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Premier League 2022/23: 4 Key Battles That Will Happen in the Final Months of the Season
- The Premier League season is approaching its final two months but nothing has been decided yet
- Arsenal currently leads the table five points clear of second while Southampton are bottom of the log
- The EPL title, European places and relegation are still up for grabs including individual awards
The 2022/23 Premier League season is approaching its final two months, with teams having between 11 and 14 games left to go.
Nothing as of this point is decided: not the title, European places, relegation, or even individual awards.
Arsenal are league leaders with 66 points from 27 games and are five points clear of second-placed defending champs, Manchester City, while Southampton are 20th on the log with 22 points from 26 games.
Sports Brief examines the four key battles to ensue in the final weeks as clubs scramble to meet different targets.
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1. The title race
Arsenal and Manchester City are both considered in the title race, but things can change quickly. Just two weeks ago, Manchester United were only five points behind the Gunners and are now 16 points adrift.
The race remains firmly between the Gunners and the Citizens. The red card for Casemiro, which will make him miss four games, would be detrimental to the Red Devils, as reported by 90min.
2. European places
The English league has four UEFA Champions League spots, two UEFA Europa League spots, and one UEFA Europa Conference League spot.
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Arsenal and Man City look to have secured their Champions League places for next season, while other places are up for grabs. The nine-point gap between 11th-placed Aston Villa and fifth-placed Newcastle United leaves seven spots available to 11 possible teams.
3. Relegation battle
This is where the most battle will occur in the season's final weeks. Only five points currently separate Crystal Palace in 12th and Southampton in 20th place, meaning 11 teams are also in the relegation battle.
As documented on the Premier League official website, only three teams have been relegated with 40 points or more - West Ham in 2002/03 (42), Sunderland in 1996/97 (40) and Bolton in 1997/98 (40). West Brom escaped in 2004/05 with just 34 points.
While the 40 points is the mythical benchmark, the average has been 35.6 points for safety. Teams with 37 points would have retained their Premier League status in 16 of the past 23 seasons.
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4. Individual awards
Erling Haaland leads the golden boot race with 28 goals while Harry Kane comes second with 20 goals. With the Tottenham forward's experience, having won it three times, he can't be ruled out of the race just yet.
Kevin De Bruyne leads the assist chart with 12, closely followed by Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, who has nine.
It remains an open race for the golden gloves between Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale (12), Manchester United goalkeeper, David De Gea (11), and Newcastle United's Nick Pope on 11 clean sheets.
Arsenal captain, Martin Odegaard and his Norwegian teammate, Haaland are the favourites for player of the year, while Saka and Marcus Rashford are also contenders. Mikel Arteta looks set to be named manager of the year, even if the Gunners slip up.
Favourites for young player of the year are the Arsenal duo of Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, while Haaland also has a shout.
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Arsenal accepts title reality
Sports Brief also reported on Arsenal accepting being title favourites despite weeks of flat denial.
The Gunners posed with a giant clock in their team photo after the important win over Fulham.
Some believe this has indicated they are eleven games away from winning the Premier League.