Race for European spots dominates English Premier League

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The closest race in the English Premier League for the remainder of the season isn’t for the league title. Instead, it’s for a top-four finish and a berth in the 2015/16 European Champions League. Chelsea leads the league by six points with a game in hand and unless they totally collapse over the last eight games they should be crowned champions this year. This leaves six clubs battling it out for the last three Champions League spots. The fifth and sixth-place teams will earn a spot in the second-tier Europa League.

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Manchester City sits in second place in the Premier League with 61 points and a goal difference of+34. They’ve been struggling lately with losses at Burnley and Liverpool and were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona. They were tied with Chelsea on January 1 and instead of fighting for the title are now fighting for Europe. They need to improve quickly since Arsenal and Manchester United are right behind them. City’s remaining games are road trips to Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Tottenham, and Swansea City with home matches against West Ham, Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers, and Southampton.

According to the bet365 soccer odds the teams’ chances of finishing in the top four are Man City 1/33, Arsenal 1/12, Man United 1/4, Liverpool 10/3, Tottenham 10/1.

Third-place Arsenal is just one point behind Man City with 60 and the London side has a goal difference of +27. The Gunners have won six straight league outings and nine of their past 10. They have remaining games at home against Liverpool, Chelsea, Swansea, Sunderland, and West Brom with away encounters at Burnley, Hull City, and Manchester United. They face three top-five teams, but also have five games remaining at home.

Fourth place belongs to Manchester United as the club has 59 points and a goal difference of +25. They just recorded huge wins over Tottenham and Liverpool, but still have to face Man City in their local derby as well as league-leading Chelsea and then Arsenal. United’s remaining home games are against Aston Villa, Man City, West Brom, and Arsenal with away fixtures at Chelsea, Everton, Crystal Palace and Hull City. United’s fate will be decided by the clashes with Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their saving grace could be the five-point lead they have over Liverpool.

In fifth place we have Liverpool with 54 points and a goal difference of +12. They recently went on a 13-game unbeaten streak, but it was halted when they dropped a 2-1 decision at home to Man United. It was a damaging defeat as the Reds are now five back of United and fourth place. It’s going to be a tough task to reach the top four since Liverpool has home games against Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, and Crystal Palace. They’re on the road at Arsenal, Hull City, West Brom, Chelsea, and Stoke City.

Southampton is currently in sixth place with 53 points and are +21 in goal difference. They’ve played well this season considering the players they lost over the summer, but a top-four finish is unlikely now. The Saints play home matches against Hull City, Tottenham, and Aston Villa with away encounters against Everton, Stoke, Sunderland, Leicester City, and Man City.

Tottenham Hotspur sits in seventh spot with 53 points and a goal difference of +5. They’ve had big wins over Arsenal and Chelsea this season and have Harry Kane leading the way with 29 goals. They’re inconsistent though and will likely have to settle for a spot in the Europa League. Spurs have home fixtures against Aston Villa, Man City, and Hull City with away contests at Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton, Stoke City, and Everton.

According to the bet365 soccer odds the teams’ chances of finishing in the top four are Man City 1/33, Arsenal 1/12, Man United 1/4, Liverpool 10/3, Tottenham 10/1.

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