Who will qualify for the Champions League?
We’re almost halfway through the 2018-19 Premier League season and the league table is starting to take shape. Although things are far from finished, we’re getting an idea of what teams will be battling against relegation, and what teams are looking for a top four finish to be part of the Champions League winner odds market next season.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the teams who are aiming for a top four finish.
Manchester City & Liverpool
Unless either club goes through an awful run of form, it seems like both Liverpool and Manchester City have already secured their places in next season’s Champions League. After 15 games, both teams are unbeaten and have the best defensive records in the league.
It’s the best start to a season that both clubs have had, and it looks like the title race will be between them.
Behind Liverpool and City, it seems like the other two Champions League spaces will be fought between three London clubs – Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.
After losing Arsene Wenger in the summer, many predicted a season of turmoil for Arsenal. When long-standing Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired back in 2013, the club had their worst season in years and have never really recovered since. However, Arsenal have thrived so far under new boss Unai Emery.
Since losing his first two competitive games against Manchester City (1-3) and Chelsea (2-3), the Spaniard has led the team on an impressive unbeaten streak which has seen them propel into the battle for a spot in next seasons Champions League.
One of the main reasons why Arsenal have enjoyed such a successful start to the season is thanks to the goal scoring exploits of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international was the first player in the league to reach 10 goals this season and has scored some crucial goals along the way.
Although things are going well for the club at the moment, they are still yet to lead a game at half time. Even though they have still managed to grind out wins in the second half of games, they’ll need to play to their full potential from the first minute if they have any hope of finishing in the top four.
Since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, the club has been transformed from Champions League outsiders into Champions League regulars. Not only has the Argentine improved the performances on the pitch, he has also brought through some promising players such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
To an outsider it might look like Pochettino has gone as far as he can go with the north London club, but it looks like he’s got plans to stay in the capital even longer after signing a new 5 year deal earlier on this year.
The club’s faith in the Argentine has definitely paid off as the manager has led them to their best ever start to a Premier League season. Although the form of Manchester City and Liverpool means they are likely to be out of the title race, they are in the driving seat for a top four finish.
Their lack of investment in the summer might be their downfall towards the end of the season, but if they invest properly in January then it is likely Spurs will once again secure their Champions League place next season.
Although a title winning 2016-17 season was a perfect start for Antonio Conte, a disappointing second season where the club finished in 5th meant that the Italian lost his job, even though they had just won the FA Cup. The club found his replacement in Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, appointing him as the new head coach.
It’s the first time that the Italian has managed outside of his home country, and it seems like he has adapted well. Despite taking over a squad that wasn’t used to his possession-oriented system, Sarri managed to lead the club on an unbeaten streak which came to an end at the end of November.
Their league form in the past few weeks has got a couple of fans worried about their Champions League chances, but their lengthy unbeaten start in the first couple of months of the season shows they’ve got the ability to grind out results when needed. They’re currently keeping pace with Tottenham and Arsenal in the table but with favourable fixtures coming up, they could find themselves in the top four.Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?
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