|Tottenham Hotspur To Finish In The Top 3||10/11||Paddy Power|
|Chelsea To Finish In The Top 4||10/11||888Sport|
All to play for in the Premier League top 4 race
Manchester City and Liverpool are obvious certainties to finish in the top four of the Premier League table, although the other two Champions League spots are up for grabs, with very little between 4 teams in the English Premier League Odds.
Chelsea currently sit third in the standings, although they have played a game more than their other top four rivals and they also travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Tottenham actually sit in the box seat after accruing sixty-four points from thirty-two matches, while four of their remaining six top-flight matches are at the brand-new White Hart Lane.
Arsenal’s task looks a good deal trickier considering that four of their remaining six Premier League encounters are away from the Emirates and there’s been a massive difference in terms of home and away form this term.
As for Manchester United, their odds of 5/2 to land a top four finish illustrates that it will be a real uphill struggle for the Red Devils to finish ahead of their top four rivals.
United still have a Champions League engagement at the Nou Camp to fulfil, while they are currently stationed in sixth place, a full five points behind third-placed Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a flying start as caretaker boss although it’s been a struggle since the Norwegian’s position was made permanent and United have an inferior goal difference to the other teams in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Tottenham strong favourites to finish in the Premier League top 4
For starters, four of their remaining six Premier League matches are at White Hart Lane and the omens have been good since Spurs were re-housed at a stadium which generates a wall of sound.
The north London side have a straightforward home clash against Huddersfield next, while they will also expect to bank a maximum haul at home to Brighton, West Ham and Everton respectively. Four wins might even be enough to get over the line and qualify for the Champions League.
On the flip side, they will be missing the injured Harry Kane for the remainder of the season, with Mauricio Pochettino having to promote Son Heung-Min or Dele Alli into a more advanced position. In addition, Spurs do need to visit Manchester City in the Premier League which is likely to literally be a pointless exercise.
Tottenham are also still involved in the Champions League and have a very live chance of making the semi-finals of the competition at the expense of Manchester City. If they were to progress, that would mean two additional fixtures planted between their remaining Premier League clashes.
Spurs did recently suffer a blip which saw them land just a point from five Premier League matches, although a homecoming victory over Crystal Palace appears to have steadied the ship and it’s clear that the fans are relishing life at their new home.
Pochettino also has a good deal of depth in his squad, with rotating full-backs a big asset along with players such as Davinson Sanchez, Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente able to deputise when the key players need a rest.
Will Unai Emery’s Arsenal secure a top 4 finish?
Arsenal are trading at a shade of odds-on, 10/11 with BetHard, to land a Premier League top four finish and this price reflects the uncertainty over a Gunners side who have been immense at the Emirates Stadium but failed to replicate this kind of form when they have taken to the road.
While it’s nothing new for a team to have more joy in front of their own fans, Unai Emery’s side have accrued forty-four of their sixty-three points at the Emirates and the big concern is that the London outfit have to take to the road for four of their remaining six fixtures.
There are some tricky trips on the horizon too. Watford won’t be easy opponents at Vicarage Road in their next top flight match, with Arsenal also having to visit Molineux, King Power Stadium and Turf Moor. Let’s not forget that the Gunners have only won five of their fifteen matches on the road this term.>
Home clashes against Crystal Palace and Brighton look more straightforward, although Emery has the insurance of knowing that a Europa League triumph will ensure that he guides the team into the Champions League through an alternative and probably more satisfying route.
Emery has won the Europa League on three occasions with Sevilla, although Arsenal do clash with Napoli at the quarter final stage and it will be interesting to see whether they go through and what sort of effect the double header against the Italian side will have on their domestic form.
Can Chelsea finish in the top 4 and save Sarri?
Is it too late now to save Sarri? The Italian enjoyed a strong start to the season after taking charge of Chelsea, although he has cut a beleaguered figure in recent months and it’s possible that Maurizio won’t last twelve months at Stamford Bridge if the rumours are correct.
For now, the former Napoli manager remains focused on steering the Blues to a top four finish and his team have five Premier League matches left this season, although three of them are tricky away encounters and it’s possible that they will fall short as a result.
Chelsea go to Anfield this weekend before later trips to Old Trafford and the King Power Stadium. However, it should be noted that they are in excellent form after winning seven of their past nine matches since losing the EFL Cup final on penalties against Manchester City.
Eden Hazard might be set for a big money move to Real Madrid, although the Belgian has been outstanding recently and could yet perform heroics to see the London team nab a top-four spot, while the defence has also been looking far more watertight on the road.
Chelsea should be expected to win their remaining matches at Stamford Bridge, with Watford likely to be casting their minds ahead to the FA Cup final, while Burnley are also likely to be wearing their proverbial flip-flops after working hard all season to stave off the drop. 10/11 with 888Sport might prove an attractive proposition.
Sarri’s team might not even need to land a top four spot considering that they’re currently trading as Europa League outright favourites and a triumph in this competition would be enough to dine at Europe’s top table next season.
Ole to lead Manchester United to a Premier League Top 4 finish?
It seemed absolutely implausible that Manchester United would get near the top four in December when Jose Mourinho was finally asked to leave Old Trafford after losing at Anfield.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s honeymoon period saw the Red Devils quickly get back into contention and they now have an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League which will surely be vital when it comes to attracting new players.
Man Utd fans will also be keen to at least qualify for the Champions League, with the potential of their rivals Manchester City winning the quadruple now a distinct possibility.
It might be that United will need to land five wins from their remaining six Premier League games and the good news is that four of these matches take place at Old Trafford, starting with West Ham on Saturday teatime.
The bad news is that Manchester City and Chelsea are yet to visit the Theatre of Dreams, with the former hunting down another title and the latter one of the teams who are also competing for a top four spot. That clash on Sunday 28 April is likely to have an enormous bearing on which teams qualify for the Champions League.
United are likely to exit this season’s European Cup at the quarter final stage which could be a blessing in disguise compared to other teams’ continental involvement, although it’s clearly a worry that four of the past five matches have ended in defeat.
Solskjaer is not a miracle worker and it might be that United simply weren’t as good as the results between December and February suggested. Many teams enjoy a new manager bounce, especially free from the shackles of a repressive regime, although this is a squad that needs rebuilding and it would be a surprise to see them pip at least two of the London teams. Odds of 5/2 with Bet365 don’t look all that attractive.