With the league title all but wrapped up following Chelsea’s win over Manchester City on Wednesday, most people’s focus is now on the battle for the top four and who will qualify for the coveted Champions League next season.
Currently sitting second, Pochettino’s men are the most likely to cement their place in the top four for a second consecutive season. 9 Points ahead of arch rivals Arsenal who sit in 5th and with an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea in a couple of weeks at Wembley, there is a real belief that this current generation will start to back up their potential with trophies in the very near future.
In Jurgen Klopp’s first full season as Liverpool manager, the German looks set to match both the owners’ and fans’ hopes by guiding the Reds back to the Champions League – a competition in which they have famously won 5 times in their history. Currently sitting third in the table, 6 points ahead of 5th placed Arsenal, the club have faced lengthy injuries to some of their key players so far this year and the recent injury to key man Sadio Mane will be a huge blow to the side as they head towards this seasons finish line. Results against the rest of the top sides this season have been excellent and are a key factor in their current top 3 placing.
In a season where Pep Guardiola was expected to analyse, rebuild and upgrade this ageing Manchester City side, not everyone would have expected it being this hard. Outclassed by Monaco in the Champions League and struggling against other sides in the top 4 both home and away, Guardiola has a huge summer coming up which will see many incomings and outgoings at the Etihad. Given the form of Sane and others in the last few weeks, City will qualify for the Champions League next season, but they will need to improve significantly if they are to really go for a title push next year. Guardiola also has the chance to finish his first season in England with silverware, with an FA Cup semi against Arsenal coming up in a couple of weeks.
Despite the constant feeling of Arsenal being a crisis club, they are still in with a real shout of securing a top 4 place and have a favourable run-in. Whilst much will depend on key man Alexis Sanchez’s form, players such as Ozil, Xhaka and Walcott have stepped up in the past few weeks and contributed with some impressive performances when the club have needed them most. There is also a chance of silverware this season, with the chance of an Arsenal v Spurs FA Cup Final wetting the appetite of many football fans (should both sides win their Semi-Finals which is no easy task, of course)
Despite being on a 20 game unbeaten run in the Premier League and only losing 3 matches all season, the Red Devils sit in 6th position in the table and it is looking increasingly likely that winning the Europa League will be their most likely route of qualifying for the Champions League, given the gap between them and fourth placed Manchester City. Whilst Mourinho looks to be building a formidable team at Old Trafford who will undoubtedly improve moving forward, fans will be hoping that their home form improves if they are to mount a title challenge next year – several disappointing results this season, such as the 0-0 against perennial strugglers away from home Burnley, have ultimately dented their push for a top 4 finish this campaign.