Battle for Premier League top four heats up

Manchester City currently have one hand on the Premier League prize however the fight for the leading 4 is most likely to decrease to the wire as a clutch of clubs look for to sign up with Europe’s elite next season.

AFP Sport has a look at the competitors as the 2020/21 project enters its last stretch, with 9 video games staying for the majority of groups.

The favourites

Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester and Chelsea presently inhabit the leading 4 locations in the English top-flight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United are 8 points clear of fifth-placed West Ham and are on track to complete in the leading 2 for just the 2nd time given that they were last champs in 2013.

United’s encounter does not appear too difficult, although they still need to take a trip to Tottenham and host Liverpool. They likewise play top-four competitors Leicester at Old Trafford.

Leicester came agonisingly near receiving the Champions League for just the 2nd time in their history last season however lost out on the last day, beaten by United.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, who last month beat United in the FA Cup quarter-finals, look more robust this year and are simply one point behind the Red Devils.

Leicester face Manchester City this weekend prior to a run of kinder components, however they will be eager to keep a buffer, with a tough set of matches to end the season — versus United, Chelsea and Spurs.

Chelsea, still unbeaten in all competitors given that Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January, remain in 4th area however have less margin for mistake and are likewise still associated with the FA Cup and Champions League.

Tuchel’s side have actually been extremely tight at the back, not yielding a single objective given that February, however they have actually likewise done not have sharpness in front of objective.

They likewise deal with a tough encounter, with successive matches versus City, Toolbox and Leicester in Might.

The oppositions

Could West Ham do the unimaginable and sign up with Europe’s huge weapons next season?

David Moyes’ males remain in 5th location in the Premier League, simply 2 points behind Chelsea, and aside from matches versus Leicester and Chelsea, their component list looks reasonably kind.

However the Hammers, who have actually been raised by the loan finalizing of Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard, have actually taken simply 4 points from their previous 4 matches and need to guarantee they return to winning methods away to Wolves on Monday.

Moyes’ side complete their season with video games versus Brighton, West Brom and Southampton, all of whom remain in the lower reaches of the table.

Tottenham, who looked rank outsiders a couple of weeks earlier, are simply one point behind West Ham after 4 wins in 5 league video games.

Supervisor Jose Mourinho stays under pressure after a season in which Spurs have actually flattered to trick however a win versus City in this month’s League Cup last or a top-four surface would provide him a big increase.

The club’s encounter looks reasonably uncomplicated, with the exception of a match versus United, whom they beat 6-1 in October.

Champions Liverpool are desperate to restore something from the wreckage of their title defence and they might be pleased they are not playing Toolbox in the house on Saturday.

While Jurgen Klopp’s males, presently 5 points behind Chelsea, have actually not won in the league at Anfield given that December, their outcomes on the roadway have actually been better.

The outsiders

Everton are level on points with Liverpool and have a video game in hand however they do not have the experience of their city competitors at the sharp end of the table and have actually not completed in the leading 4 given that 2005.

Supervisor Carlo Ancelotti last month spoke about the club’s Champions League dream however succeeding beats to Chelsea and Burnley have actually harmed their hopes and they look not likely to bridge the space.

Toolbox are 9 points behind Chelsea and are rank outsiders to go back to the Champions League, where they last played in the 2016/17 season.

Components

Saturday

Chelsea v West Brom (1130 GMT), Leeds v Sheffield United (1400), Leicester v Manchester City (1630), Toolbox v Liverpool (1900)

Sunday

Southampton v Burnley (1100), Newcastle v Tottenham (1305), Aston Rental property v Fulham (1530), Manchester United v Brighton (1830)

Monday

Everton v Crystal Palace (1700), Wolves v West Ham (1915)

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.