Premier League Top-Four Race Intensifies: Liverpool's surge, United's concerns, and Chelsea's involvement in the battle for Champions League spots
|Liverpool's comprehensive win over Leicester has planted them firmly in the top-four race, should United and Newcastle be worried? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
The top-four race got interesting on Monday night after Liverpool beat Leicester City to move within one point of Newcastle and Manchester United, albeit having played one more game.
Liverpool has had an indifferent season; they were never in the title conversation at any point this season.
And they weren’t even counted among the possible top-four finishers up until recently, but they have managed seven straight wins, and the teams above them must be worried.
Manchester United beat Wolves on Saturday, but they weren’t convincing.
Wolves had nothing to lose having confirmed their top-flight status for next season and didn’t really trouble the Red Devils.
The absence of Marcus Rashford also meant United’s attack was blunt, and they should indeed be worried.
Newcastle will play Brighton on Thursday, and a loss or two points could invite real pressure from the Kops.
Manchester United’s remaining fixtures are quite kind; they’re away to Bournemouth and then home games against Chelsea and Fulham to wrap up the season.
The game against the Lilywhites is a bit of a grudge match, and they might have to keep an eye on Aleksander Mitrovic.
The Serbian was handed a hefty ban following the melee that greeted Willian’s handball in the FA Cup game, which United won 2-1.
Liverpool plays Aston Villa next, and if they beat Unai Emery’s team, they’d most likely have a free pass on the final day away at relegated Southampton.
The Saints can be a banana peel, but if that game has top-four qualification written all over it, Liverpool should get the job done.
Newcastle close in on Champions League spot
After Brighton, Newcastle has to negotiate with Leicester, and that’s dangerous.
Picture this: Leicester is really bad; they lost hopelessly against Liverpool on Monday, but they must win their remaining two games or face relegation. Will Newcastle enjoy the game?
The Geordies have come a long way; they deserve to be in the Champions League for how well they have played this season.
But you don’t get what you deserve from life; you get what you negotiate. That’s one to keep an eye on.
Chelsea is popping up again here; the Blues will host Newcastle on the final day, and it could be a top-four decider.
Chelsea isn't a team that anyone should be concerned about right now because they can lose to even the worst of opponents, but Newcastle must go to Stamford Bridge with all of their intentions.
The title is as good as decided, and yet again, Chelsea is a factor as the champions play the Blues on Sunday.
A win for Pep Guardiola’s side confirms the title, but the top-four race is one to keep an eye on. We live for this!