There are just three weeks to go before the Premier League heads for the curtain call. And yet, there are still four teams still fighting and scratching their way to finish in third and fourth before the season comes to an end. With just three points separating third from fifth, we analyse who have the best chance to secure the place in the top four.
Currently in 3rd place, 66 points
Four games left to play: Watford (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (A), Middlesbrough (H)
Historic English side Liverpool and their manager Jurgen Klopp are currently in pole position to finish in the top four as they are currently in third place and two points clear from fifth-placed Manchester United. Their last four remaining are against relatively-easy opposition so the Anfield outfit and their faithful will certainly be confident of finishing in the top four. However, if their previous horrendous outing at Crystal Palace is taken into account, it appears all is not clear for Liverpool in their final four games. Expect them to lose one or two of their matches in the run-in – and if they do, they can kiss their top four hopes goodbye.
Currently in 4th place, 65 points
Five games left to play: Middlesbrough (A), Crystal Palace (H), Leicester (H), West Brom (H), Watford (A)
After their dull 0-0 draw against fierce rivals and neighbours Manchester United during the midweek, Manchester City will feel confident in finishing in the top four. After all, if there is anyone who would benefit more in that stalemate, it is the Citizens, as they are currently in fourth already with five games to play – all against supposedly weaker opposition. However, their form as of late has not been as clear-cut as they would’ve preferred, drawing four of their last seven matches. While they could afford theoretically afford to draw a game, they must leave nothing to chance: every game they have from now until the end of the season, and just one loss will see them lose the race for Champions League qualification, especially with the Red Devils just one point away.
Currently in 5th place, 64 points
Five games left to play: Swansea (H), Arsenal (A), Spurs (A), Southampton (A), Crystal Palace (H)
Despite their noisy neighbours wounded and dazed in terms of form, Manchester United have failed to capitalise and have instead succumbed to a 0-0 draw against Manchester City. This means the Reds have missed their direct chance to surpass City in the Premier League table. Unlike the Blues, however, United have a tough set of fixtures in their run-in to the end of the campaign and it is very unlikely the will win all of those games. They also have Europa League matches to worry about in between, so manager Jose Mourinho will definitely have his hands full. If United can rotate their squad well and steer clear of injuries, they most certainly have a shot at finishing in the top four – but then again, that’s a big if as things stand.