This English Premier League campaign has been weird so far, as many of the big guns have massively underperformed. Tottenham and Arsenal were so bad that they had to change their managers before the start of 2020, while Chelsea and Manchester United have been just slightly better.
That has made the battle for the top 4 wide open and we have no clue who’s going to finish there at the end. Ok, that’s technically not true since Liverpool, Man City, and Leicester look certain.
What I mean is that the last position that provides an automatic qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League is still wide open. We might witness an exception this season if the ban of Man City stands, but for the purpose of this post, I will assume it won’t.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the chances of all teams involved. I’ve excluded the top three, as they are way ahead of the competition.
Chelsea, 45 Points
At some point of the season, it looked like Chelsea will comfortably finish in the top 4. Frank Lampard’s inability to rotate the squad and the injuries of Abraham and Pulisic changed the situation dramatically. The Blues lost a lot of points and now have to deal with a bunch of chasers.
While Chelsea is still in the best position to finish in the top 4, I believe that the club is too inconsistent and the door is open to some of the other sides. That’s why backing the Blues for the price of 1.80 just doesn’t make sense.
Manchester United, 42 Points
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has given a boost to Manchester United and the team is now only three points behind Chelsea. The problem is that the Rashford and Pogba are out indefinitely. On top of that, the Red Devils still have to play in the Europe League and the FA Cup.
Their schedule will be extremely busy by the end of the season and I don’t think they will be able to win enough matches in the Premier League.
And let’s not forget that they face Spurs and Man City in their next two encounters, so the gap to Chelsea could be much bigger in ten days.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, 42 Points
I believe that Wolverhampton Wanderers would’ve been on top of the pack right now if it wasn’t for their participation in the Europa League. The Wolves had to cope with too many games at the start of the season and registered a bunch of draws that are hurting them now.
And yet, the team is looking stronger than ever and is only three points behind Chelsea. The price you can get for Wolverhampton is round the 4.00 mark and I believe this is the best value available online.
Tottenham, 40 Points
Let me start by saying that I can’t see how Tottenham will find enough consistency to challenge the teams above. The Spurs are without Kane and Son for at least another month, their defense has been struggling and they have no identity under Mourinho.
On the bright side, the team is almost out of the Champions League and has no other competitions by the end of the season. This will allow Jose to play his best eleven in every single match. It’s an advantage, but not that big one when even your top starting lineup is not very good.
Sheffield United, 40 Points and a Game in Hand
I don’t expect to see Sheffield United in the top 4 at the end of the season, but I feel obliged to include the club to its list. Chris Wilder and his boys deserve all the credit in the world for their performance during the campaign.
People expected them to go down and they are fighting for a spot in the Champions League! That’s a remarkable achievement, but I don’t think the side has enough firepower up front to make it.
Arsenal, 37 Points and a Game in Hand
That’s another club I don’t expect to see in the top 4 in May, but Arsenal does have some potential that shouldn’t be ignored. Mikel Arteta has brought belief and discipline, while Aubameyang has been lethal up front.
The manager knows how tough another season without Champions League football could be, so he will be desperate to push his players for a final challenge. The problem is that Arsenal’s defense is simply not good enough right now.
I don’t want to be disrespectful to Burnely and Everton, but I don’t think those two teams are truly in the fight right now, so I left them out.
With that in mind, let’s move to my overall conclusion. I expect to see Chelsea in the top 4 at the end of the season, but the betting odds for the Blues are too low and I wouldn’t touch them. The only team that I trust to make a true challenge is Wolverhampton and that’s where the value lies right now.
The Wolves have a strong coach, they have built a lot of momentum recently and they are under no pressure to make it any cost.