The race to finish in the Champions League places this season is heating up, and there are a number of the biggest teams in the Premier League that could be in danger of missing out on competing in the illustrious competition.
Manchester City’s place in the Champions League next season already looks assured, as Pep Guardiola’s side look excellent value to be regaining their title after Liverpool’s commanding victory last season.
They look set to be joined by cross-city rivals Manchester United and Leicester City, but the battle for the fourth spot is set to be one of the most interesting components over the last ten games of the season. But, could some huge sides be missing out on a Champions League place in the top-four?
Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge has given the Blues an excellent chance of finishing in the top four this season, as the German has guided Chelsea to four wins in six games recently.
That run of form has seen the Blues open up an advantage in the race for the top-four, and their fate this season is now in their own hands.
Champions League qualification would have been the minimum objective set for Tuchel when he arrived at the club, and there are signs that the Blues are moving in the right direction.
The German coach is beginning to get the best from Timo Werner, while Mason Mount’s form has continued to be excellent since Frank Lampard’s departure.
Defensively they have also improved since his arrival, and that could be a key factor over their last ten games this season.
They are still holding to a 0-1 lead against Atletico Madrid in the current edition of the competition. Can they go all the way?
Tottenham looked cut adrift of finishing in the top-four just a couple of weeks ago, but the resurgence of Gareth Bales has given Spurs an excellent chance of finishing in the top-four this season.
Jose Mourinho’s side has now won their last three league games and has closed to just two points of Chelsea ahead of a huge North London derby, which could be pivotal to their chances of finishing in a Champions League place this season.
Spurs could have more to lose than most if they fail to finish in a top-four spot this season, as missing out on the European competition could force players such as Harry Kane and Hueng Min-Son to question whether they should remain at Spurs for another season.
However, with the talent that they have in the final third, it would be no surprise to see Spurs push on over the final ten weeks of the season and push hard for the fourth spot.
There is no denying that the team that look in most danger of missing out on a Champions League place this season is the reigning champions. The Reds stormed to glory last season, but their performances this term have been unrecognisable.
There appear to be huge problems at Anfield at present, and there is much more to the story than just the injury to Virgil van Dijk.
The Reds have lost their last six at Anfield, which would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the year, as they had gone nearly four years without a home defeat.
Fulham’s recent win at Liverpool means that there is now a four-point difference between the Reds and the top four, and there will be an almighty challenge for Jurgen Klopp to turn that disadvantage around given that all of the sides above them in the league standings have at least one game in hand over them at present.
Their best chance of qualifying for next season’s competition could be by winning the Champions League this season.
However, judging by the form that they have shown this term, that will be a huge ask than asking a debutant horse to win the TwinSpires Kentucky Derby.
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