven’t lost in our last three visits to Villa Park, picking up five points out of nine.
Visiting the Stadium of Light has never been an easy prospect for most Premier League sides, but Spurs’ record over the last three away games at Sunderland is nothing to shy away from, picking up four points out of nine.
West Brom’s next four fixtures:
West Ham (h), Norwich (h), QPR (a) and Manchester United (a)
West Ham’s visits to West Brom haven’t always ended up with the results they had hoped, and with The Hawthorns being one of the toughest home grounds in European football this season, the Hammers may be lucky to come out the game with a point. Albion has taken four points in their last three games versus West Ham.
Norwich are in some great form at the moment, which could prove tricky for West Brom, and the last few results for the Canaries visit to the Hawthorns don’t bode well. An FA Cup loss earlier this year at The Hawthorns, losing 2-1 at home in the Premier League, but have beaten Norwich 2-0 in an N-Power Championship home game in 2007.
West Brom will visit Harry Redknapp’s QPR team in mid-December. QPR’s last three home games versus the Baggies may cause some concern for manager, Steve Clarke, taking four points from Loftus Road.
Old Trafford has been a bogey stadium for the Baggies, but like Tottenham, it could all change this year. The last three away games at Manchester United have resulted in only one point out of nine.
Arsenal’s next four fixtures:
Reading (a), Wigan (a), West Ham (h) and Newcastle (h)
Barring the magnificent game in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, Arsenal have been successful at Reading, winning their last three at the Madjeski Stadium.
The DW Stadium has been a good hunting ground for the Gunners in recent seasons, picking up four points from nine, with last season’s 4-0 win a highlight for Wenger’s men.
It seems West Ham may crop up in a few games for the chase for fourth place this December, but it appears Arsenal won’t have much to be wary about, with the Gunners taking seven points out of the last nine at the Emirates.
Like West Ham, Newcastle’s visits to the Emirates Stadium rarely end well. Arsenal have taken six out of nine points in the last three home games against the Magpies.
As stated above, these next four fixtures for these clubs battling it out for fourth place could be crucial in the long run, let’s hope for Spurs’ sake, Everton and Arsenal have a few slip ups.