With 12 games left in the EPL season, three teams – Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal – are vying for the final top-four spot. Who’s looking likeliest to grab it?
While much of the current focus is on Man City and Liverpool battling it out for the 2018/19 EPL title, there’s another big race going on beneath them.
And it’s neck and neck.
After 26 games, just a point separates Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal, as the trio scrap for the all-important final top-four EPL spot. Guaranteeing Champions League football next season, the stakes are high.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 16, 2019
So who is currently looking likeliest to finish fourth? Spurs, at this stage, appear locked into third. At $1.11 with Palmerbet to finish in the top four, they’re likely to stay there. The three other clubs, therefore, are analysed below, with a sharp focus on the run home.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been at the helm, things have become upbeat again at Old Trafford. And with eight wins and a draw in their last nine EPL outings, it’s no wonder United are the best-priced of the three clubs. A 2-0 loss to PSG in the Champions League last week brought forward the inevitable queries on Solskjaer’s credentials, but United bounced back beautifully against Chelsea in the FA Cup on Monday morning, casting them aside 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
19 Dec 2018: Man United 11 points off top four, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed caretaker boss
9 Feb 2019: Man United move into the top four for first time this season
The Solskjaer effect! 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/a5b3sbJpVE
— BT Sport Score (@btsportscore) February 9, 2019
But United have a tricky five-game stretch to content with. Their next five fixtures read:
- Liverpool (home)
- Crystal Palace (away)
- Southampton (home)
- Arsenal (away)
- Watford (home)
Naturally, the biggest of these is against Liverpool on Monday morning (AEDT). United go in as $3.00 outsiders at home, with Liverpool currently at $2.30 with Palmerbet.
Clearly the most interesting of the three. Chelsea have seemingly imploded, and there’s lots of talk of whether Maurizio Sarri will last the week, let alone the season. With three losses in their last four EPL games, Chelsea have slipped from $1.28 to $2.25 to make the top four. And it’s not even just the losses for Blues fans, it’s the manner in which they’ve slumped to heavy defeats. Their last three losses read: 6-0, 4-0, 2-0. Sarri is sinking, and it’s now or never for the Italian.
Maurizio Sarri "will be sacked" if Chelsea lose to Manchester City in Sunday's Carabao Cup final, according to reports.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 20, 2019
Their coming month, however, makes for easier reading:
- Tottenham (home)
- Fulham (away)
- Wolves (home)
- Everton (away)
- Cardiff (away)
Despite their recent troubles, they start the match against Spurs as $2.30 favourites with Palmerbet.
Unai Emery’s side are currently the outsiders to claim the final top four spot. But they could represent good value. The Gunners have halved their price from $8 after three wins in their last four EPL clashes. Their biggest hurdle will be back-to-back games against top four opposition – the North London Derby on March 2, and Man United the following week. Should they get through that with three or four points, they’ll set themselves up for a real crack at that final top four spot. Their next five EPL clashes read:
- Southampton (home)
- Bournemouth (home)
- Tottenham (away)
- Man United (home)
- Newcastle (home)
"They need to get him on the pitch and playing for Arsenal because it's their only chance of getting towards the top four."
Tim Sherwood isn't happy to see Mesut Ozil sitting on the sidelines for Arsenal.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 20, 2019