The Race for Fourth Place in the Premier League Remains Wide Open

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Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba of Manchester United look dejected with Craig Cathcart of Watford in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford on February 26, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

In what has become something of an annual spectacle, the race for fourth spot in the Premier League is coming right down to the wire. Many teams are still in with a chance of clinching the last Champions League qualification position on offer in the English top-flight, but Vwin has stated that three of the traditional big six – Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United – seem at present to be the favorites.

They will, no doubt, battle it out until the final day. Whether the youth of Mikel Arteta and his sprightly young stars, the experience of Antonio Conte, or the talent available to Ralf Rangnick will prevail remains to be seen, but either way, it promises to be a thrilling fight.

The remaining fixtures for Arsenal, Tottenham, and Manchester United for the race for the last Champions League spot

Arsenal

None would have seen this coming before the season started, nor indeed three matches into the campaign when they sat bottom of the table, but Arsenal are currently in a much better position than any of their top-four rivals. 

The Gunners are sitting in fourth, one point ahead of Manchester United in fifth. Not only this, though, but they also have three games in hand on the Red Devils as well as on West Ham United below them. The situation gets even better for Mikel Arteta’s side when you take into account their form. Arsenal have won their last four matches and are unbeaten in the league since coming unstuck against a fantastic Manchester City side on New Year’s Day.

The North London club do, however, still have to face many of the Premier League’s top teams. Chelsea, Tottenham, United, and Liverpool all await them in their final 13 matches, with top-four rivals West Ham United and Eddie Howe’s in-form Newcastle United also left to play. Despite the potential difficulty of their final fixtures, though, Mikel Arteta has to consider his team the favorites for fourth place as we approach the business end of the 2021/22 season.

Manchester United

While the Gunners have been one of this campaign’s biggest overachievers, it is safe to say United have been the most disappointing.

When the season started, Ole Gunnar Solskjaers Red Devils were tipped to be involved with Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool in an enthralling and exclusive title race. With just ten games left to play for the Manchester side, however, things are looking slightly less rosy. 

Poor runs of form have left them a shocking 22 points off Pep Guardiola‘s City in top spot, and with their performances, even in their victories, having left much to be desired, it could be a rough run-in for United fans.

While they started the season with plenty, the Red Devils are now struggling for attacking options, with Mason Greenwood suspended due to unforeseen circumstances, Anthony Martial having left on loan, Edinson Cavani rarely available, and Marcus Rashford in a spell of poor form. They are now relying on a trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, and academy talent Anthony Elanga to provide the goals, but this sudden lack of depth has proven tragic for Ralf Rangnick.

Like Arsenal, United’s run-in features four of the traditional big six, the Red Devils having played only Manchester City in the second half of the season. The only source of comfort for United fans is that the other teams they have left to face, including Norwich City and an out-of-form Everton, should present much less of a challenge. As those who watch the Red Devils on a regular basis will know only too well, though, when this United side is expected to win a game, you can expect anything but.

Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte’s men have been a picture of inconsistency of late. They have flip-flopped from smashing Leeds United and Everton to being humiliated by the likes of Burnley and even Championship side Middlesbrough.

This will need to change if they want to stand a fighting chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, and the perfect place to start would be this weekend’s vital fixture against Manchester United. Win it, and Spurs go above Rangnick’s side with two games in hand, lose and the point gap between themselves and local rivals Arsenal will grow even larger while their position becomes increasingly precarious.

With markedly easier remaining fixtures than their top-four rivals, however, Conte will see this as his way in the back door of Champions League qualification.

 

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