The race of the Champions League spots in the Premier League is hotting up- it’s the closest it’s been for years. so, who is going to finish in the top 4 golden spots? Read the Soccabet view on it.
Southampton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool all are in with a chance of a top-four finish- there are only 3 points between the third placed team to the eighth.
While Chelsea and Manchester City are in a bruising 2-way scrap for the Barclays Premier League title, no less than 5 teams are slugging it out for the two remaining places in the top four.
The points differential between Southampton in 3rd spot and Liverpool in 7th is a measly 3 points, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham all scrapping for points in the middle.
The stake couldn’t be any higher- Europe’s elite competition is a money spinner. But who’s going to make it? We take a look.
Southhampton don’t like letting in goals- they are pretty tidy at the back with just 17 Premier League goals concede in the 2014/15 season – the best record of all the clubs. Ronald Koeman has a ship-shape back-four, spearheaded by captain Jose Fonte. They are a well oiled machine.
BUT, they lack experience. They are young and hungry, but will they fall at the final hurdles? They have Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea to play. Those are some pretty high hurdles.
With Graziano Pelle in the side, they might do it though. He likes scoring.
This is a team with European pedigree. They look like they belong in Europe’s top competition. Are they peaking at the right time? Possibly. The Professor thinks so.
BUT, they have injury problems. Fully fit, they are a handful for any team, but on crutches? If Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey don’t recover, they might splutter out. Maybe Sanchez came back too soon? It was a big call from the French coach. They have to play Everton, Liverpool, Sunderland, Chelsea (at home at least) and Man U (away). Theo Walcott will be key.
Man U are one of Europes big clubs, and they have the muscle this year. Louis van Gaal hasn’t quite cracked it in the final third (hell, they are even punting up the long ball), but if their attacking game clicks into place, they have the men to get them into the Champions League all right. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao. Need we say more?
BUT, they don’t play well week in, week out. They are still inconsistent- when you think they are motoring, they run out of gas. Will Man U fans cope witha second season out of the Champion’s League? Will Louis van Gaal survive successive seasons in Europes’s wilderness? We’ll see.
They have to play Liverpool, Newcastle, Man City (home at least for this derby) and arch rivals the Gunners.
It’s been a frustrating stop-start season season for Manchester United, but don’t bet against them.
One reason here. Harry Kane. He has been Spurs’ Golden Boy this season with 23 in the back of the net. If he continues in this form, Tottenham have a really good chance.
BUT, they leak like the proverbial holey bucket at the back. The defence hasn’t been settled. They have had 34 goals put past them, and that’s not good enough. Pochettino needs to sort it or they are going to miss the cut. They need to play Man U (away), Man City (home) and Everton among others.
Another massive European Club, on the same shelf as Man Uts and Real Madrid in the histroy books, at least. They are starting to build a run of results, and if they can maintain it like they did last year, they could make it. Daniel Sturridge is back and Raheem Sterling is firing on all 4 cylinders again. The Reds are loooking good again.
BUT, they have a lot of catching up to do, after such a poor start to the seaon. From now on in, they have no room to put a foot wrong. It’s win or bust. Plus they have the FA Cup to worry about. If Daniel Sturridge gets back on the pitch and starts to work his magic, it could give them the boost they desperately need to seem them through.
All in all? Fascinating.