With just 14 games to go before the Premier League ends for another few month, the top teams are now preparing to do battle for the top four places to secure Champions League football next season.
It’s already shaping up to be an entertaining finish to the football season and, with many things still to play for, there’s almost certainly going to be a few surprises along the way. Who’s going to finish in the top four this season and who are set to miss out?
There isn’t much stopping Manchester City at the moment – Pep has definitely worked his magic and got the best out of his half a billion-pound squad. You could say that they’ve purchased the league with the amount of money they’ve spent but the reality is, many teams have tried it in the past and have failed. Pep has been the ultimate difference in why Manchester City are now competing with Europe’s elite for the Champions League trophy this year. Can he continue to work his magic so Manchester City finishes with bragging rights over their Manchester United rivals? They’re pretty much guaranteed a top-four spot already.
Manchester United are Manchester City’s closest competitors this year, but they still trail the league leaders by 12 points. It would be very hard for United to catch City from here on out, but they still look good for a top 4 finish. With that being said, they still have the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool breathing down their necks, so they’ll still need to play better football to ensure they’re mixing with Europe’s giants next year. Lukaku would also need to change his fortunes around and get back to goal scoring ways to give United a decent chance of a top-four finish. Realistically, United fans can best hope for a second-place finish this year, as catching Manchester City from here would be almost impossible given the current form they’re in.
Chelsea was pretty disappointing at the start of the season, especially seeing as they walked the Premier League last year. However, they’ve definitely changed things around since they’ve got rid of Diego Costa, and it looks like they’ll be battling hard until the final whistle. It would be hard to see Chelsea drop out of the top four, but it could still happen if the players became complacent in the next few games. Look at Chelsea’s next fixtures and look at Toals.com to see if they’re worth having a chance on in the betting.
If Liverpool had Virgil Van Dijk at the start of the season, they probably wouldn’t have conceded so many goals and points. Ultimately, poor defensive displays have cost them the league this year because they have absolutely no problems when it comes to scoring goals. Coutinho has left Anfield now, but Firminho and Mohammad Salah seem to have things covered as far as an attacking mentality is concerned. Jurgen Klopp has changed things around for Liverpool fans because, after the Brendon Rogers stint, they looked uncompetitive throughout. If Liverpool can continue putting the ball in the back of the net and Virgil Van Dijk can fit in quickly, Liverpool will be serious contenders to end the Premier League season in the top four.
Obviously, there’s a long way off still until this season comes to a close. However, all teams involved at the top and bottom half of the table will be hoping for some positive results in the next few weeks, as that could shape the rest of the season for them. The above teams are the teams with a good chance of finishing in the top four this year, but you can’t count out the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, especially with the firing power they’ve got when it comes to attack-minded play. Will the above teams seal their positions at the end of the season or will Wenger and his men have much more to offer in the coming months to give them a fighting chance? Of course, with Harry Kane in excellent goalscoring form, Spurs could also be the dark horse to break into the top four once again.
So… What about The Gunners?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flew to London on the 30th January to put the finishing touches to a drawn-out transfer from Borussia Dortmund that Arsenal completed on Wednesday, which signals the final day of the January transfer window. He would be joining a team that slipped eight points off the Champions League qualification positions as a result of the chastening loss in South Wales. Arsenal has just 13 games to claw back the deficit, or the Gunners will be out of Europe’s elite competition for a second straight season.
Could Arsenal’s new signings make the difference?