Chelsea, Man United, Wolves, Sheffield United Or Spurs: Who Takes Final PL Champ
The race for the Premier League title seems to be over and we are now reaching the stage where there is little debate over who will be joining Liverpool in the top three.
Manchester City might not be competing for the trophy but they are still comfortable and should qualify for the Champions League, while Leicester’s excellent season means they are a shoe-in for third.
But beneath them, there is a huge pack of teams that are battling for fourth spot in the Premier League.
Chelsea looked set to take it but the gap has tightened massively in recent weeks, and Frank Lampard has admitted they are now the underdogs following their failure to strengthen in January.
Spurs, who did bolster last month, are catching up on them, while Sheffield United have slyly collected points to edge closer.
Manchester United are stumbling while Wolves are slowly climbing up the table.
But how will the rest of the season pan out for each side?
Frank Lampard had an impressive first half of the season as Chelsea manager but his team have dipped off massively since. They have won just two of their last 11 games and failed to sign anyone in the January window.
We see them struggling over the coming weeks. They will be held to a draw by Manchester United after the difficulty they had facing them at the start of the season before losing 2-0 to Spurs. They will, however, beat Bournemouth later this month.
Carlo Ancelotti’s revived Everton will then hold them to a 1-1 draw before their away form picks up with a 2-1 win against Aston Villa. But a frustrated Manchester City will beat them 3-1. A run of three local games sees them beat West Ham and Crystal Palace while drawing with Watford.
Then Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United will win 2-1 against them at Bramall Lane.
With a need for points they’ll beat Norwich before losing to Liverpool and drawing with Wolves to give them just 20 points over their remaining matches.
Buoyed by their impressive win against Manchester City, the fact they got some signings in over January and a sense that there’s some Jose Mourinho magic floating about, Spurs will continue this month in fine form.
They will beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park before turning Mourinho’s former side Chelsea over at Stamford Bridge. Wolves will earn a point in north London.
Yet Spurs will bounce back with three wins on the spin. They will go to Turf Moor and take a 3-1 win against Burnley, beat Manchester United by a single goal and overcome West Ham.
Sheffield United will then beat them but wins against Everton and Bournemouth will keep them ticking over. And a draw with Arsenal, a win against Newcastle and a point when Leicester visit will put qualification for the Champions League in their hands.
Against Crystal Palace on the last day of the season they will pull everything together and despite facing a tricky trip to Selhurst Park, will manage to overcome Roy Hodgson’s side
Sheffield United have, on the sly, pulled together one of the most impressive Premier League seasons from a newly promoted side in recent memory.
They are sixth and slowly closing in on the top four. And they have a run of five upcoming games that could all be easily won. As a result, we’ve tipped them to beat Bournemouth, Brighton, Aston Villa, Norwich and Newcastle, which would see them get into the top four in the middle of next month.
They will then draw with Manchester United before beating Spurs. However, a shock loss at Burnley will see them dip off before a 2-2 draw with Wolves.
The Blades will overpower Lampard’s Chelsea at home before going to the King Power Stadium and losing 2-1.
Ancelotti and Everton will then come to town with the pressure growing on Wilder and his boys, and they will nick a point.
Southampton will then host them and lose 2-0, but despite picking up the same points total as Spurs they will finish a place behind them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not had a great first full season in charge of Manchester United and it does not look like it will be getting any better any time soon.
They have an unfortunate habit of dropping points when they should win. We have predicted them to take a draw at Chelsea before beating Watford but they will lose 2-0 against Everton.
United will then take on City, who Solskjaer seems to have a bit of a hoodoo over. But they will only manage a draw. Then they will lose to Spurs as Mourinho beats one of his former sides.
A trip to the seaside to face Brighton will give them another win, as will the visit of Bournemouth at home. They’ll cap off a run of three wins with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.
But Ralph Hasenhuttl’s dangerous Southampton will take a point at Old Trafford — probably courtesy of Danny Ings — while Crystal Palace will overcome them when they travel to Selhurst Park.
David Moyes will not taste success against his old side when West Ham visit Old Trafford, with United taking three more points from that game.
However, they will already know they have no chance of making the top four and see the 2-1 loss against Leicester that we’ve predicted for them on the final day as an expected outcome to cap off what has been a difficult season for the Norwegian and all of the United players.
Nuno Espirito Santo had a tough start to his second season in the Premier League but Wolves have recovered, nicely balancing their Europa League workload and the demands of the division.
Even so, we reckon they’ll lose to Leicester on Valentine’s Day. They’ll take a win against Norwich before drawing at Spurs and beating Brighton. Nuno’s side will then win two on the spin, at West Ham and against a struggling Bournemouth.
Aston Villa, battling relegation, will hold them to a draw while they’ll beat Arsenal 3-1. They’ll then draw with Sheffield United and Everton.
A trip to Turf Moor will net them three points with a 2-0 win over Burnley but draws against Crystal Palace and Chelsea in their final two games will see them miss out on a place in the Champions League next season.