Could we get some clarity in the race for fourth place?
The English Premier League title already seems locked up with Manchester City having an 11-point lead on second-place Liverpool. Chelsea is a point back of Liverpool and seven points ahead of West Ham. Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea look like locks for the top three in some order.
After that, it’s chaos. And it’s important chaos. The top four teams from the league advance to next season’s Champions League. That’s a lot of extra money and a chance at one of the biggest trophies in world football.
Here’s what the race for the fourth spot looks like entering the weekend.
West Ham, 37 points (22 games)
Tottenham, 36 points (19 games)
Arsenal, 35 points (20 games)
Manchester United, 35 points (21 games)
Wolves, 31 points (20 games)
Tottenham looks to have the clear edge based on the number of games it has in hand, though Arsenal could be a factor too. And don’t count out Manchester United. They can be an infuriating team to watch but they have a lot of talent.
With Tottenham facing Chelsea on Sunday and United taking on West Ham, there could be a shift in this grouping by the end of the weekend. United and Arsenal — who takes on Burnley — could find themselves at the top of this group with 38 points apiece if things break their way. Or West Ham could hold serve ahead of everyone else. Or Tottenham could jump to 39 points and into fourth.
Yeah, this is a big weekend for the No. 4 spot. Here’s what you need to know to bet on any of this weekend’s games. All odds are from BetMGM and all games are on Saturday unless noted.
Watford vs. Norwich City (2.5) [Friday]
Norwich City (+250)
A relegation battle to kick off the weekend? Sounds good to us. Watford has two games in hand on Norwich and is a point ahead of the relegation zone in 17th while Norwich is in 18th with 13 points. We’ll go with a tie here as Watford still hasn’t won since beating Manchester United to end the Ole Gunner Solskjaer era.
Everton vs. Aston Villa (2.5)
Aston Villa (+165)
Duncan Ferguson will lead Everton in this one after Rafa Benitez’s firing following a 2-1 loss to Norwich City over the weekend. Everton is safely ahead of the relegation zone for now, but has been miserable in the EPL lately. Aston Villa got its first point in three games with a tie against United on Saturday. We’ll take Villa to get all three points here.
Brentford vs. Wolves (1.5)
Brentford gave up three second-half goals to Manchester United on Wednesday and has lost three consecutive league games. The Wolves are on a four-game unbeaten run in the EPL and we’re going to go with a +140 payoff here and try for the under and either a 0-0 or 1-0 game.
Leeds vs. Newcastle (2.5)
Leeds has won back-to-back EPL games to vault nine points clear of the relegation zone. Newcastle can get out of 19th with a win, though it’s hard to see that happening here. Leeds is our pick.
Manchester United vs. West Ham (2.5)
Man United (-115)
West Ham (+280)
This may be the biggest game of the weekend given where each team is in the standings. If Tottenham ties or loses to Chelsea, a winner here is at least tied for fourth on points. We’ll go with over 2.5 goals. Again, it’s hard to trust United.
Southampton vs. Manchester City (2.5)
Man City (-350)
Feels like this is another pick that shouldn’t be thought about too much. Take the over and City.
Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (2.5) [Sunday]
Leicester collapsed in the final minutes of Wednesday’s game against Tottenham while Brighton eked out a tie against Chelsea on Tuesday. We’ll go with a Leicester bounce back here, but there’s not much confidence in that pick.
Arsenal vs. Burnley (2.5) [Sunday]
Will Burnley actually play a game this weekend? The Clarets have played (at least) two fewer games than everyone else in the league, have not played a league game since Jan. 2 and have played just two league games since Dec. 12 because of injuries and COVID-19 cases. Arsenal, meanwhile, had its game over the weekend with Tottenham postponed. We’ll go Arsenal … assuming this game happens.
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool (2.5) [Sunday]
Crystal Palace (+500)
Liverpool should have enough quality to beat Tottenham but plays Arsenal on Thursday in a Carabao Cup semifinal and is missing Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Will the Reds’ depleted squad matter in this game?
Chelsea vs. Tottenham (2.5) [Sunday]
This is a fun game to end the weekend. Tottenham has three games in hand on West Ham and is just a point back of fourth place. Spurs have also not lost a game since Antonio Conte took over. Tottenham is good value for an upset here given Chelsea’s lack of form at the moment.