While winning the league is obviously the goal, attaining a top-four place at the Premier League is vital for the ‘big six’ as they provide a gateway into the Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in Europe. It seems that the fourth position is the most fought over in terms of the scrap for Champions League football in England, and it never fails to entertain audiences. Historically, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have most commonly filled those places. But in more recent decades, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have taken the areas commonly vacated by Chelsea and Arsenal. This is not to say, nevertheless, that there is no variety in the top four among the ‘six’. In the past two years, Arsenal are the only club with that elite team to not have qualified for Champions League football, and in the previous four years, seven teams have been able to do it, including Leicester City if they won the Premier League at 2015/16. This season, the top few positions look complete with Manchester City Liverpool, and Leicester. Even though the Foxes and also Manchester City can swap positions a couple of times across the remainder of the year, but they appear to be the individuals who will end the campaign in the top three, leaving just one coveted place to acquire a qualification, but who will win the scrap for Champions League football?

Who Can Make it This Season?

This season has been particularly unpredictable, with all those ‘big six’ falling points like there’s no tomorrow. There are many teams fighting this particular scrap for Champions League soccer.

Chelsea: Current Fourth Place

Chelsea are the team. Their latest form, however, would suggest that they are currently attempting to fall from their perch. The Blues have won only four of their last twelve games, and these have included embarrassing losses to teams such as a fighting West Ham and relegation combating Bournemouth. The next games of Chelsea could prove to be crucial. They’ll play a Leicester, who will be trying to keep the kind that got them. Following they play Tottenham and Manchester United, two rivals for fourth the closer. They will capitalize on their point advantage if Chelsea manage to get a significant number of points from these games, but should they lose to their opponents, it might be detrimental to their bid for Champions League football. The Blues should capitalize on their simpler periods of matches, not falling points against teams at the bottom half just like a lot of the competition do. They may finish in fourth, if Chelsea can put together a run of form going.

Manchester United: Injury Struck

Manchester United put together some form in December, however a New Year’s Day loss to Arsenal struck them hard. Other teams across them have also dropped points, but United have won just one league match in 2020 so far. Presently from the Europa League, the Red Devils could have another route to the Champions League. They stand a great prospect of winning this competition, yet their trauma situation complicates both the and getting a great Premier League finish. Injuries have haunted United’s 2019/20 year old. Their two best midfielders in Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are out for much of the season. More recently, Marcus Rashford became a long term doubt, looking likely to come back in March or even April while the midfield duo seem set to be out until February. Like Chelsea, United fixtures seem very difficult. Their next three games are against their bogey team Wolverhampton Wanderers, fourth-placed Chelsea along with a rejuvenated Watford. After this, their matches do not get easier with resistance Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham and Sheffield United. Although these can make grim reading for any United fan, the Reds have been quite great from the “big six”, so can do better than expected. After this period, United have games against many teams stuck in the bottom half of the table and also will want to put together a run of form to stand a chance of getting fourth place. Although Rashford’s injury has given United’s bid for Champions League football an extra complication, they nevertheless have much quality in the group, and the possibility of an excess signing, United could still finish in fourth.

Tottenham: Big Injury, Big Issues

Having started the season with Mauricio Pochettino in charge, Jose Mourinho is now the boss at Tottenham. As Tottenham find themselves in six points off location, despite the managerial change, no change in type has occurred. Tottenham’s recent form has not been something. They have won just two of their last eight league games, and had a playoff to beat Championship opposition. Their most humiliating result came at a draw against Norwich City who sit rock bottom of the table. Spurs have just three current accidents, and while first-teamers Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies are replaceable with the current squad, Harry Kane is not. The Englishman is their best scorer, and since his injury spurs’ attack has appeared very weak. The forthcoming fixtures of Tottenham are a mixed bag. While they will play with United, Manchester City, and Chelsea, Spurs have. This provides Tottenham have an advantage in the race for fourth location.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Second Season of Exceeding Expectations

Only six decades ago, Wolverhampton Wanderers were a league one side. They are hard for a place in the top four of their English top flight. Last year, the Wolves side that was newly promoted ended in seventh place and they could further this time around to that with all the inconsistency of their other teams around them. Wolves haven’t looked great since the start of the calendar year. When favourites as those around them, they have been rather consistent, and haven’t fallen points. Wolves are handed an extra boost in their bid for fourth place. Wolves’ fixtures, like those of Spurs, give them rest between games that are big and the very best opportunity at four. They play with Manchester United followed by Leicester, and Arsenal followed closely by Sheffield United but there is not a large amount of congestion of difficult games, and being from the FA Cup helps them more.

Sheffield United: New and Successful

They were in League One, but Sheffield United was promoted to the Premier League last season after a second-place finish in the Championship. The Blades have been in eighth. Points have dropped this calendar year, having done so with fixtures that were demanding against Liverpool Manchester City and Arsenal. The Blades have no long term injuries, giving them an advantage in their bid for fourth place. The remaining fixtures of Sheffield seem markedly easier than those of their top-four competitions. They have only four matches against teams now above them, and the rest of their forthcoming games seem very winnable. The Blades could be able to acquire wins that are consistent, and a venture into the world of European soccer that is top-notch appears possible for a group fighting Premier League promotion a year ago.

Arsenal: Disappointing Season with New Glimmers of Hope

Arsenal have had three supervisors this season. Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta. Under the first two, form was poor and were involved in a scrap. Since Mikel Arteta’s appointment, the Gunners have shown glimmers of promise. Arsenal have won one match in the new decade, but they have not lost a match. As top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems like he will be staying in London at least until the summertime, Arsenal have real expectation of working their way back up the table given he can stay healthy. Even the London club’s injury situation doesn’t seem great, particularly in defence, with Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac out for some time. This will interfere with them. Arsenal have a stretch of fittings in the future which appears largely easy. Their period comes in the close of the season. Arteta will be looking to take advantage of those easier games reach on the more challenging ones in good shape and to boost confidence. Although fittings, injuries and league position all pile up against Arsenal now, there is still a possibility they might get Champions League football. Arteta has had a beneficial effect on the club, and they’re in with a shout of qualifying for Europe’s most prestigious club competition when they can keep that. With point tallies and novices, the scrap for Champions League football in the Premier League looks fascinating.

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