The race for the Premier League top four is approaching a crucial stage with Manchester City and Arsenal involved in a title race with just five matches left. Both City and Arsenal have sealed qualification to next season’s Champions League. However, there are at least six teams fighting for the 3rd and 4th spots in the Premier League.
Race for the UEFA Champions League
The Premier League odds for the top four finish after an enthralling gameweek 34 are as follows:
- Manchester United – 1/33 (1.03)
- Newcastle United – 1/20 (1.05)
- Liverpool – 5/1 (6.00)
- Brighton – 20/1 (21.00)
- Tottenham – 500/1 (501.00)
- Aston Villa – 500/1 (501.00)
Manchester United’s win over Aston Villa during the weekend has put them in control of their destiny with the Red Devils having a seven-point advantage over Liverpool but with a game in hand. Newcastle had a more comfortable win over Southampton to retain the two-point advantage over Manchester United whilst having played a game more.
The real battle for the top four is between the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa, and Brighton. Only four points separate these four teams with Liverpool closest to the top four. A late win over Tottenham has immensely boosted Liverpool’s confidence going into the remaining five league matches of the campaign. Liverpool, who were 8th in the standings just three matchdays ago, have moved to fifth following the wins over West Ham and Spurs.
Liverpool’s prospect of a top-four finish does look very interesting with the recent form of four consecutive league wins. In the remaining five matches, Liverpool are up against teams in the bottom three in two of the matches. The matches against Fulham and Brentford could also turn out to be comfortable. The late win over Tottenham has dramatically changed Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish. Newcastle still have games against Arsenal and Chelsea that can turn out to be very tricky. Meanwhile, Manchester United will be on the road in three out of the next four games.
Even though Brighton have done exceedingly well to stay in contention up until the final stages of the top-four race, the Seagulls might ultimately run out of steam even if they have three games in hand over the likes of Aston Villa and Tottenham. In their remaining seven games, Brighton are up against all the teams in the top four. Brighton easily have the most difficult run-in and this will severely hamper them.
Tottenham let slip a major advantage against Liverpool. Even though Spurs have matches that look comfortable on paper, the North London outfit have serious off-field issues that can hurt them. Spurs are also relying on other teams to drop points. The away games against Aston Villa and Leeds might be the trickiest of the lot.
Race for the UEFA Europa League
Only the fifth position gets a confirmed spot in the Europa League for the next campaign. However, another spot could open up depending on the direction of the English FA Cup final between the two Manchester rivals. The Premier League odds for finishing in the top six after matchday 34 are:
- Newcastle United – 1/1000 (1.001)
- Manchester United – 1/1000 (1.001)
- Liverpool – 1/25 (1.04)
- Brighton – 8/13 (1.61)
- Tottenham – 7/4 (2.75)
- Aston Villa – 3/1 (4.00)
- Brentford – 100/1 (101.00)
- Fulham – 500/1 (501.00)
- Chelsea – 1000/1 (1001.00)
Brighton’s hopes of securing a European spot for next season received a huge boost with the big win over Wolves. The massive success over the Midlands outfit has put Brighton just two points behind Tottenham and Aston Villa. It certainly helps that both these outfits suffered a defeat during the weekend. The Seagulls, though, have the toughest run-in of any other team even if they have three games in hand over Spurs and Villa.
Villa have been a top team in terms of momentum over the last few weeks. Manager Unai Emery knows the art of qualifying to the Europa League Even though Villa did suffer a loss during the weekend, there was no shame in losing to FA Cup finalists Manchester United away from home. Once again, the Midlands outfit do have a tough run-in with the team playing against their top six rivals in the last three games of the campaign.
Spurs are in a spot of bother with the team only managing one point from the last four league matches. The North London outfit do have a more comfortable end to the campaign with just one game against a top-six opponent in the remaining four matches. Yet, the lack of momentum and confidence within the squad will be a big problem for the Londoners who have finished lower than sixth in just one of the last 10 seasons.