Premier League

Assessing the Premier League top four contenders' remaining fixtures

Robbie Copeland
Apr 12, 2021, 4:30 PM GMT+1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Brendan Rodgers are heading for Champions League football next season...or are they?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Brendan Rodgers are heading for Champions League football next season...or are they? | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
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The title race may be dead and buried, the relegation spots may be all but sewn up, but the race for the top four is only just getting started.

Outside of champions-elect Manchester City, there are seven teams harbouring realistic hopes of playing Champions League football next season. But only three of them can get there, and they will battle it out over the final seven gameweeks for one of those coveted spots.

But who has it easiest? 90min have taken a look at each contender's remaining fixtures, and assessed their top four chances based on who they have left to play.

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched Man Utd beat Tottenham
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his side beat Tottenham | Pool/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures: Burnley (H), Leeds (A), Liverpool (H), Aston Villa (A), Leicester (H), Fulham (H), Wolves (A)

If Manchester United manage to not qualify for the top four this season, then questions need answering. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team have a commanding lead over the rest - they're seven points clear of third-placed Leicester - but their run-in does look awkward.

Clashes with Liverpool and Leicester could drag them back into a fight if things go against them, but away games with Leeds, Aston Villa and Wolves look less imposing when you consider they are yet to lose on their travels this season.

They should (should) be fine.

Current position: 2nd
Predicted finish: 2nd

Leicester

Brendan Rodgers during Leicester's defeat to West Ham
Brendan Rodgers during Leicester's defeat to West Ham | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures: West Brom (H), Crystal Palace (H), Southampton (A), Newcastle (H), Man Utd (A), Chelsea (A), Tottenham (H)

It's been an impressive season for Leicester, but their defeat to West Ham at the weekend was a sign that their top four spot is far from assured.

That's especially true when you look at their final three fixtures: Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham. It doesn't get much tougher than that, and Brendan Rodgers' team will need to use their next four matches to build momentum and strengthen their grip on third spot.

Current position: 3rd
Predicted finish: 3rd

West Ham

Remaining fixtures: Newcastle (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A), Everton (H), Brighton (A), West Brom (A), Southampton (H)

West Ham have been the most entertaining team in this season's Premier League (or have had the most entertaining narrative, anyway). but recent wins over Wolves and Leicester have displayed a fragility that could cost them when Chelsea and Everton travel to the London Stadium.

Otherwise, they have a reasonable run as they look to secure a dream return to the top table of European football. It's going down to the wire.

Current position: 4th
Predicted finish: 5th

Chelsea

Remaining fixtures: Brighton (H), West Ham (A), Fulham (H), Man City (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (H), Aston Villa (A)

Chelsea have been a resurgent force under Thomas Tuchel but they are far from infallible - as a 5-2 defeat to West Brom a week ago showed.

They will fancy their chances of nicking fourth spot but there are some big tests to come. Of their seven remaining games, three teams sit in the current top four, while London derbies with Arsenal will always be unpredictable.

Current position: 5th
Predicted finish: 6th

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp during Liverpool's win over Aston Villa
Liverpool picked up a late win against Aston Villa | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures: Leeds (A), Newcastle (H), Man Utd (A), Southampton (H), West Brom (A), Burnley (A), Crystal Palace (H)

Liverpool have it all to do as they look to rescue a Champions League spot from a desperately poor season, but things are tight enough that one week could change it all. The Reds have rediscovered their winning form when many of their rivals are stuttering, and Jurgen Klopp will be quietly fancying his team's chances.

They've already got most of their dangerous games out the way too. Five of their remaining seven matches are against teams currently in the bottom half, though trips to Elland Road and Old Trafford will put their recent recovery to the test.

Current position: 6th
Predicted finish: 4th

Tottenham

Remaining fixtures: Everton (A), Southampton (H), Sheffield Utd (H), Leeds (A), Wolves (H), Aston Villa (H), Leicester (A)

It's really not happening for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham, is it?

They've become masters at throwing things away; Sunday's defeat to Manchester United was the eighth time they've dropped points from a winning position in the league this season.

Their run-in is a mixed bag, but you don't fancy them to drum up the sort of consistency it will take to climb the table.

Current position: 7th
Predicted finish: 7th

Everton

Carlo Ancelotti in Everton's draw with Crystal Palace
Carlo Ancelotti needs a response from his team | PETER POWELL/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures: Aston Villa (A)*, Brighton (A), Tottenham (H), Arsenal (A), Aston Villa (H), West Ham (A), Sheffield Utd (H), Wolves (H), Man City (A)

*date TBC

With two games in hand on all of the teams above them, Carlo Ancelotti's team aren't out of the fight yet. But they have the busiest run, and don't even know when they will be playing their away game against Aston Villa, which was postponed earlier this season.

They will need to put together an impressive run of results, but if they can use their extra games to close the gap, then they have as much of a chance as anyone.

Current position: 8th
Predicted finish: 8th

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