A few surprising results have created a dramatic shift at the top of the English Premier League table.
Chelsea suffered the biggest upset of the day as Crystal Palace earned a 1-0 home victory over what was the top team in league. A John Terry own goal was the only mark on the scoresheet in this shocking result.
Liverpool were then able to take advantage of the opportunity to take over first place with a dominant 4-0 victory over Tottenham. Meanwhile, Manchester City and Arsenal played to a 1-1 draw in what was likely a disappointing finish for both clubs looking to move up in the standings.
This battle for the top spot is only one of many intriguing storylines to follow in the final few weeks of the season. Perhaps most interesting is the battle between Everton, Tottenham and Manchester United to earn various spots in European competitions.
Finally, Cardiff City, Sunderland and Fulham will all attempt to get out of the relegation zone before times run out.
These competitions and more help keep things exciting heading into Week 33. Here is an updated look at the standings and a breakdown of what to expect going forward.
|11||West Ham United||31||9||7||15||34||41||-7||34|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||31||5||14||12||36||48||-12||29|
There are few clubs in the world performing better than Liverpool as of late, and it is why they are currently on top of the league table.
The Reds have now won eight league matches in a row and have not lost since the start of 2014. The latest 4-0 win over Tottenham also puts them just three goals away from matching Manchester City in goal differential.
Still, the club is not looking ahead with six matches remaining. Jordan Henderson—who scored the fourth goal in Sunday's win—discussed the mindset, via Richard Jolly of ESPN FC:
Of course. We all dream of winning the Premier League one day and we have a chance. We just have to take each game as it comes and focus on the next game which is West Ham. It will be difficult going there. That's what we all want (winning the Premier League) but each step at a time.
Despite this lead, a title is far from secure. Liverpool still have matches against Chelsea and Manchester City. Fortunately, both are at home. They will hope that playing at Anfield will give them the necessary advantage to come away with wins.
While Chelsea sits in second place after the latest run of matches, Manchester City is the one with the best chance to take the title away from Liverpool. They have played two fewer matches than either of the clubs above them, giving them more opportunities to grab points.
Five of the eight matches remaining for City are against clubs in the bottom half of the table, meaning they have a good chance to come away with a victory in each. This is especially the case if they continue to perform well defensively. The club had an incredible streak going until the Arsenal match, according to WhoScored.com:
Manchester City: Mathieu Flamini's goal was the first Manchester City have conceded in the Premier League in 561 minutes of action— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 29, 2014
As long as Manchester City do not drop unnecessary points, they have a chance to pass both teams in front of them and take home the trophy.
Meanwhile, Arsenal remain mathematically in the title hunt, but they should be more focused on securing a top-four finish against the red-hot Everton. The two squads face play next week in Goodison Park, and the result can have a huge effect on the table, as noted by Paul Carr of ESPN:
By request, how Sunday's Everton-Arsenal game affects UCL odds (ignoring other results): pic.twitter.com/88WJabZ3c1— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) March 30, 2014
If the Gunners could pull out a road victory, it will bring some peace of mind to the players and fans.
As exciting as the battle at the top has been this year, the race to avoid relegation is interesting as well. Colin Trainor of Statsbomb.com provides a look at the current odds:
EPL Relegation Probabilities. Sunderland have moved closer to the drop over last few games (now at 55%). pic.twitter.com/hLt87SpAkE— Colin Trainor (@colinttrainor) March 30, 2014
Crystal Palace's win over Chelsea put them into 16th place, five points clear of Cardiff City in 18th. Based on the way the bottom three clubs have performed this year, this could be enough to remain in the Premier League.
No matter what happens, the final month of play is going to be incredibly exciting.
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