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The race for the top four: Will Leicester slip up again?

Newcastle beat Leicester last night to blow open the race for the top four.

Newcastle United’s surprise thumping of Leicester City on Friday reminded us that there is still plenty to play for in the Premier League this season.

Manchester United reached their first final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in midweek and they are well placed to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.

The Red Devils are expected to join Mancehster City in Europe’s top club competition next term, with Leicester, Chelsea and West Ham United battling to join them.

Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are also in the mix, but who holds the best chance of Champions League football next season? We take a closer look.

Leicester City

Leicester would have expected to beat 10-man Southampton and a Newcastle side that went into the game fourth from bottom.

However, just one point out of six from those two winnable matches leaves the Foxes facing a very tough end to the season.

Brendan Rodgers’ side certainly deserve to qualify for the Champions League after another impressive season.

However, they also did last season and a late slip-up cost them a top four spot. If Leicester are to avoid history repeating themselves, they will have to beat some top teams to do so.

  • 11/5/21 vs Manchester United (A)
  • 18/5/21 vs Chelsea (A)
  • 23/5/21 vs Tottenham (H)

These are three tough games for the Foxes and they have a mountain to climb if they want to secure Champions League football next season.


Thomas Tuchel has transformed the Blues, guiding them to the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League to give themselves the chance of a double that would have been unlikely under the tactically inept Frank Lampard.

The German manager has just lost one Premier League match in charge of the Blues, and you would have to be brave to bet against Chelsea finishing in the top four.

However, a difficult run-in starting with a visit to champions-elect Manchester City could still see Chelsea miss out on a Champions League spot.

  • 8/5/21 vs Man City (A)
  • 12/5/21 vs Arsenal (H)
  • 18/5/21 vs Leicester (H)
  • 23/5/21 vs Aston Villa (A)

It is also worth noting that in between the Arsenal and Leicester matches, Chelsea have to face the Foxes in the FA Cup final.

While Chelsea have a tough run-in, you would still expect them to get some good results out of those fixtures in their current form.

West Ham United

West Ham United have been the surprise package this season in the Premier League.

Backed by many pundits to be relegated, David Moyes has proved his critics wrong and rejuvenated West Ham and his career at the same time.

The acquisition of Jesse Lingard in January proved be a masterstroke and provided Moyes with the last piece of his jigsaw.

West Ham are currently fifth in the table and will still feel like they have a good chance of securing European football next season based on their run-in.

  • 9/5/21 vs Everton (H)
  • 5/5/21 vs Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
  • 19/5/21 vs West Bromwich Albion (A)
  • 23/5/21 vs Southampton (H)

These are four very winnable matches and West Ham could yet claim a top-four spot.

The Final Word

Despite Leicester’s consistency this term, a lack of momentum and the mental scarring of last season’s capitulation could see them miss out.

Chelsea will be keeping one eye on their two finals, but should still have enough about them to finish in the top four.

West Hame could yet overhaul Leicester, but don’t rule out Liverpool making a late surge and nabbing a Champions League spot.

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