The Premier League has never been stronger. Six teams are in the race for a place in the Champions League and it remains to be seen who will represent England in the elite competition next season. League leaders Chelsea have all but booked their place, but fellow top-table sides will have to be at their sharpest for the remainder of the season if they are to do so.
Antonio Conte is on the right track to bring glory days back to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have been producing scintillating performances under the Italian tactician and they are leading the chase for the Premier League title. The Blues are eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City ahead of matchday 26 and, seeing that Antonio Conte has a full squad to choose from at the moment, it is no surprise general football predictions are pointing towards Chelsea to win the domestic trophy.
The Blues are 10 points above fellow capital club Arsenal, who sit in fourth place in the Premier League standings, meaning that the Stamford Bridge outfit are likely to book their place in the Champions League without any difficulties. Chelsea do not take part in Champions League this season and, no doubt, they deserve to be a part of the greatest club competition in the world.
Manchester City finished the 2015/16 season in fourth position in the Premier League standings and, as a result, they booked their place in the Champions League qualifiers. By beating Steaua Bucharest in the playoffs, the Citizens made it to the group stages and, to make things even better for the fans, they advanced to the last-16 of the prestigious competition as well. Manchester City aim to retain their spot in the Champions League, but it remains to be seen if they are capable of finishing the 2016-17 Premier League campaign in the top four.
Pep Guardiola’s men have been having their ups and downs this term but it seems as if they have found their form in 2017. However, the Citizens are still playing on three fronts and that could prove to be a big problem for the Etihad club, speaking of the race for a place in the Champions League. Key attacker Sergio Agüero has been in Gabriel Jesus’ shadow of late and there is every chance the Argentine superstar will leave the club in the summer transfer window.
Over the years, Tottenham Hotspur have established themselves as one of the best teams in the Premier League. Mauricio Pochettino is doing a great job with the club and the Argentine tactician helped them qualify for the Champions League group stages last term. Spurs, though, failed to impress in Group E, with the team finishing in third place in the standings, three points behind Bayer Leverkusen.
Regardless of that, Tottenham aim to participate in the elite competition for a second consecutive season and many football predictions suggest that Pochettino’s men will finish the season in top four. Spurs face an easy fixture list for the remainder of the season and seeing that both Dele Alli and Harry Kane have been in a fine form in 2017, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they book their spot in the Champions League.
Arsenal are on the verge of suffering elimination in the Champions League. The Gunners suffered a heavy 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the first leg, meaning that they should be fully focused on the league in the remainder of the season. Alexis Sánchez and co. are desperate to save the season by finishing the 2016-17 Premier League campaign in top four, but they are on a very difficult quest.
The Gunners have yet to face the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool in the second half of the season and many predictions suggest that Arsène Wenger’s men will fail to clinch their spot in the Champions League. Sánchez and Mesut Özil are enjoying yet another successful season but the duo are unlikely to help Arsenal retain their spot in the prestigious club competition.
Liverpool kicked off the new Premier League campaign in style; the Reds were scoring goals for fun in the first half of the season, but, as expected, they suffered a dip in form. Jürgen Klopp’s team recorded only one win in previous six league fixtures but a 2-0 victory over Tottenham helped them regain a much-needed confidence.
Liverpool are only one point behind the Champions League berths but, similar to Arsenal, they face a difficult fixture list in the remainder of the season. The Reds often struggle in the season finale and many do not believe that they are capable of booking their place in the elite competition. Anyhow, Klopp’s team are likely to stick to their attacking style of play and, no doubt, fans around the globe will enjoy watching Liverpool’s games.
Even though many people expected that José Mourinho would help Manchester United regain the Premier League trophy, the Special One is unlikely to do so as the Red Devils are 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea after 25 rounds. The Old Trafford club made a slow start to the season, but it seems as if Mourinho has found his best starting 11. Manchester United have been producing fine showings in the second half of the season and considering that the Portuguese tactician has no injury worries at the moment, there is every chance the English giants will regain their spot in the Champions League.
Six clubs are still in the race for a place in the Champions League and, as already mentioned, Chelsea will almost certainly represent England in the elite competition. The Manchester clubs should finish the season in top four as well and, taking everything into account, I think that Tottenham Hotspur will be the fourth Premier League side that will be rewarded with a ticket for the next season’s edition of the Champions League.
About the author:
Ignacio del Valle Ruiz, a true fan of football, is one of the founders of FootballPredictions.com – website that also offers Premier League Predictions that can be found on this page. Alongside still playing on the pitch, he manages a youth team in lower division football. He enjoys late night football talks.