Football Predictions

Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal? We asked five writers to predict who will finish in the final top-four spot

By Squawka News

Published: 15:18, 18 March 2019 | Updated: 15:27, 12 June 2019

The race for the Premier League’s top four looked to be run a couple a weeks ago.

But things change fast in football and matters are far from cut and dry with just eight games left to play.

Manchester City and Liverpool are home and hosed, while Tottenham’s history suggests that they should not stop casting nervous looks over their shoulders quite yet.

However, the fight for fourth place currently appears to be between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United – depending on how highly you rate Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

The trio are all far from complete sides and securing a place among Europe’s elite is going to be far from straightforward.

We’ve asked five writers to predict who will win the battle and – understandably – opinions are divided.

Arsenal

Chris Smith: Things are really clicking for Unai Emery now, so I’m going to stick with Arsenal.

The Gunners have lost just one of their last seven games in all competitions – even that was a Europa League defeat to Rennes, which they overturned – and seem to be finding goals all over the pitch at the moment.

Couple that with United finally showing signs of struggle under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the threadbare confidence of Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea during their 2-0 defeat to Everton and it’s hard to see either catching Arsenal as they put their foot to the floor.

Ben Green: The Gunners seem to have rediscovered their remarkable autumnal form and look dangerous under Emery of late. Of the three challengers, Arsenal have the easiest run-in with no ‘Big Six’ side to come up against, whereas Chelsea and Man United are yet to face each other and both still have to play Liverpool and Man City respectively.

This leaves Arsenal in pole position to snatch the final spot, and with cracks beginning to surface in Solskjaer’s United and resurfacing in Sarri’s Chelsea, Emery should have enough horsepower in his side to see the job through.

Will Eldridge: With two of the best strikers in the Premier League, the Gunners are in a fantastic position to ensure they get themselves Champions League football again for next season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are always threatening to get themselves on the scoresheet, scoring 29 goals between them in the league this season.

The Arsenal midfield provides both a solid and attacking presence in support of their star men and – if the north London club can avoid any defensive errors, pressures or injuries until the end of May – then they will give themselves a great chance.

Arsenal’s remaining fixtures contain no clashes against clubs in the top six, with five of their last eight games coming against sides in the bottom half.

Spurs seem to be on a slightly downward spiral but not as bad as Chelsea. Man United will be Arsenal’s main competitors but the Gunners may not require a top-four finish at all if they can bag themselves the Europa League trophy.

Manchester United

Sam Long: I backed Sarri to conjure up a response from his Chelsea players, but defeat to Everton has proved that they are not all pulling in the same direction.

Man United, meanwhile, definitely are. Solskjaer’s arrival has united the entire club and, despite a poor display against Wolves, I expect them to get back on the saddle.

The game against Chelsea at Old Trafford in late April (which takes place just four days after the Manchester derby) will be crucial and I believe United will get the job done to edge out Arsenal by a solitary point.

Muhammad Butt: If there is truly just one more spot up for grabs in the top four (Spurs’ squad size and difficult run-in could yet hurt them) then it has to belong to Manchester United.

Chelsea are fading badly and whilst Arsenal have the advantage right now the Europa League will end up taking their focus (whilst United are probably heading out of the Champions League).

Under Solskjaer, United are suffering a bit of a blip right now but should regroup and, with their fast forwards fully fit, race to the finish line.