After Manchester City's ban, what are the odds for the many Champions League hopefuls?

Man Utd

The race is wide open

The race for the Premier League top four has been blown wide open after Manchester United's win over Chelsea. And now, with Manchester City's two-year ban, the fifth-place spot in the top-flight is now a route into the Champions League, should their ban not be overturned and at the same time remain inside the top four.

Plus, with the surprising rise of Sheffield United, the recent resurgence of Everton and the inconsistencies of the usual contenders, the race is much tenser and as tough to call as it has ever been.

And, as of now, there are just 10 points that separate Chelsea in fourth and Newcastle United in 13th.

Manchester United right in there

United's victory at Stamford Bridge was perhaps their biggest of the season, for both the Champions League pursuit and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future. With the win over Chelsea, the Red Devils are within three points of the Blues in fourth and just two off Spurs in fifth.

In truth, a loss for United and it would have been tough to see how they would earn Champions League football via fourth. Now, the club are within touching distance of returning to Europe's elite competition, when you consider that fifth place is a potential route.

After the visit of Watford at the weekend, Solskjaer's side clash with City, Everton, Spurs and Sheffield United - a truly defining time for their European future.

United are 4/1 to finish inside the top four with SkyBet, 1/7 to finish outside and 4/6 to finish inside the top six.

Chelsea slipping away

Chelsea have long been in control of their Champions League destiny and even looked like putting up a good fight for third until they started to decline around December time.

Now, the Blues are nine points adrift of third-placed Leicester City and are hanging on by just a point to their desired fourth spot. Plus, with Jose Mourinho's experience in achieving European football, it's fair to say that Spurs could just pip Frank Lampard's men to fourth.

However, with fifth almost certainly a route to success, Chelsea's destiny is still in their own hands, despite their recent form.

Chelsea are 10/11 to finish inside the top four with SkyBet, 4/5 to finish outside and 1/7 to finish inside the top six.

Mourinho's Spurs resurgence

Out of all teams over the past few months, it's Spurs who have had the most positive fight back for a Champions League spot. Last season's finalists have become a regular amongst Europe's elite for a while and under Mourinho could see them secure another year in the prestigious competition.

Spurs were 14th at the time Mauricio Pochettino left the helm and 'The Special One' came in. And now, the club are already in fifth and a point clear of Sheffield in sixth. However, despite Mourinho's improved guidance thus far, the club are without Son Heung-min and Harry Kane for perhaps the remainder of the season which could be a huge problem.

Spurs are 2/1 to finish inside the top four with SkyBet, 4/11 to finish outside and 1/3 to finish inside the top six.

Leicester City amongst the best

Leicester City have been the kings of surprise over the past few seasons. From winning the Premier League to mid-table slumps to a resurgence at the top end once again. Now, with Brendan Rogers in control, the Foxes are in a phenomenal place to secure their Champions League return.

With 26 games gone, Leicester are 10 points clear of fifth and nine above fourth, ahead of their vital clash with second-placed City this weekend. After this, Jamie Vardy and co. face Norwich City, Aston Villa, Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Everton and Crystal Palace before they meet Arsenal.

So, not just are Leicester already in a promising position, their fixture list also looking very kind.

Leicester are 1/12 to finish inside the top four with SkyBet, 6/1 to finish outside and 1/100 to finish inside the top six.

Keep an eye on Sheffield United

Sheffield United returned to the top-flight this season for the first time since 2007. Now, not just have they blended in with ease amongst the elite, the Blades have also established themselves as a true powerhouse this campaign.

As of now, Chris Wilder's almighty side are just a point off fifth and two off fourth and, as a result, could certainly find themselves in the Champions League next season. Before they clash in must-win fixtures with the Red Devils and Spurs, Sheffield face four relegation-fighting teams.

In truth, it seems as if these set of fixtures are set to define their season and show whether or not the outsiders can achieve the almost unimaginable.

The Blades are 12/1 to finish inside the top four with SkyBet, 1/66 to finish outside and 9/4 to finish inside the top six.

Arsenal, Wolves and Everton the outsiders

For almost two decades, Arsenal were mainstays in the Champions League playing in the competition for 19 consecutive seasons until they dropped into the Europa League in 2017/18.

The Gunners have become a regular feature in the Europa League, having been there for the past three seasons. Now, sitting in 10th and seven points adrift of fourth, Arsenal are in serious danger of finishing outside of Europe entirely.

As for Wolves and Everton, the two are just four points off fifth, which could be an easy route into the Champions League for them. And, a very doable route, as well.

To finish inside the top four, Wolves are priced at 12/1, Arsenal 20/1 and Everton 28/1 with SkyBet.


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