Analysing Which Premier League Clubs Have the Best Chance of a Top-Four Finish

Teams vying for a spot in European competition or attempting to avoid relegation often put in extra effort in the final two months of the season, and this year is no different, with as many as four clubs are still in the running for a place in the Champions League next season. Let’s take a look at the sets of teams fighting for a Premier League top-four spot.

Which Clubs Can Achieve a Top-Four Premier League Finish?

The last week of March will have an international break, which is FIFA’s final break for this campaign. and some clubs will be fiercely driven to secure a spot in the top four when the Premier League resumes after this break, with club football returning during the first week of April.

As it stands now, Arsenal and Manchester City’s places in the Champions League next season are all but confirmed. Realistically, these two clubs are in the title race thanks to their big leads in the points table, with the two sides boasting a 16-point and an 11-point advantage over third place respectively.

Catching them is practically impossible for their rivals because more than two-thirds of the fixtures have already been played. Having said that, there are still two spots that are up for grabs.

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What should be the bare minimum number of points a club has to collect to find a place in the top four? The recent history of the Premier League suggests that anything above 70 points might potentially help a club secure a top-four spot. Let’s take a look at the four clubs that have the biggest chances of securing those two places.

Manchester United

The Red Devils have been playing well under new coach Erik ten Hag. They have won the EFL Cup and are in the running for the Europa League and the FA Cup. But can they qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four?

Manchester United are, comparatively, in a better position than their rivals. They are currently in third place with 50 points in the league and have a two-point lead over fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. The Red Devils still have four fairly difficult matches to navigate between now and the end of the season, but should still be able to earn enough points to maintain their strong position inside the top four.

Key fixtures to watch
vs Brighton (TBC)
vs Newcastle United (April 2)
vs Chelsea (April 22))
vs Tottenham (April 28)

Tottenham Hotspur

After being knocked out in the Champions League Round of 16, Antonio Conte has been under pressure to secure qualification for the competition again this season. Spurs are currently in fourth place in the points table with 48 points and have a four-point lead over fifth-place Newcastle United. Conte’s side will be aiming to collect at least 22 points out of a possible 33, which won’t be an easy task to achieve as they have some big matches coming up. It will be tough, but not impossible – especially given the fact that they possess a truly world-class striker in Harry Kane, something their rivals sorely lack.

Key fixtures to watch
vs Brighton (April 8)
vs Newcastle United (April 23)
vs Manchester United (April 28))
vs Liverpool (April 30)

Newcastle United

The expectation from Newcastle United has gone up ever since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s takeover in October 2021. Newcastle’s ultimate ambition is to play in the Champions League, but their recent form has been somewhat concerning – winning just once in their last five Premier League fixtures.

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The sooner the Magpies reach their best form, the better since they have some important games coming up. The current point standings have Newcastle in fifth place with 44 points. However, one advantage they do have is that they have a game in hand over third-placed Manchester United and two in hand over fourth-placed Spurs. If they can reproduce their early season form then this advantage they have over those two clubs could be a huge factor in the race for top four.

Key fixtures to watch
vs Manchester United (April 2)
vs Tottenham (April 23)
vs Arsenal (May 6)
vs Chelsea (May 28)


Jurgen Klopp’s team has surprisingly underperformed this season amid some major injury concerns. Liverpool are currently in sixth place with 42 points and, more importantly, six points behind fourth-placed Spurs. The Reds have a serious job on their hands until the end of the season in order to find a place in the Premier League top four. They can’t afford to lose many points and are relying on the teams above them to slip up.

Consistency will be key for the club, but their recent 7-0 thumping of United, which was followed by a humiliating 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth, demonstrates why that will be no easy task for this Liverpool side.

Key fixtures to watch
vs Manchester City (April 1)
vs Chelsea (April 5))
vs Arsenal (April 9)
vs Tottenham (April 30)

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Apart from the teams stated above, Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea also have an outside chance of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season. Brighton, in particular, have a realistic chance as they will still have 14 games remaining to play and currently sit on 39 points.

However, only time will tell if they have enough hunger and tenacity to overcome some of the league’s top teams and earn a Champions League spot. Chelsea, on the other hand, must win all of their remaining fixtures in order to be in the top four, as well as requiring a disastrous two months from multiple clubs above them, which looks implausible.

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