It’s definitely “squeaky bum time” as Sir Alex Ferguson used to call it! The final five or six games of the season are coming through fast and Chelsea’s recent defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford has left them just four points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. It was a ten point gap just three weeks ago.
William Hill is considered the best bookmaker for football betting and with them Chelsea are the favourites to lift the Premier league title at 1/6, but Spurs are the obvious value at 9/2. A lot will depend on whether Chelsea can handle the pressure under new manager, Antonio Conte.
They have come unstuck recently against United and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, but it’s hard to call it a blip with decent wins in between and of course the “illness” story that has been doing the rounds.
For Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United there is simply too much to do to close the gap for the title but the top four will likely go down to the wire.
Spurs are almost dead certs for a top four finish at 1/100 and Manchester City look overpriced at 1/10 to make the top four, especially given they are currently just four points above United having played a game more. There is also the fact that United have to play them in what will be considered one of the seasons biggest six-pointers.
Manchester United are an interesting 7/2 to make the top four and that adds value with Jose Mourinho’s side currently unbeaten in the Premier League in over 20 games, and their recent good form, particularly in the 2-0 win at Old Trafford against Chelsea recently.
Liverpool are 1/7 but are too showing some good form to cement their fourth place spot. There’s no real value here unless you’re gambling the big bucks.
Arsenal and Everton meanwhile are big outsiders and rightly so. Whilst Everton have shown some late form it’s a case of too little too late for the Toffees whilst Arsenal have simply been abysmal, and to be frank that’s probably a kind assessment. They will need all teams above them to falter by some margin, and they have by far the toughest run-in on paper with fixtures against current Premiership Champions Leicester, North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Stoke, Everton and Southampton.
For those who like the risky bets Arsenal and Everton are 7/1 and 100/1 to make the top four in the Premiership with William Hill respectively.
Regardless of winning or losing money by backing your favourite, it’s likely to be one of the most interesting top four races of all time in the Premier League, with so much at stake with the revenue involved for gaining a spot in the Champions League. One thing is for sure and that is that two of the so called top teams will miss out.
The only saving grace could be if Manchester United win the Europa League (5/4 with Hills) and finish fourth. Europa League winners are given instant access to the Champions League group stages, meaning fifth place in the Premiership will be given the chance to qualify too. Should United finish 5th but still win the Europa League then fourth spot will qualify automatically.
The biggest value looks to be Man Utd, but that is subjective and that is the beauty of this top four race.
Enjoy the race!