The Premier League is entering the business end of the season. While the title race now looks like a forgone conclusion after promising so much, nearly half of the league are currently vying for a top four finish.
The Long Table below can shed more light. By ordering the teams on points rather than position, we can see that Manchester City have a twelve-point lead at the top - as closest challengers Manchester United have fallen off the pace set by the runaway leaders.
Leicester City and West Ham United currently sit in the Champions League places with twelve matches remaining, as Chelsea’s upturn in form since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival keeps them firmly in pursuit. Champions Liverpool are languishing in sixth, nineteen points adrift of Manchester City after four straight defeats at home all but ended their title defence.
Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Aston Villa follow behind, all with games in hand on the three teams above them currently occupying the European places. A tight group of clubs battling for Europe will become even tighter should the Toffees or Villa win their two games in hand, as they’ll replace West Ham in the top four. Meanwhile, Spurs will trail Liverpool by one point if they win their single game in hand.
Arsenal’s best chance for Europe next season might be in this season’s Europa League, as they maintain just an outside chance of breaking into the top seven. A season of consolidation back in the top flight for Leeds United stands the Yorkshiremen in good stead under Marcelo Bielsea, while Wolves and Crystal Palace are seemingly consigned to mid-table mediocrity.
At the bottom, a relegation battle is developing between Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Fulham. Three points is all that separates the three clubs looking to stave off relegation, with Fulham currently sitting in the drop zone. A season of inconsistency for both Burnley and Southampton could yet drag them into the mix.
West Bromwich Albion’s improvement in form hasn’t materialised as they had hoped with the appointment of Sam Allardyce, while Sheffield United are all but down and out. Manager Chris Wilder resigned the Blades to the Championship for next season: they lie 15 points from safety despite their mesmeric triumph at Old Trafford in January.
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