The race for the top four is hotting up now we are into the second half of the season, with three teams fighting for one spot
Now we are through the Christmas period and into the second half of the season, the table is starting to take shape. Usually, the battle at the top is the most interesting part, but it seems as though that’s done with.
Liverpool are ten points clear at the top with two games in hand. Attention now turns to the race for top four. Man City and Leicester are firmly in there, which leaves just one space.
This looks like it’s going to be fought out between Man United, Chelsea and Spurs. All three of these sides have had great chances to get into the top four but don’t capitalise on each other’s mistakes.
As there are only six points between the three teams it sets up for a fantastic end to the season with each point vital.
Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho on the challenge of Tottenham Hotspur securing a top-four place in the Premier League this season:
“I started with minus 12 here. With minus 12 you have to recover 12 points. It’s a lot of points.”
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) December 27, 2019
Chelsea – 4th place, 36 points
Being in fourth place already Chelsea are obviously the favourites to get the final place. They have shown glimpses of how good they can be, including a 2-0 win over Spurs last week. At 4/9 on Paddy Power, Lampard will be confident of getting Champions League in his first season in charge.
However, his side lacks experience and players. Due to the transfer ban they had, they couldn’t sign anyone in the summer. This though has since been lifted and they can sign players in the January transfer window. This will have a huge impact on them as to whether they make it into the top four.
With a five-point gap on Man United, they can’t afford to drop wasted points like at Brighton. Five points in the Premier League isn’t a great deal and considering the two sides have to play each other again this could be closed down pretty quickly.
Man United – 5th place, 31 points
After starting the season with a 4-0 over Chelsea many thought top four would be the minimum for United this season. Since then though they have been up and down with form. United have found beating the top sides, having only lost once to one of the ‘Big Six’. However, they have had been in terrible form to teams below them in the table, not beating ten of them.
United have had some injuries problems of late. Paul Pogba has been out since September and has returned for just two games before being out for a month again. Scott McTominay is also injured but for two months. This leaves Ole with not many players in what is already a weak midfield. He will need to invest in January if they want any chance of the top four.
At 7/2 to get top four this is a good price. United’s biggest issue is their consistency. If they can find some then you would expect them to get in the top four, it’s just finding it that is going to be the issue.
Spurs – 6th place, 30 points
When Mourinho came in Spurs were 12 points off top four, now they are six points off. Mourinho’s side is the best in terms of their squad and they have the experience of getting into the top four.
They have sorted out the issue in terms of Alderweireld’s contract and attention will now turn to Eriksen. He can leave in the summer for free or in January and Spurs will get a fee. This will be interesting to see which way this goes and he could be vital in them getting top four.
Spurs are also at 7/2 and this looks like a better bet than United. Spurs have a very solid squad with lots of good back up in each position. The only thing that might let them down is the injury to Kane. If he isn’t fit they usually struggle to replace him but hopefully it won’t be a long injury and he’ll be back soon.