Premier League top-four: The race for Champions League qualifying is broken down using form and upcoming matches

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Premier League: Manchester United, West Ham United, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur are all in contention for a top-four finish, with Manchester City and Liverpool battling for the crown and Chelsea on course to finish third.

Premier League top-four: The race for Champions League qualifying is broken analyzed using form and upcoming matches

The gap between fourth-placed Arsenal and eighth-placed Wolves is currently eight points, setting up an exciting contest to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Here, we look at the fourth-place finishers, their form, and their schedules till the end of the season…

The table…

Premier League — Top half

Arsenal

Premier League top-four: The race for Champions League qualifying is broken analyzed using form and upcoming matches

Position: 4th
Games played: 28
Points: 54
Top-four Finish odds: 1/2
Active cup competitions: None

Arsenal had a disastrous start to the season, losing their first three games and having their worst start in 67 years. With Mikel Arteta under fire, they were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but the Spaniard has guided them to a miraculous turnaround at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners won their 10th Premier League game in 13 with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, consolidating fourth place and strengthening their grip on Champions League qualifying. In that 13-game span, Arsenal has only allowed eight goals.

Key fixtures: Brighton (H) – Saturday April 9; kick-off 3pm, Chelsea (A) – Wednesday April 20; kick-off 7.45pm, Manchester United (H) – Saturday April 23; kick-off 12.30pm, West Ham (A) – Sunday May 1; kick-off 4.30pm, Tottenham (A) – TBC

Tottenham

Position: 5th
Games played: 29
Points: 51
Top-four Finish odds: 9/4
Active cup competitions: None

Tottenham had won and lost in each of their previous seven games, but with a win over West Ham before the international break, they were able to win back-to-back Premier League games for the first time in 2022.

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Key fixtures: Brighton (H) – Saturday Apr 16; kick-off 12.30pm, Leicester (H) – Saturday Apr 30; kick-off 3pm, Liverpool (A) – Saturday May 7; kick-off 3pm, Arsenal (H) – TBC

Manchester United

Premier League top-four: The race for Champions League qualifying is broken analyzed using form and upcoming matches

Position: 6th
Games played: 29
Points: 50
Top-four Finish odds: 11/2
Active cup competitions: None

United will finish the season without a trophy for the fifth time in a row, as the club finds itself at a fork in the road. The team’s chances of winning the Champions League were always bleak, and their failure to land a glove on Atletico Madrid saw them beaten in the round of 16 stage.

After finishing second in the Premier League and losing on penalties in the Europa League final, the summer signings of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and Cristiano Ronaldo fueled hopes of further improvement under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in September and subsequently humiliated at home by Liverpool and Manchester City, with Solskjaer’s departure in November following a 4-1 loss at Watford. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has only lost two Premier League games, but there have been too many draws and disjointed performances, and they have also been knocked out of the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Key fixtures: Leicester (H) – Saturday April 2; kick-off 5.30pm, Liverpool (A) – Tuesday April 19; kick-off 8pm, Arsenal (A) – Saturday April 23; kick-off 12.30pm, Chelsea (H) – Sunday May 15; kick-off 3pm.

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West Ham

Premier League top-four: The race for Champions League qualifying is broken analyzed using form and upcoming matches

Position: 7th
Games played: 30
Points: 48
Top-four Finish odds: 50/1
Active cup competitions: Europa League

West Ham has enjoyed an excellent start to the season. The Hammers were flying high under David Moyes and looked like genuine title contenders. Despite victories against Liverpool and Chelsea at home, they had a wobble in November with back-to-back defeats to Wolves and Man City, followed by defeats to Arsenal and Southampton in December.

They rebounded admirably, though, as victories over Watford, Crystal Palace, and Norwich placed them firmly back in contention for a place in the Champions League. However, after losing to Manchester United on January 22, they were relegated to the fourth position in a weekend in which Arsenal lost points and Tottenham lost to Chelsea.

They got back on track with a narrow win over Watford but draws against Leicester and Newcastle saw their top-four bid falter before they capped out February with a crucial three points against fellow European rivals Wolves at home.

The defeat at Tottenham before the international break came at the conclusion of a “wonderful week” for the club, which had already secured a place in the Europa League quarter-finals, according to Moyes. That might be their greatest chance to qualify for the Champions League next season.

West Ham’s next few games of the season appear to be challenging, with trips to Chelsea and Brighton on the horizon. They also have home games against Arsenal and Man City. West Ham will have to work hard if they are to finish in the top four.

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Key fixtures: Chelsea (A) – Sunday April 24; kick-off 2pm, Arsenal (H) – Sunday May 1; kick-off 4.30pm, Man City (H) – Sunday May 15; kick-off 3pm, Brighton (A) – Sunday May 22, kick-off 4pm.

Wolves

Wolves

Position: 8th
Games played: 30
Points: 46
Top-four Finish odds: 500/1
Active cup competitions: None

Wolves made a shaky start to the season, losing three consecutive 1-0 games to drop to 18th in the league under new manager Bruno Lage. One of those defeats came against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham Hotspur, who had taken over as manager of the north London club last season.

However, Lage has managed a turnaround in his team’s fortunes, with victories over Aston Villa, West Ham, and Brighton. With 24 Premier League goals, they are the third-lowest scoring team in the division, but their defensive prowess has been a significant component of their ascent up the table. Only Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea have conceded fewer goals than them this season, with only 21.

With victories over Manchester United, Southampton, and Brentford, they have had a strong start to 2022.

The defeats at home and away to Arsenal were disappointing, but Wolves bounced back quickly with a crucial victory against Tottenham and Leicester, keeping them in contention for European qualifying.

Key fixtures: Brighton (H) – Saturday April 30; kick-off 3pm; Chelsea (A) – Saturday May 7; kick-off 3pm; Liverpool (A) – Sunday May 22; kick-off 4pm; Man City (H) – TBC

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