With just over a month left of the Premier League season, we take a look at the race for the top 4 run in. Who will qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League?
Five teams are fighting in the race for top 4 (yes, we’re including Tottenham even though their chances are slim). With their latest 3-1 victory over Spurs, Manchester United have all but secured a Champions League place for next season – now seven points clear of Leicester City in third.
There are still a few race for the top 4 fixtures that will have a huge impact on the final table, with a number of fixtures involving two teams still fighting for Champions League qualification.
With a few deciders left in the season, the question remains: who will join the two Manchester teams in Europe’s elite competition next year?
Leicester City have certainly dropped off in terms of quality in recent games, and a 3-2 loss against West Ham at the weekend shows that they still have work to do to confirm a place in the Champions League.
Leicester now find themselves in a scrap for a top 4 place, and arguably have the hardest run of remaining fixtures. The Foxes’ last three fixtures of the season are as follows: Man United away, Chelsea away, Spurs at home – tough.
There’s no doubt Leicester need to take points away from their final three games, but will also need to put in some strong performances against their other opponents to give themselves the best chance to hold on to their top four place.
Going from a relegation-battling team to a team looking to take a place in the top 4 of the Premier League, in just a couple seasons, the transformation of West Ham has been a huge success.
Now, David Moyes’ men were able to see off Leicester in an entertaining 3-2 victory and take fourth place in the league. On top of that, just one point behind The Foxes in third, West Ham arguably have the best chance of finishing in the top four, with a favourable run of remaining fixtures.
The Irons only have Chelsea to play in terms of the top sides, so we could see West Ham play in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history – a massive achievement for the London club.
After spending £250million before the start of the Premier League season, it would definitely be seen as a disappointing result if Chelsea did not make Europe’s elite tournament.
Even though Thomas Tuchel has been brought in, and now it seems the Chelsea side are picking up some important victories, The Blues’ remaining games will definitely make them work for it.
As well as their F.A Cup & current Champions League campaigns, Chelsea still have to play leaders Man City, West Ham & Leicester in the Premier League. On top of that, a penultimate fixture against London rivals Arsenal is always a tough contest for Chelsea, and could be an influence on Chelsea’s final league position.
With arguably one of the worst title defences the Premier League has ever seen, Liverpool now find themselves with a challenge on their hands to at least qualify for the Champions League.
There has been a number of injuries in the Liverpool camp that have affected them, for sure, but have been exposed in the current Premier League season. Now with only seven fixtures left, Klopp’s side will need a strong finish to the season for a Champions League spot.
It’s not impossible, though. With a game against Man United considered their only ‘tough’ fixture against a top side left, Liverpool could sneak their way into the top 4 if those around them slip up. As it stands, they’re only three points off West Ham in fourth, so it could be a last-minute entry for The Reds.
We felt like we had to mention Spurs, but following their weekend’s defeat to Manchester United, any hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have probably now disappeared. Six points off the top 4, Spurs will need the majority of points still on offer to qualify.
It will also take a lot of slip ups from the teams above them in the table, as well as Spurs winning their remaining fixtures – including their final-day fixture away at Leicester.
Looking to put money on your picks for the top four race? Take a look at the best UK odds on offer with TonyBet below. You’ll also find betting markets for all of the remaining Premier League fixtures, as well as the Champions League, FA Cup and more.
Will Leicester hang on to third? Will Liverpool turn their season around to make it to fourth place? Our do you think Everton are still in the race? Let us know what you think via our Twitter - @Betting_couk!
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