Who will finish in top four in Premier League? Who has the best run-in?

Who will finish in top four in Premier League? Who has the best run-in?

With just nine points separating second from seventh in the Premier League, the race for the top four looks set to go down to the wire.

Will Arsenal qualify for the Champions League for the 20th successive season? Or will Everton finish in the top four for the first time since 2004/05?

We analyse the run-ins facing each of the top seven sides…

Premier League table and results against rivals:

Chelsea

With a 10-point lead at the top of the table, Chelsea are strong favourites to win the league, having adapted to life under Antonio Conte quicker than many expected.

Of their remaining 10 fixtures, they have to face three teams in the top seven – Manchester City (H), Manchester United (A) and Everton (A).

They finish the season with home matches against Middlesbrough and Sunderland – both in the relegation zone – either side of a trip to West Brom. Seven wins from their ten remaining fixtures guarantees Chelsea a second title in three seasons.

The Blues could, though, be without Eden Hazard for their next match as he has suffered a calf injury.

Remaining fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Manchester City (H), Bournemouth (A), Manchester United (A), Southampton (H), Everton (A), Middlesbrough (H), West Brom (A), Sunderland (H), Watford (H – date TBC).

Tottenham

Even though top scorer Harry Kane is out injured, Spurs should be able to cement their place in the top four when they return from the international break ,as their next five matches are all against sides in the bottom half of the table.

As well as facing Burnley (A), Swansea (A), Watford (H), Bournemouth (H) and Crystal Palace (A), there’s also a trip to Leicester which has yet to be scheduled.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have not fared well against direct rivals this season, but they only have two games left against teams in the top seven, and both are at home.

They host Arsenal on Sunday, April 30 and then entertain Manchester United in what could be their final match in their current home.

Remaining fixtures: Burnley (A), Swansea (A), Watford (H), Bournemouth (H), Crystal Palace (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A), Manchester United (H), Hull (A), Leicester (A – date TBC).

Manchester City

Having drawn against Liverpool on Sunday, it doesn’t get any easier for City after the international break as they travel to Arsenal, and then go to Chelsea a few days later.

They also face a home match against Manchester United on Thursday, April 27.

However, if Pep Guardiola’s side come through that tricky run unscathed then they appear to face an easier finish to the season.

Their final four games are all against teams in the bottom seven, and they also have a home match against West Brom that is not yet scheduled.

Remaining fixtures: Arsenal (A), Chelsea (A), Hull (H), Southampton (A), Manchester United (H), Middlesbrough (A), Crystal Palace (H), Leicester (H), Watford (A), West Brom (H – date TBC).

Liverpool

Liverpool and Everton are the only two sides in the top seven who have played 29 games.

However, after the Merseyside derby on April 1, the Reds do not play another top-four rival this season.

That might not necessarily be a positive as they have taken 20 points in 10 games against the top six, but just 19 points in 10 games against the bottom six.

Liverpool face Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Middlesbrough at Anfield.

Remaining fixtures: Everton (H), Bournemouth (H), Stoke (A), West Brom (A), Crystal Palace (H), Watford (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (A), Middlesbrough (H).

Manchester United

United finally moved out of sixth place and up to fifth with their 3-1 win over Middlesbrough before the international break.

But although they have at least one game in hand on all the teams above them, they also face a congested fixture list due to their involvement in the Europa League.

United also still have to play five teams in the top seven – Everton (H), Chelsea (H), Man City (A), Arsenal (A), Spurs (A) – and go to Burnley, who have only lost three times at home in the league this season.

The date for their trip to Southampton is yet to be confirmed.

Remaining fixtures: West Brom (H), Everton (H), Sunderland (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A), Manchester City (A), Swansea (H), Arsenal (A), Tottenham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Southampton (A – date TBC).

Arsenal

Could this be the year that Arsenal miss out on the top four for the first time since 1995/96?

The Gunners have slipped down the table after four defeats in their last five league matches and have some tricky matches remaining, although they have at least one game in hand on all their rivals aside from Manchester United.

Everton

The Toffees have won six of their last nine matches to boost their chances of a top-four finish, but their aspirations will be put to the test immediately after the international break as they go to Liverpool and then Manchester United in the space of four days.

“We have the chance to make the next step and be closer to the teams above in the table,” said manager Ronald Koeman.

Home matches against Leicester and Burnley follow, while Everton also have to host Chelsea and then finish the season with a trip to Arsenal.

Remaining fixtures: Liverpool (A), Manchester United (A), Leicester (H), Burnley (H), West Ham (A), Chelsea (H), Swansea (A), Watford (H), Arsenal (A).

Conclusion

While Chelsea seem on course for title glory, Spurs are strong contenders for another top four finish given their form and remaining fixtures.

Trips to Arsenal and Chelsea after the international break could be crucial for Man City, while Liverpool will need to improve their results against the teams in the bottom half of the table.

Manchester United face arguably the most difficult run-in but have the chance to take points from five of their six direct rivals.

Arsenal need to return to form quickly if they are to make the top four, starting with their next match against City.

And Everton? Do they have too much to do? Positive results against Liverpool and United after the international break would keep them in contention.

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