Manchester United Top Four Finish Odds Slashed As Chelsea And Arsenal Continue To Drift
As Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham prance off into the sunset and leave the rest of the Premier League chasing pack in their wake, the race for a top-four finish is beginning to get interesting.
The current top-three appear to all have wrapped up a top-four finish as we enter a new calendar year, leaving Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United fighting for that one remaining spot in the top-four and the coveted place in next season's Champions League.
It is Chelsea who are in the box seat as they are three points clear of Arsenal and six clear of Manchester United. However, there has been a change in mood and a swing in form of late...
Chelsea had been as short as 1/4 for a top-four finish with bookmakers but those odds drifted slightly to 4/11, which is admittedly still a very skinny price, but the fact they have dropped points in three of their past five Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge must be a huge concern. Since beating Manchester City at home, the Blues have failed to score in two outings at the Bridge and the priority during this January Transfer Window has to be a new striker.
Arsenal had an ideal opportunity to take advantage of Chelsea's recent blip but they have faltered in a way that became all too familiar to Gunners fans during Arsene Wenger's latter years as manager. Under Unai Emery, Arsenal had embarked on a 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions and were 10/11 for a top-four finish on 15th December. The next day they lost 3-2 to Southampton - a result which started a poor run that has seen them win just two of their past five league outings.
Emery's men are now 3/1 for a top-four finish.
The North London side actually play Chelsea in a crunch clash on 19th January and one can't help but wonder if Manchester United might be in a position to take advantage...
The Red Devils have been rejuvenated since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as the interim replacement for Jose Mourinho. United were 10/1 for a top-four finish when Solskjaer took over but four wins later - against admittedly limited opposition - and they are now 10/3 to sneak into that fourth spot by the end of the campaign.
Latest Premier League Top-Four Finish Odds:
- Man City: 1/200
- Tottenham: 1/7
- Chelsea: 4/11
- Arsenal: 3/1
- Manchester United: 10/3
Odds courtesy of Bet365 and subject to change.
Bigger tests lie in wait but it is comforting for United fans to see their team beating the lesser sides in the division, with three of their remaining five fixtures against the traditional 'Big Six' to take place at Old Trafford. An interesting few months lie in wait as the race for the top-four begins to heat up.