Battle for the Top Four Shaping Up to Be a Nail-biter
The battle for the top four in the Premier League is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing narratives of the season.
With Manchester City away and gone, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are left scrapping it out for three places. And with such a big prize at stake, Champions League qualification, it will be one where fine margins could be the difference between success and failure.
Manchester United look well placed to make the top four, 188BET have them priced at 1.20, and the way Jose Mourinho will set them up will secure the Red Devils a place in the top four.
The Premier League may have escaped the Portuguese’s grasp, but he’s a shrewd enough operator to ensure the second prize will be secured.
Despite sitting second in the table, United are not market leaders in the race for the top four. That honour goes to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea who are priced at 1.16 by 188BET.
The defence of their title looked on shaky ground the moment they were beaten by Burnley on the opening day of the season – and was sunk when City beat them at Stamford Bridge at the end of September.
Still, they’ve made a decent recovery and are on a six-game unbeaten run in the league. With the sizzling Eden Hazard leading their attacking threat, the Blues are set fair to book a place in the top four.
From there, things get a little interesting. Liverpool are the current occupants of the fourth spot – the coveted fourth spot that guarantees a shot at next season’s Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are three points ahead of Tottenham, with Arsenal two further adrift – but the Reds have not looked the most secure conveyance this term. At times mesmerising, others infuriating. They seem to find a way to engineer a way back into games for opposition sides.
The capture of Virgil van Dijk for £75 million, the highest fee ever paid for a defender, should help plug some gaps – you’d hope so for that kind of money – but he’s not going to fix general structural problems within the squad.
The Philippe Coutinho factor also has to be brought into the conversation. His departure leaves a big void in their attack makeup and although in time it might not prove to be the worst piece of business ever done, Klopp will stand or fall on the decision to sell the Brazilian mid-way through the season.
At 1.30 with 188BET to get the fourth spot, were prepared to look elsewhere.
So, is it Tottenham or Arsenal?
With Harry Kane in such supreme goalscoring form, the sensible shout would be to elect for Spurs at 188BET’s price of 2.20. But there’s just a nagging feeling that Arsenal are close enough at this stage of the season to mount one of their late-campaign surges.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will hope to get through the current transfer window unscathed, or if Alexis Sanchez goes then they bring in a suitable replacement. That will allow the Frenchman to mastermind a push for the top four and with the attacking talent that the Gunners possess they could just do it, with 188BET’s price of 3.75 making a bit of appeal.
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