The race for top four


The race for the top four has continued over this week’s fixtures as Chelsea fell short at home for the third consecutive match, Arsenal lost on the weekend then triumphed midweek and Tottenham Hotspur lost late on to Brighton and Hove Albion in a match that could prove costly.

Here we look through the race for the top four and who is looking most likely to secure the Champions League for next season.


Chelsea are by far the favourites to secure third place in the Premier League. Despite a shock loss to Arsenal on Wednesday night, their recent performances have been strong of late.

With a cruise past Southampton in the league, a sublime execution, albeit not enough, against Real Madrid in the Champions League and a professional performance against a hearted Crystal Palace side in the FA Cup, Thomas Tuchel’s men have shown they have what it takes to set themselves apart from the rest of the flock.

However, Chelsea are not past the finish line just yet. The Blues still have to face West Ham United and Manchester United this month and Wolverhampton Wanderers in May. These matches will provide a test for Tuchel as he comes to the end of the season; but, for now, it would be a shock to not see Champions League football at Stamford Bridge next season.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs have been resurged in recent weeks under Antonio Conte. Their most recent match against Brighton slowed their momentum, but the side have been on form in recent weeks. Spurs’ January signings have helped provide a greater attacking threat than before.

The linkup of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and newcomer Dejan Kulusevski has revitalised Spurs in their Champions League push, playing their part in the Lilywhites scoring a total of 14 goals in their last five matches.

It seems clear that Spurs are going to be battling their north London rivals, Arsenal, for the coveted fourth spot. Both sides are currently on 57 points after 31 matches: with Spurs ahead on goal difference. This is where the fixture list favours the white side of North London.

Spurs have a difficult match against Liverpool in May and the north London derby just after, but this is where their hardships end. The final two matches for Conte’s side are against relegation-battlers Burnley and Norwich City, where both could be down coming into the latter stages of the season.


The Gunners’ win against Chelsea – courtesy of two goals from ex-Chelsea youth product Eddie Nketiah – saw them climb back within reaching distance of Spurs.

Arsenal were the clear favourites to obtain the fourth spot a few weeks ago, but three consecutive losses to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton made them fall in people’s estimations.

The absence of both Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey have hurt the side. Mikel Arteta has had a difficult job in finding replacements to fill these roles – with Nuno Tavares looking uncomfortable on the pitch and Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny not offering the same performances that Partey can.

Arsenal’s fixture list is looking tough. The Gunners face Manchester United next, with West Ham and Spurs still to play afterwards. The match against their north London rivals could be the deciding fixture in where Champions League football is played next season.

For now, the race for the top four is heating up – and it should not slow down anytime soon. Arsenal’s win over a weakened Chelsea side gave the Gunners a lifeline in their bid to overtake Spurs, whilst the Lilywhites fell at the final hurdle against Brighton.

These results see Chelsea looking comfortable in third place with 62 points; and Spurs and Arsenal level on 57. All eyes will be on the north London derby that is due to take place in May – a match that might dictate the season of the Conte’s and Arteta’s sides.

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