Top-Four Race Set To Gather Pace
The race for the Champions League places has already intrigued but the excitement will go up several notches in the second half of the season. Who will make it?
The race for the Champions League places has already intrigued but the excitement will go up several notches in the second half of the campaign.
The two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, and Arsenal have been England’s representatives in the competition in the last three seasons. Only Manchester United will be concerned about qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
United sit seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City as the Premier League approaches the halfway stage. Whilst it is not a huge gap, the manner of their five defeats will no doubt worry David Moyes.
Another worry will be the strength of the teams currently in the top four. City and Chelsea have underperformed to some extent given the quality of their squads but are still within touching distance of the summit, while Arsenal and Liverpool have over-performed and must now be looking beyond simply a Champions League place.
Barring a disastrous second half of the season by their standards, City and Chelsea will finish in the top four, with Arsenal also unlikely to give up their spot. That means only one spot is realistically up for grabs.
Liverpool at 4/6 with BetVictor are the favourites to complete the English contingent but they face competition from Manchester United (5/4), who have become part of the Champions League furniture.
Much will depend on how Brendan Rodgers’ side cope without injured pair Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard, who are both set to be out until mid-January.
United need to strengthen in the January transfer window if they are to keep pace with their rivals at the top. A world-class central midfielder has to be at the top of Moyes’ wishlist.
Beyond those five clubs, Everton have enjoyed a fine season to date and will fancy their chances of taking advantage of any slip-ups. Tottenham were expected to challenge but have just sacked their manager and must now rebuild.
All eyes will be on the transfer window as the top clubs aim to ensure they are fully equipped to hold off their rivals in the race to the Champions League.
Who do you think will finish in the top four this season?
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