THE RACE FOR TOP FOUR HEATS UP
For those who keep an eye on the Premier League, and it is fair to say that many do, that large majority will be aware that Manchester City are patiently waiting to be crowned champions once again.
While although Pep Guardiola’s men are racing off into the sunset with another domestic trophy in their grasp, that does not mean that interest levels are on the wane and if anything, they are only increasing.
That is because the race to fill the remaining Champions League berths is heating up and with Manchester United earning themselves some derby day delight last Sunday; they have given their own hopes a massive boost.
Because now is the time when everybody starts to calculate their points projections and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men earning themselves a win at the Etihad, everyone will need to add three more to United’s end of season tally.
The Old Trafford outfit are now in the box seat, when it comes to clinching a return to European club football’s premier competition and at odds of 1/10 for them to do so, the bookmakers certainly believe that this will be the case.
United’s monstrous run at the end of last season, acted as a primary reason for Leicester’s failure to finish in the top-four and although they have suffered a wobble as of late, a win against Brighton last weekend suggests that they are on the right track.
A track that Brendan Rodgers, will hope sees his Foxes get the job done this time around and although their injury list is looking rather uncomfortable at present, odds of 8/13 suggest that they can finally get over the line.
Those odds currently suggest a fourth-place finish in the Premier League at the end of the season and this means that Chelsea have received a large amount of backing in recent weeks, especially as they are currently nine games unbeaten.
That run has meant that Chelsea are acting as the form team in the division and with Thomas Tuchel taking to English football like a duck to water, the German manager will want to make sure the Blues complete the task in hand.
A task that looks a lot easier than it did when Frank Lampard was in charge and at odds of 2/9, it is going to take something of a rather huge collapse, for Chelsea not to earn a top-four finish at the end of the season.
Of course, a collapse is what Tottenham are going to need from somewhere, if they are to reach the objective that everyone is striving for and at odds of 5/2, there is still some work to be done in the white half of North London.
Staying in the capital and the surprise act in all of this are West Ham and if David Moyes’ unfancied bunch can do something which looked unlikely before Christmas, 3/1 looks like being a decent piece of value.
While although Everton harbour midweek European desires, they may have to be content with Thursday night action instead and with Liverpool making progress in the Champions League, it may make more sense for Jurgen Klopp to go all out in a hopeful repeat of their 2019 success.