Four teams, one spot: square peg, round hole. With the top three spots this EPL season seemingly sorted, the battle for fourth is heating up.
Most pundits have locked away the top three spots this EPL season.
Runaway title favourites Manchester City (now, incredibly, into $1.03 with Palmerbet), Liverpool and Chelsea are considered near locks for the positions. Even factoring in Chelsea’s recent stumbles where they’ve won just two of their last eight league games, Thomas Tuchel’s men are still considered $1.03 to finish inside the Top 4. Taking that into consideration, it appears there is just one Champions League position left for the taking. And the battle to grab it is heating up.
So, who is best placed to snatch fourth as we enter the second half of the EPL season?
Arsenal (35pts, $2.63)
Aside from an all-conquering City side, Arsenal are the EPL’s most in-form side. Prior to their most recent game (in which they held their own despite going down to City 2-1) the Gunners had won their last four on the bounce. Mikel Arteta’s men could hardly have started the season in worse fashion: three games, no points, no goals. At that stage they were way out at $13 to finish inside the Top 4 and return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17. Since then, they’ve hit a level of form they haven’t reached in years. And it’s all been led by youth. Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe signal a new era at The Emirates, and fourth position this season would solidify that.
3 – In Gabriel Martinelli (20), Bukayo Saka (20) and Emile Smith Rowe (21), Arsenal have had three different players aged 21 or younger score for them in a single Premier League game for the very first time (excl. own goals). Talents. pic.twitter.com/PhXER40uTT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 18, 2021
Tottenham (33pts, $2.88)
Spurs have had a resurgence under new manager Antonio Conte. The Italian is unbeaten in eight EPL games at the North London club (five wins, three draws). The shift in their Top 4 price with Palmerbet since Conte arrived is considerable. When he walked in the doors in early November Spurs were $8.00. Now, they’re shorter than $3.00. Sunday’s cancelled North London derby against fellow aspirants Arsenal would have been (and still will be, once rescheduled) a clash with huge ramifications.
Antonio Conte on Tottenham project: “I’m enjoying my time here – fantastic atmosphere, a great stadium, a great training ground, our fans are incredible”. ⚪️ #THFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 14, 2022
Manchester United (32pts, $3.50)
At one stage $1.20 fancies to finish inside the EPL Top 4 (after Matchweek 5), United’s wholly uninspiring season sees them slip down in this market almost on a weekly basis. New manager Ralf Rangnick is yet to really make his mark on the side, who have won just once in their last four games (against bottom-placed Burnley). Speaking recently to Sky Sports, Cristiano Ronaldo ($10 second-favourite for this season’s Top Goalscorer award) made no bones about where the club should be. “I don‘t want to be here to be in sixth place, or seventh place, or fifth place,” the four-time Ballon d’Or winner said. “I’m here to try to win, to compete.”
Well, you’ve got work to do, Cristiano.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 'I don’t want to be here…to fight to be in sixth place or seventh place or fifth place'
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 13, 2022
West Ham (37pts, $8.50)
The feel-good story of the season. However West Ham, despite the fact they currently sit inside the Top 4, are currently considered the least likely (of these four clubs) to remain there come seasons’ end. That’s likely to do with an assumption that they might tail off the deeper we get into this EPL season. But they’ve shown throughout the year they’re more than happy to be written off. Defeat at home to Leeds on Sunday afternoon, despite starting strong $1.62 favourites, could come back to hurt.
FULL-TIME West Ham 2-3 Leeds
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 16, 2022