Who Will Win The Race For The Top Four In The Premier League?

Who will be playing Champions League football next season?
13:00, 08 May 2023

The race for the top four in the Premier League is starting to heat up as we reach the final weeks of the season. Manchester United are struggling while Liverpool are on the rise, and it looks as though we will have a frantic finish to determine who will be playing Champions League football next term.

There could still be a few twists and turns to come in this race so we are going to assess how we think each of the clubs battling for a top four spot in their remaining fixtures.

Newcastle United - Current position - 3rd

Leeds United (A) - Current position - 17th

Newcastle head to Elland Road after suffering a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at home. The Magpies like to play with intensity and thrive off putting the opposition under pressure when in possession. This will likely cause Leeds to make mistakes. A win for Newcastle here.

Brighton & Hove Albion (H) - Current position - 7th

This could prove to be a decisive clash in the races for the top four and the top six. Brighton have a few games in hand on the teams above them and could yet make a charge for the Champions League spots themselves. Newcastle will be boosted by a packed out St James’ Park for the visit of the Seagulls, but this will be one of their trickiest fixtures in the coming weeks. Newcastle to be held to a draw.

Leicester City (H) - Current position - 16th

The Magpies will welcome two home games in a row, particularly one against a side that is fighting to stay in the division. Leicester have won one of their last five matches and a trip to Newcastle is as tough as it gets in the top flight this year. Newcastle to collect the three points.

Chelsea (A) - Current position - 11th

Chelsea can’t wait for their miserable season to end but they are looking to finish it strongly so that they can give their fans some optimism for next term. It would take a miracle for them (and by that win all their remaining games) to rescue a spot in Europe next year, but right now Newcastle are too strong for them. The Magpies for the victory.

Projected points total: 75

Newcastle are 1/8 to finish in the top four with Betfred*

Manchester United - Current position - 4th

Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) - Current position - 13th

Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United have been on a bit of a slide since winning the Carabao Cup in February. Recent defeats against Brighton and West Ham United have thrown their top four hopes into jeopardy. Wolves head to Old Trafford with three wins in their last five and a sense of relief that they will be playing Premier League football next year. They have caused the Red Devils problems in the past. A draw here.

AFC Bournemouth (A) - Current position - 14th

Like Wolves, Bournemouth have won three of their last five and they too look to be playing top flight football in 2023-24. The Cherries have done brilliantly under Gary O’Neil to ease the pressure of relegation. The Cherries will likely have nothing to play for when the two sides meet, it’s just whether United can score any goals. Expect another stalemate here.

Chelsea (H) - Current position - 11th

Already this feels like a game where United might slip up and see their Champions League hopes fade. But given how poorly organised Chelsea have been this season, they should be able to have enough in them for the victory, especially in front of a home crowd. Three points for the Red Devils.

Fulham (H) - Current position - 10th

For a while it looked as though Fulham were mounting a strong charge for the top six but they have tailed off in recent weeks, which may have been as a result of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s lengthy suspension. Another packed out crowd at Old Trafford should help United get over the line in this one, although Fulham did put up a good fight against rivals Manchester City recently. United to edge a victory.

Projected points total: 71

Manchester United are 1/4 to finish in the top four with Betfred*

Liverpool - Current position 5th 

Leicester City (A) - Current position - 16th

Jurgen Klopp’s men have momentum with them having won six games on the bounce. The players have rediscovered their confidence and they now have an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League next year, something which didn’t look possible a few months ago. A trip to the Foxes should be routine for the Reds. Liverpool to win.

Aston Villa (H) - Current position - 8th

Liverpool welcome Aston Villa, who themselves are looking to finish in the top six this year after a meteoric rise under Unai Emery. Villa have suffered a knock in recent weeks having lost two in a row and when they face Liverpool, the Anfield factor will play a huge part. Three points for the hosts.

Southampton (A) - Current position - 20th

By the time this game rolls around Southampton are likely to have been relegated which should make this game one of the easiest three points for Liverpool to pick up this campaign. A win for the Reds.

Projected points total: 71

Liverpool are 2/1 to finish in the top four with Betfred*

Tottenham Hotspur - Current position - 6th

Aston Villa (A) - Current position - 8th

Spurs have only won one of their last five matches and throughout the season it has looked like they don’t have what it takes to finish in the top four. In fact, they’d be very lucky to finish with a place in the Europa League. Villa have suffered a setback recently and they know a victory over Spurs will boost their top-six chances. Villa to edge this contest.

Brentford (H) - Current position - 9th

Brentford will provide a tough test for Ryan Mason’s side and the Bees could land a sting. Thomas Frank’s side do an excellent job of frustrating the big clubs and have even overwhelmed them in the past. Spurs might be able to come out of this with a point.

Leeds United (A) - Current position - 17th

Both these teams’ defences have been very poor in 2022-23 and you can expect to see a flurry of goals in this game at both ends. With Harry Kane leading the line for Spurs, you expect the visitors to come out on top in this one. Spurs to win.

Projected points total: 61

Spurs are 500/1 to finish in the top four with Betfred*

Brighton & Hove Albion - Current position - 7th

Everton (H) - Current position - 19th

Brighton head into Monday’s fixture full of confidence after their dramatic late victory over Man United last time out. They welcome Everton who haven’t won a game since March and are trying to find a way to avoid relegation. The Seagulls should win this one comfortably.

Arsenal (A) - Current position - 2nd

This will be a tough test for Brighton as Arsenal will be chasing every point on offer in their remaining games to ensure that they push Manchester City all the way for the title. Brighton will be able to give the Gunners a game but I think they might be outgunned in this one. Arsenal to win.

Newcastle United (A) - Current position - 3rd

As mentioned earlier, these two teams are both very strong and you get the sense that they might cancel each other out. A point apiece.

Southampton (H) - Current position - 20th

This will be the Seagulls’ easiest fixture of the lot as the Saints look defeated in their quest to stay up. Brighton would be helped by strengthening their goal difference here. A win for the Seagulls.

Manchester City (H) - Current position - 1st

Nothing appears to be able to stop Manchester City right now as they look to retain the Premier League title. Brighton might be able to spoil the party and give Arsenal a glimmer of hope. Pep Guardiola has praised them for their football but if City play at their best, this should just be another routine victory for them. City to win.

Aston Villa (A) - Current position - 8th

This is a game that could determine many things on the final day of the season, but right now it looks like it will confirm which teams take the Europa League spots to make up the top six. Brighton have been consistent for much of the season but Villa have looked strong since Emery’s arrival. This could be a very close contest but Brighton might just edge it. Brighton for a valuable three points.

Projected points total: 65

Brighton are 12/1 to finish in the top four with Betfred*

Predicted table:

3rd - Newcastle United (75)

4th - Liverpool (71 - on goal difference)

5th- Manchester United (71)

6th - Brighton & Hove Albion (65)

7th - Tottenham Hotspur (61)

It is certainly going to be a tight race for the top four, as the predicted table shows. We expect Liverpool and Manchester United to be separated by goal difference in the end. This is where United will be punished for the 7-0 defeat against their rivals and the 4-0 loss to Brentford at the start of the season. Newcastle look to have already done enough to ensure they qualify and they will secure it with some more results in the final weeks. Brighton are in a much better position on and off the field than Spurs so we expect them to take up the remaining Europa League spot.

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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