The race for a top-four finish in the England’s top division is often one of the most fascinating aspects of the division in England, as often six or seven clubs are in contention to secure Champions League football each season.
However, this year, some of the biggest clubs have made an early march on their rivals. Here is a look at who is best placed to secure a place in Europe’s premier competition.
Defending Champions on Course for Fourth Straight Title
Manchester City are bidding for a fourth straight league title this season, something which has not been achieved before. Manchester United (twice) and Manchester City are the only two clubs that have won three titles on the spin in the post 1992 era.
After winning nine of their opening 14 matches this season, Manchester City are the 8/13 favourites in the betting odds for the title. Their only defeat during that period came away to Arsenal. They have been dominant at home, winning five of their opening seven games.
It would be a huge surprise if the defending European champions did not qualify for the Champions League. Their goal will be to at least match their treble-winning campaign, with the PL title and Europe being their biggest priorities.
Liverpool Back in Contention
Former winners Liverpool missed out on the top four last season in what was their worst finish to a campaign since 2016. After making some smart signings in the summer transfer window, Liverpool are not only back in contention for a top-four finish, but they are arguably the biggest challengers to Manchester City for the title.
Liverpool’s biggest strength this season has been the number of goals they have scored. When they defeated Fulham 4-3, they recorded their 10th consecutive league victory at Anfield. Mo Salah has played a big part in that record, as he has already reached double figures for the season, and he is a big contender for the Golden Boot Award.
Arsenal Vying to Go One Better Than Last Season
Mikel Arteta’s side fell just short of the title last season, finishing second after leading the table for the majority of the campaign. The North London club have won 11 of their opening 14 matches, putting them at the top of the pack this season.
The Gunners were unbeaten in August, September, and October, with their sole defeat this season so far coming away to Newcastle. Arteta’s side should secure a top-four place, but the Spaniard will be hoping for much more from his players.
A Group of Teams May Be Playing for Final Spot
The final UCL place in the league this season could end up a race between Aston Villa, Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle, and Tottenham. They all will believe they are in contention.
Aston Villa and Tottenham have both got off to excellent starts, while Chelsea, Manchester United, and Newcastle will be demanding much more from their players in the second half of the season, and they could all strengthen in the January transfer window.
The final round of fixtures in the Premier Division comes on the 19th of May but many clubs will be hoping to have already secured European football before then.