As the Premier League season draws to a close, the battle for every position is heating up. The title battle came to an end this weekend after Arsenal collapsed, which helped Manchester City lift the trophy. However, the struggle for other positions is very ongoing. From a relegation battle to securing European football, there is still a lot to play this season in the Premier League. The thing that will be focused on in this article is the race to secure the top four spots.
There have been plenty of twists and turns along the way for the battle to seal the UEFA Champions League for next season. However, the picture is now starting to look much clearer after Liverpool’s draw at the weekend. Not so long ago, it looked like Manchester United and Newcastle had done enough to secure the top four. However, a lively run of positive results has helped Jurgen Klopp’s side get straight back into the mix. Unfortunately for them, dropping points against Aston Villa could end their hopes of returning to the Champions League. Let’s take a look at what it takes for each team to close the top four in the Premier League table.
At the moment, Newcastle United and Manchester United have 69 points and occupy the third and fourth places, respectively, in the standings. Both of them have played 36 matches so far. Meanwhile, Liverpool have played one more game and have just 66 points. The maximum Liverpool can get this season is 69 points. Even that may not be enough to pounce on Newcastle as the Magpies have a better goal difference. However, to be absolutely sure of this, Newcastle only need one point. They welcome relegation wrestlers Leicester City at St James’ Park before playing Chelsea away in their final match. If Newcastle can get a single point in either of those matches, they can guarantee a fourth-place finish.
Erik ten Hag’s team have been going through a bit of a wiggle lately, causing some concern among their supporters. However, they recovered from those setbacks to post back-to-back wins, which put them in the driver’s seat for a top-four finish. Liverpool dropping points in their weekend match made the task a little easier for the Red Devils. All they need is one point from their last two matches. First, they welcome struggling Chelsea to Old Trafford and then end the season with another home game against Fulham. With the matches remaining in mind, Manchester United should secure Champions League football comfortably from this stage.
This has been a disappointing season for Liverpool. They were just a shadow of their former selves and have struggled to find any kind of consistency in this campaign. After dropping out of cup competition in the early stages, Liverpool now look certain to finish in the top four. To their credit, the Reds have had fantastic success lately which has taken them one step closer to winning an unlikely place in the Champions League. However, their draw against Aston Villa ended their dream. Having played a game more, Liverpool will now need both Manchester United and Newcastle to lose their last two games, an unlikely prediction on its own. Then they need to win their match away to relegated Southampton. Liverpool seem to have left it a little late to make a showdown in their quest to finish in the top four.