Analysis

The race for the top four - one game left

The crowded Premier League fixture schedule since the restart is coming to an end. Here, we look at the teams left vying for Champions League qualification, their restart fortunes so far and their remaining fixtures…

Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester City all dropped points in our most recent games – the Blues and the Foxes going down to Liverpool and Tottenham away respectively, while the Red Devils took just one point from their home meeting with West Ham United.

Only those three sides are in contention for the two remaining Champions League qualification places with Liverpool and Manchester City already assured to be the top two. Following the latest games, Frank Lampard’s side have slipped one place to fourth but that still means qualification is in our own hands.

A draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday will be sufficient and as Man United and Leicester play each other, even if we lose our final game, a defeat for Leicester in their game will still keep us in fourth. If they draw however and we are defeated, due to Leicester’s superior goal difference the Blues would drop to fifth. A Leicester win if we take no points, unless it is by an incredible margin, would not be good news either.

Contender clashes

All the Matchday 38 fixtures are played at the same time on Sunday, 4pm UK time, with Leicester's King Power Stadium hosting their big clash with Man United. 

Wolves will arrive at Stamford Bridge in contention for Europa League qualification. While it would need them to beat Chelsea and Leicester to lose with a huge swing in goal difference between those Midlands sides for Wolves to grab fifth, sixth place is a more realistic ambition. They must match Tottenham's result away at Crystal Palace to claim that spot which is rewarded with a place in the Europa League qualifiers, unless Chelsea win the FA Cup in which case sixth is sent into the Europa League group stage. 

Parallel priorities

Chelsea, Man United and Wolves remain in European competition this season – Chelsea in the Champions League with the other two in the Europa League. Remaining fixtures in these competitions are being played in August at the end of the domestic campaign. The winners of both competitions are guaranteed a Champions League place next season.

Season standings

After a three-game run in third, we are back in our more accustomed position this season of fourth, and there have been plenty of varying trajectories among the other contenders over the course of the season as the graph below illustrates. Select and deselect teams on the right-hand side to view their standings across the course of the season.

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