How will the race for the top four play out?

While Liverpool and Manchester City contest the most exciting title race for a number of years, there is an equally enthralling battle for the remaining spots in the Premier league top four, as Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United battle for Champions League qualification.

With just five games to go (four for Chelsea) only three points separate 3rd place Spurs from United in 6th. At this point they look like they could finish in any order, but four into two doesn’t go.

So which two of these sides will make it into the top four?

With Arsenal’s hard-fought 1-0 victory away at Watford on Monday night, The Gunners are back in 4th spot, ahead of 5th placed Chelsea on goal difference but having played a game less and two points clear of United.

If both Tottenham and Arsenal can win their remaining fixtures from here then it will not matter what Chelsea or Manchester United do, as Spurs and Arsenal will finish 3rd and 4th respectively. Primarily for that reason, bookmakers have the North London duo as odds-on favourites to make up the top four behind City and Liverpool.

Tottenham are 2/7 with top online casinos and betting sites to secure a top four spot while Arsenal are priced at 4/9, with Chelsea at 11/8 and United 11/4 outsiders. But there will no doubt be more twist and turns yet in the run-in and aside from already having points in the bag, each side’s remaining fixtures should be considered.

For Tottenham that starts with a trip to title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime, a fixture that they will also have to navigate without Harry Kane, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.

Should Spurs lose at the Etihad as expected (City are odds-on across the board to take all three points and are a best-priced 7/20 to beat Spurs across real money online pokies) then they will potentially be in a position of having surrendered their points advantage over the trio behind them, with the prospect of then having to play their final four games without their main goal threat in Kane.

Arsenal probably have the kindest run-in on paper, with their remaining fixtures coming against Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester, Brighton and Burnley, with only Brighton really left with anything to play for as they fight to beat relegation and The Gunners will fancy their chances of beating the Seagulls at home. The most difficult run-in on paper however belongs to Man United.

After a difficult looking trip to an enigmatic Everton side this Sunday, they host neighbours City in midweek, before a six-pointer with Chelsea at Old Trafford. United will finish the season with routine looking fixtures against already relegated Huddersfield and Cardiff, but it may well be that their fate is already sealed by the time 90 minutes is up against Chelsea.

Aside from their trip to United, Chelsea’s other three remaining fixtures come against Burnley, Watford and Leicester. 

How will the race for the top four play out?

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