With 5 games to go, the race for the top 4 is hotting up! Barring an implosion from Manchester United and Leicester, I think the top 3 is pretty much nailed on with Manchester City going to win the league. SO the question is, Who will take that coveted 4th spot to reach the biggest European tournament in the world? (RIP Super League)
Currently occupying 4th place after being unbeaten in all competitions in 14 matches. Thomas Tuchel has come in and fixed the defensive frailties that Frank Lampard couldn’t manage. Although the football is pretty drab to watch, It’s effective and is getting Chelsea the results they need on the pitch. The blues next five consist of:
May 1st: Fulham (H)
May 8th: Manchester City (A)
May 12th: Arsenal (H)
May 15th: Leicester (H)
May 23rd: Villa (A)
Overall I expect Chelsea to ease past Fulham. The Manchester City tie away from home will be a tough game and it will be interesting to see if they can contain this currently dominant City side, Arsenal at the bridge won’t provide much of a threat to this well-oiled blues machine. It could be interesting come the Leicester game as if they have dropped any points in the build-up to that match then Chelsea could be in with a shout of 3rd place. Chelsea wrap up the season away at Villa Park, where I can see them taking the 3 points. With the way Chelsea are playing currently, not conceding goals and getting the 1-0 wins (would be more if Werner found his Leipzig scoring boots) then I can see them claiming the final place for the Champions League.
For more on Thomas Tuchel, Check out this article by my colleague Chris – click here
The surprise package in the hunt for European competition. Credit where it is due, David Moyes has got West Ham playing some decent stuff, add to the mix an in-form Jesse Lingard who has hit the ground running since joining on loan in January, the Hammers could sneak into the top 4 if other results go their way and they end the season strong. Here’s the Hammers last 5 games:
May 1st: Burnley (A)
May 8th: Everton (H)
May 11th: Brighton (A)
May 15th: West Brom (A)
May 23rd: Southampton (H)
On paper, these are favourable fixtures for a side that want to end the season well and clinch a European berth. Although Burnley are in form, I think West Ham have more than enough defensively to match Burnley’s aerial threat and nick the 3 points at Turf Moor. Everton have been a strange side this year, very hot and cold, but they will pose a threat when they visit the London Stadium, this will be the toughest game for West Ham in the run-in. I fully expect The Irons to pick up 6 points v Brighton and West Brom, and to end the season on a high to a Southampton side who are not playing for anything. A real good chance for them to push their London rivals, Chelsea, to the end.
If you were to tell me at the start of this season that Liverpool would be the 6th in April and out of the running for any silverware this season, I would have called you mad. However, I am pleased to see them having a torrid time. Having missed key players for long periods and Klopp unsettling the core of the side by playing his 2 best midfielders at centre back for the majority of the season, It’s the forwards that haven’t done enough this year for the reds. Although Mo Salah has chipped in with 20 goals, it’s the poor form of Mane and Firmino in the final third this year that have let Liverpool down. Firmino contributing a measly 6 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions…Smelly. Their remaining 5 games consist of:
May 1st: Manchester United (A)
May 8th: Southampton (H)
May 11th: West Brom (A)
May 15th: Burnley (A)
May 23rd: Crystal Palace (H)
Again, another favourable 5 games, the toughest coming this weekend against Manchester United. The last time Liverpool faced Southampton they lost 0-1 and Ralph Hassenhuttl was brought to tears, since then Southampton have been very poor, fully expect Liverpool and Klopp to get revenge. West Brom will be relegated by the time they play Liverpool so that will be 3 points there. Burnley and Palace games should be a formality if they can find some goalscoring form. It may be too little too late for Liverpool however, as they will need other results to go their way.
Not sure why I am even talking about Tottenham. They’re currently in 7th place 5 points off Chelsea in 4th. Sacked their manager before a cup final, have an interim manager with no experience, and to be quite frank, need an absolute miracle to make the Top 4. Their final 5 games are:
May 1st: Sheffield United (H)
May 8th: Leeds (A)
May 11th: Wolves (H)
May 15th: Villa (H)
May 23rd: Leicester (A)
Some tricky fixtures in there other than Sheffield United at home. But as I stated before, they need a miracle to happen above them to stand any chance of making the Champions League qualification places. Harry Kane must leave in the summer.
And there we have it, with the race for top 4 heating up, Let us know who you think will make it!
To view the current Premier League table click here