The race for the top four took an interesting turn on Monday morning, after news was confirmed that Manchester City has won a historic decision from the sports arbitration court and will play in the Champions League next season.
Pep Guardiola’s team will not face any ban on European competition, but will instead pay a fine of £ 10 million for misconduct regarding financial fair play.
A cloud of uncertainty had enveloped the top level of the Premier League, with teams at the top of the pile knowing that Champions League football could perhaps come forward to finish in fifth place.
This scenario is no longer possible, which means that only a classification among the first four conventional will now be sufficient to enter the elite competition of football next season.
Liverpool, title winner, having already stamped his passport for the Champions League and City now well placed in second position, Sportsmail take a look at the hunting platoon as the race for the first four becomes the big goal.
Current position: 3rd.
60 points. 35 games played.
Frank Lampard’s men currently occupy third position, but it’s far from easy for the Blues.
An erratic streak has crept into the game on the west side of London, with Chelsea’s suspicious defense being the subject of numerous interrogations in recent weeks.
A crucial victory over Manchester City – which gave Liverpool the Premier League title – was closely followed by defeats against both West Ham and Sheffield United.
Frank Lampard’s men currently occupy the third, but it’s far from easy for the Blues.
It is a step forward and two steps back for Lampard’s troops, who now run the real risk of their momentum being dashed and the hopes of the Champions League dashed to the finish line.
While they have a point ahead of Leicester in fourth place – which has played the same number of matches – Manchester United in the form of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a match in hand and an easier series of matches on paper.
The Chelsea game has already relegated Norwich afterwards, a match in which they must take the three points. Subsequently, they will face confirmed Liverpool champions, followed by a tantalizing clash on the final day with fellow European hopefuls, the Wolves.
In addition, of course, the Blues carry the added distraction of a FA Cup semifinal clash, in which Lampard will desperately need to win in order to have a first season silverware shot.
Calendar of remaining championships: Norwich (H), Liverpool (A), Wolves (H).
Total points planned: 64 points
Expected end: FOURTH
The city of leicester
Current position: 4th
59 points. 35 games played
If we can say that Chelsea is experiencing a kind of oscillation, then the foxes of Brendan Rodgers have a trembling in their own right.
The historic mid-season hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic has apparently hit the winds of Leicester’s sails, and they now run the very real risk of losing a season of hard work and falling from the top four.
Leicester has experienced a kind of collapse and has not yet won since its return
Their most recent result is the best illustration of this, with a complete collapse against relegation-hit Bournemouth – in which four goals were conceded from a leading position and star defender Caglar Soyuncu saw red and received marching orders.
Leicester have won only once since the return, having squandered the buffer they had accumulated before the break.
Although he has at his disposal the top scorer in the league, Jamie Vardy, the volatile nature of Leicester’s approach currently sees them on the verge of missing a Champions League dream. They do however have the chance to shatter the hopes of Sheffield United before a final day of the season’s meeting against Manchester United is well defined.
Remaining devices: Sheffield United (H), Tottenham (A), Manchester United (H)
Total points planned: 63 points
Expected end: FIFTH
Current position: 5th
58 points. 34 games played
Apparently out of nowhere, United has returned and will be the favorite of many to qualify for the Champions League.
Such is the resurgence of the Solskjaer team that some around Old Trafford will have serious ambitions to get third place in the bag at the end of the season.
On the other hand, Manchester United steals and has lost only two points since the restart
The mercurial form of the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January, coupled with the return of Paul Pogba and the front line with free goal saw the Red Devils win after victory.
United are undefeated since the return and lost only two points along the way. Their run-in for the remaining matches, compared to that of their rivals, seems much more favorable.
If United wins their match against Southampton tonight, they will feel very good behind the top four. As with Chelsea, the FA Cup semi-final is also on the horizon, adding a certain complexity to the procedures.
Calendar of remaining championships: Southampton (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Ham (H), Leicester (A).
Total points planned: 66 points
Expected end: THIRD
Current position: 6th
55 points. 35 games played
A good start to the campaign has slowed a bit for the Wolves, who have struggled in recent weeks and given the maximum points to Arsenal and Sheffield United.
Of course, they still have European homework to contend with this season once the revamped Europa League returns, although the Nuno Santo team feels there is a real opportunity to steal some of the action of the Champions League against all odds.
Wolves now have an outside chance of climbing into the top four, but have lost momentum
Wolves are currently sixth but have lost three points behind United, who played one game less.
A tough trip to Burnley comes next, as the Midlands must hope to beat Chelsea on their own turf on the last weekend of the season in order to fulfill their Champions League dreams.
Remaining devices: Burnley (A), Crystal Palace (H), Chelsea (A)
Total points planned: 59 points
Expected end: SEVENTH
Current position: 7th
54 points. 35 games played
The division’s surprise package showed no signs of slowing down.
Chris Wilder has undoubtedly done miracles this season, and Sheffield United has shown his legs in the latter part of an extended season by winning a remarkable 3-0 victory over Chelsea.
Before that, they had defeated their fellow wolf hopefuls, showing once and for all that the adaptation to the elite was more than complete.
Chris Wilder has worked miracles this season and the Blades are still performing
The Blades have a chance to strike Leicester hard next time as the parties meet at King Power Stadium on Thursday.
The victory would move them two points behind the Foxes, who have yet to lock the horns with United on a bitter last day.
Remaining devices: Leicester (A), Everton (H), Southampton (A)
Total points planned: 60 points
Expected end: SIXTH