By Jonathan Lewis | 24th March 2021
Manchester City may be close to wrapping up the 2020-21 Premier League title but the race for the remainder of the top four looks set to go down to the wire.
Just nine points separate Chelsea in fourth down to Arsenal in ninth with several of the clubs in these positions still competing in European competitions this season.
Manchester United and Leicester City have opened up a gap between themselves and fourth spot, but it may only take a defeat or two to drag them back into the dog fight.
The current top four are whom Betway Sportwetten have as the favourites to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but as we know from history, nothing can be taken for certain when it comes to the Premier League.
Here’s a look at each teams chances:
Not everyone had Manchester United down as a top four side this season so credit to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the work he’s done to date. Though the Red Devils certainly can’t afford to rest on their laurels as they have midweek European fixtures that could affect their domestic performances.
United still have to go to Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, whilst hosting Liverpool and Leicester City.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have been both good and consistent this season and it’s hard to see them dropping out the top four now they don’t have European commitments. Leicester City are also through to the FA Cup semi-finals.
As well as going to Manchester United, the Foxes also travel to West Ham United and Chelsea, whilst hosting Manchester City and Tottenham.
Thomas Tuchel has revived Chelsea after replacing Frank Lampard and now has the Blues back in the top four, as well as the Champions League quarter-finals and FA Cup semi-finals.
Three of their final four Premier League fixtures include Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester as is being hotly discussed on football blogs.
Who would have had David Moyes’ side still competing for Champions League action at the end of March? Only two points outside the top four and that’s courtesy of blowing a 3-0 lead over Arsenal to draw over the weekend.
The Hammers haven’t faired very well against the top teams at all this season but only have Leicester and Chelsea remaining, both of which are at home.
A must-needed victory at Aston Villa over the weekend kept Tottenham Hotspur in the race for the top four, after a week which included losing the North London Derby and being humiliatingly kicked out of the Europa League.
Jose Mourinho’s side host Manchester United but still need to go to Everton and Leicester City in a tricky remaining schedule.
A weak title defence, Liverpool are also on the outside looking in on the Champions League places. Though they are in with an outside chance of winning that competition themselves this season as they are in the final eight.
Jurgen Klopp’s side need to find some form immediately if they’re to break into the top four, starting with a trip to Arsenal over the Easter weekend.
Back-to-back Premier League defeats may have ended Everton’s hopes of a top four finish but with no European or FA Cup distractions they still have hope.
The Toffees have Tottenham (home), Arsenal (away), West Ham (away) and Manchester City (away) still to come.
Arsenal realistically need to win their remaining nine fixtures just to have a chance of finishing in the top four. Winning the Europa League as a way to get into the Champions League seems more likely for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Remaining fixtures at home to Liverpool, Everton and away to Chelsea give them a chance to close in on the sides above them, whilst they do also face a number of teams towards the bottom of the table.
Jonathan Lewis is an MFF sports writer