The Race for the Premier League Top Four: Who’s in With a Shout?
By Space Coast Daily // March 9, 2021
With Manchester City pulling further and further clear at the top of the Premier League table, it seems pretty likely that the title will be theirs come the end of the season. The teams below them have failed to deliver any kind of consistency, and as a result, the battle for the remaining three Champions League positions has never been tighter.
There are several teams that are still in with a shout of earning qualification for Europe’s premier club competition, and the bet exchange odds have never been tighter, so let’s take a look a look at the teams that will be dreaming of the famous Champions League anthem.
Manchester United have been City’s closest challengers over the last few months, but they now look unlikely to topple their cross-city rivals after a run of inconsistent results. You can’t help but think that this season represents an opportunity missed for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side to make a real bid for the title, but nevertheless they are in a strong position to cement a top-four spot. United’s exit from the group stage of the Champions League this season will mean they’ll be doubly motivated to ensure they return
While Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City have looked unstoppable at times, there have been plenty of matches where they’ve failed to fully assert themselves. The recent 1-1 draw with Burnley was a prime example, as Sean Dyche’s well-drilled Clarets frustrated Leicester throughout the match.
Of course, the Foxes narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season, and while they’re in a strong position currently, they’ll need to ensure they maintain a good level of consistency.
West Ham United
West Ham has been this season’s surprise package, without a doubt, and are enjoying their best campaign since moving to the London Stadium. David Moyes has surprised everyone by turning his team into something like a winning machine, and this is reflected in the Hammers’ position in the table. There are still doubts as to West Ham’s ability to sustain this top four challenge all the way to the end of the season, but given their form recently, they can’t be written off.
After stagnating somewhat under Frank Lampard, the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge has given Chelsea a major boost, and it’s clear that the German is already making his presence felt at the club. The team is unbeaten since Tuchel took the reins, and that kind of form has meant that Chelsea are now knocking on the door of the top four positions in the Premier League table. Tuchel is a coach with plenty of pedigree, and he’ll feel he belongs in the Champions League.
Liverpool’s 2021 has been a marked contrast to their 2020. A run of poor results in January saw them cut adrift of the title race and forced to battle it out for Champions League qualification alone. Given their dominance last season, this campaign’s drop-off has been hard to explain, but their supporters will still trust Jürgen Klopp to turn things around and deliver a strong finish.
With Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Everton fans have been enjoying the relative consistency the team has displayed this season compared to other campaigns. The Toffees are still in with a decent chance of Champions League qualification, and if they build some momentum leading into the final weeks of the season, then they might just fancy their chances of sneaking in.
It’s fair to say that Tottenham Hotspur have only an outside chance of earning Champions League qualification for next season. The campaign began so promisingly for José Mourinho’s side, but a sudden dip in form over the festive period saw them drop out of title contention, and they have slid further down the table since. It’ll take a sharp turnaround for them to get back in the hunt for those coveted top four places.