The Premier League Fourth Spot: The Remaining Contenders

February 12, 2013 in Premier League

We’ve approached that stage in the season. The prestigious top four Champions League places that mean almost life or death to many clubs have suddenly taken center stage as we reach mid-February, but who will make it?

The shortlist has gone under construction, candidates have been cut and it’s down to the last few. Chelsea? Liverpool? Swansea? Eyes are peeled and intrigued; who’s looking most confident to pinch their place as we reach the business end of the season?

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Tottenham

Spurs, sitting high above the rest, look the strongest side to seal fourth spot after impressive league form has seen them knock up six wins and four draws from their last ten games. Gareth Bale, put in the same category of importance to the club as Lionel Messi at Barcelona by Andre Villas-Boas this week, has been their driving force and if kept fit, there is a strong chance they could cement fourth place and push on further. However, squad depth is definitely a weak point, and whilst they have a strong first 11, multiple injuries could cause a free-fall down the table.

Current Position – 4th
Predicted Position – 4th

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Everton

Besides Spurs, Everton are definitely still in contention with their usual strong season finish teed up nicely after an impressive start, having still only lost once at Goodison Park. Marouane Fellani has furthered his status as their main man with 11 goals, whilst recent reports suggest he’s asked Chelsea to bid for him. True or not, will this have an influence on his form and the atmosphere in the dressing room?

I expect the Toffees’ to put down an impressive points tally but just not enough to finish in fourth place.

Current Position – 6th
Predicted Position – 5th

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Arsenal

Erratic form has been one of the key features of the Gunners’ season, but nevertheless they’re just 4 points off Spurs in fourth. A 7-3 victory over Newcastle was then followed with a 1-1 draw with Southampton three days later; you just never know what to expect with Arsenal. Theo Walcott has had a storming season as well so far, but I know I wouldn’t want my side’s hopes of a fourth spot finish relying on Walcott’s form; it could go either way, but my prediction would be a sixth place finish, with Walcott’s form settling down as we reach the season climax.

Current Position – 5th
Predicted Position – 6th

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Chelsea

Manchester United have seemingly strolled away and left fellow title challengers City and Chelsea behind, ultimately turning into a battle for second place, unless United implode again at the last hurdle. Any further Chelsea slip ups could see an even lower finish, as Spurs are just a point behind. However, anything less than fourth place would be a disaster and would seriously be one of the worst cases of self-destruction known to man after sacking Roberto Di Matteo. However, it’s unlikely and the Blues’ should be confident of finishing third.

Current Position – 3rd
Predicted Position – 3rd

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Swansea

Swansea have had a great season and would be the dark horses to pinch the final Champions League place, and what a fairy tale story that would be. But, hoping and dreaming aside, the form over their last ten league fixtures hasn’t been too flash and with a Cup final soon approaching, minds could be elsewhere.

Current Position – 7th
Predicted Position – 9th

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Liverpool

Liverpool have a very slim chance, and would require an almost-unbeaten run from here until the end of the season to remain in contention when we arrive to their last fixture come 19th May. Maybe worth putting a quid on down the bookies, though?

Current Position – 8th
Predicted Position – 7th

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