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The Top Four Race: Who will come out on top?

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Jurgen Klopp
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The Race for the Top Four is Heating up

 

The Top Four Race: Who will come out on top?

With the near conclusion of the Premier League season the Champions and relegated trio have both been confirmed.

Meaning that there are only one set of positions still to play for. The top four.

With a Champions League slot vital for factors both on and off the field, the four clubs in the race will be desperate to secure a position amongst Europe’s elite.

Manchester United’s continued progress under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjær has seen them confirm a place.

Though their 2-1 defeat against Leicester City at Old Trafford looks to be a monumental step towards the Champions League for a Foxes side looking to write the wrongs of falling away last season.

Chelsea’s remarkable run of form since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel has seen them gain an edge of the chasing pack. Whilst fellow Londoners West Ham United, have been the feel-good story of this campaign after being tipped for relegation they are well in the Champions League mix.

On the flip side, Liverpool have been this year’s major underperformers. Off the back of their first-ever Premier League title, Jurgen Klopp’s side have suffered injuries to key players and look a shadow of their former selves. They need to win all their remaining games to secure a place.

We take a look at who has the best chances of making the top four.

 

Leicester City – 3rd

Points – 66, Played – 36

Leicester City have been on an upwards curve since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in 2019.

With the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham losing their grip of the top 6, the Foxes have capitalised.

Last season they were a constant presence in the top four for the majority of the season, though following Project Restart, they fell away and were replaced by Manchester United on the final day.

Though this year they’ve gone one better.

The addition of Wesley Fofana has proved a tremendous one, so has the signing of versatile Timothy Castagne.

Harvey Barnes’ development as a player has taken strides this year as he received international recognition.

Whilst the rejuvenation of Kelechi Iheanacho has been key in recent months alongside the evergreen Jamie Vardy.

Despite having Chelsea and Spurs to play in their final two fixtures, Leicester should have enough points on the board to make it over the line.

 

Chelsea – 4th

Points – 64, Played – 36

When Frank Lampard left Chelsea earlier on this season, the club were lingering in midtable. Not a good enough position following £200 million of summer spending.

The additions of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were supposed to see the Blues threaten the top of the table.

Lampard paid the price for the club’s disappointing position and was replaced by former PSG manager Thomas Tuchel.

From then on, Chelsea have lived up to their pre-season expectations and breezed past challenges in both the Premier League -bar a 5-2 defeat to Big Sam’s West Brom- and Champions League.

Despite passing up a golden opportunity to solidify their position in the top for against Arsenal, the Blues presumably have enough in them to make the top four.

 

West Ham United – 6th

Points – 58, Played – 35

With David Moyes guiding his side to safety following the resumption of fixtures last season, many presumed West Ham would be set for another troubling season.

Unconvincing summer business and a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle on the opening day saw many predict that they’d be battling the drop. Quite the opposite to their current position.

Moyes has rediscovered his golden touch whilst his squad have shown quality and character many thought they didn’t have.

Following a spectacular comeback against Tottenham, the Hammers have gone from strength to strength, with the likes of Michail Antonio, Thomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen shining, pushing them into the race for the top four.

But it was a January addition that has given them an extra edge. That being Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United.

Lingard has silenced his critics and scored for fun as the Hammers defied expectations to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Despite being considered as favourites for their three remaining games, defeats to Newcastle and Everton may just force Moyes’ side to finish outside the top four, with Liverpool also squeezing ahead of the London side midweek.

 

Liverpool – 5th

Points –  60, Played – 35

As previously mentioned, Liverpool have been the greatest disappointment from this campaign.

A remarkable 2019/20 season saw them cruise to their first Premier League title and complete a remarkable job by Jurgen Klopp.

Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were excellent, Jordan Henderson was a great captain and leader, they had two of the best full-backs in the world, and Virgil Van Dijk was a colossus.

With the signing of Thiago and their early season form, many predicted they would go close again.

But as the campaign went on, the wheels began to come off.

Van Dijk suffered a season-ending injury, as did Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, leaving the Reds without a recognised centre-back.

Thiago struggled to find his best form whilst adapting to English football, whilst Jordan Henderson was also ruled out.

With the likes of Mane, Firmino, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold losing form, a title challenge deteriorated to a top four challenge.

Salah’s consistency has played a big part in Klopp’s side keeping their hopes alive, they will have to win all three of their remaining games if they are wanting to secure European football next season.

Based on this season, you just can’t expect them to do that which would see them just fall short.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article ‘The Top Four Race: Who will come out on top?’. Who do you think will finish in the top four? Let us know!

 

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Matthew Smith is a passionate sports fan and student with a strong ambition to break into the sports media industry, with his expertise lying in football and cricket. Having received an unconditional offer to study Sports Business & Broadcasting at UCFB Etihad Campus in September 2020, Matt is continuing to improve the range and quality of his sports content. He created, produces and hosts the cricketing podcast Caught and Bowled, produces Football Manger 2021 content on his YouTube channel “mattfm” and currently writes for WBAReport. As a long-suffering West Bromwich Albion fan Matt has been through the highs and lows of supporting his team whilst also witnessing landmark moments in English cricket such as the first time England passed 400 in an ODI fixture at Edgbaston in 2015 and Jimmy Anderson‘s record 11th wicket partnership with Joe Root against India in 2014.

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