Premier League: Battle for top-four heats up with 9 video games remaining in season

Premier League: Battle for top-four heats up with 9 video games remaining in season

Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United, Leicester and Chelsea presently occupy the highest 4 locations within the English top-flight.

Premier League: Battle for top-four heats up with nine games remaining in season

Manchester United stay 14 factors adrift of league leaders Manchester Metropolis. AP

Manchester Metropolis have already got one hand on the Premier League trophy however the battle for the highest 4 is more likely to go right down to the wire as a clutch of golf equipment search to hitch Europe’s elite subsequent season.

AFP Sport takes a take a look at the contenders because the 2020/21 marketing campaign enters its closing stretch, with 9 video games remaining for many groups.

The favourites

Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United, Leicester and Chelsea presently occupy the highest 4 locations within the English top-flight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United are eight factors away from fifth-placed West Ham and are on monitor to complete within the prime two for under the second time since they had been final champions in 2013.

United’s run-in doesn’t seem too tough, though they nonetheless need to journey to Tottenham and host Liverpool. In addition they play top-four rivals Leicester at Previous Trafford.

Leicester got here agonisingly near qualifying for the Champions League for under the second time of their historical past final season however missed out on the ultimate day, overwhelmed by United.

Brendan Rodgers’ facet, who final month beat United within the FA Cup quarter-finals, look extra sturdy this yr and are only one level behind the Pink Devils.

Leicester face Manchester Metropolis this weekend earlier than a run of kinder fixtures, however they are going to be eager to keep up a buffer, with a tough set of matches to finish the season – towards United, Chelsea and Spurs.

Chelsea, nonetheless unbeaten in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January, are in fourth spot however have much less margin for error and are additionally nonetheless concerned within the FA Cup and Champions League.

Tuchel’s facet have been remarkably tight on the again, not conceding a single aim since February, however they’ve additionally lacked sharpness in entrance of aim.

In addition they face a difficult run-in, with consecutive matches towards Metropolis, Arsenal and Leicester in Might.

The challengers

May West Ham do the unthinkable and be a part of Europe’s massive weapons subsequent season?

David Moyes’ males are in fifth place within the Premier League, simply two factors behind Chelsea, and except for matches towards Leicester and Chelsea, their fixture record seems to be comparatively form.

However the Hammers, who’ve been lifted by the mortgage signing of Manchester United ahead Jesse Lingard, have taken simply 4 factors from their previous 4 matches and should guarantee they get again to profitable methods away to Wolves on Monday.

Moyes’ facet end their season with video games towards Brighton, West Brom and Southampton, all of whom are within the decrease reaches of the desk.

Tottenham, who regarded rank outsiders just a few weeks in the past, are only one level behind West Ham after 4 wins in 5 league video games.

Supervisor Jose Mourinho stays below stress after a season wherein Spurs have flattered to deceive however a win towards Metropolis on this month’s League Cup closing or a top-four end would give him an enormous increase.

The membership’s run-in seems to be comparatively easy, excluding a match towards United, whom they beat 6-1 in October.

Champions Liverpool are determined to salvage one thing from the wreckage of their title defence and so they could also be happy they don’t seem to be taking part in Arsenal at dwelling on Saturday.

Whereas Jurgen Klopp’s males, presently 5 factors behind Chelsea, haven’t gained within the league at Anfield since December, their outcomes on the highway have been significantly better.

The outsiders

Everton are stage on factors with Liverpool and have a sport in hand however they don’t have the expertise of their metropolis rivals on the sharp finish of the desk and haven’t completed within the prime 4 since 2005.

Supervisor Carlo Ancelotti final month talked concerning the membership’s Champions League dream however successive defeats to Chelsea and Burnley have broken their hopes and so they look unlikely to bridge the hole.

Arsenal are 9 factors behind Chelsea and are rank outsiders to return to the Champions League, the place they final performed within the 2016/17 season.

Fixtures

Saturday

Chelsea vs West Brom (1130 GMT), Leeds vs Sheffield United (1400), Leicester vs Manchester Metropolis (1630), Arsenal vs Liverpool (1900)

Sunday

Southampton vs Burnley (1100), Newcastle vs Tottenham (1305), Aston Villa vs Fulham (1530), Manchester United vs Brighton (1830)

Monday

Everton vs Crystal Palace (1700), Wolves vs West Ham (1915)

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