To be realistic contenders for a top four place, we need to reamin unbeaten for the rest of the year and take 27 points from the 33 available. This is a tough ask, but we have dropped too many points already : Sunderland points 2 lost, Stoke 3 lost, Spurs 3 lost and the Mancs 2 lost. - Sadly if this trend continues we will be lucky to be in the top half of the league.
Norwich need to be 'put to the sword' no if's or but's followed by straight wins against the Baggies and Swansea. City and Chelsea remain an issue where anything in excess of 2 points from two games will be seen as a bonus, we then have five games against Fulham, QPR, Villa, Wigan, Blackburn where 15 points is the minimum target and finally to cement a place in the top four at least a draw with Newcastle. If we drop any more points to the 'lesser sides, then victories against City, Chelsea and Newcastle become do or die!
Errrrr... since 2002 (the year when the CL was opened to the top 4 teams in the prem), the team that finished 4th has only needed more than 67 points 3 times. That's 3 times in 9 years. Last season 68 was enough for 4th and over the last 9 years 68 points is pretty much the average.
If we're on 35 points come the halfway point then we are well on course. That's 21 points from the remaining 33 to the halfway point. Should be very achievable.
Saying we are in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table is pretty OTT, when you consider we are currently in 5th and have played some of our toughest away games already (Stoke, Everton, Arsenal, Spurs).
Also, the fact that there are more teams fighting than before actually means that everyone will take points off each other hopefully keeping the target points for 4th at a lower level.