Who will take fourth place in the Premier League?

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WHO WILL TAKE FOURTH PLACE IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?

The battle for fourth spot is hotting up as we move further into the New Year with three teams currently in the race.

Chelsea currently lead the race in fourth, but with Arsenal only three points behind and Manchester United just three points behind them, there’s all to play for going into the back-end of the season.

Manchester United are flying under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while Arsenal are now having some teething issues under Unai Emery. Chelsea are also suffering from some growing pains under Maurizio Sarri, but it’s they who are the bookies favourites as things stand.

Much of that is because Chelsea currently sit in fourth place, but can they hold on to end their one-year exile from the Premier League’s top four?

Here’s our assessment of the top four contenders as things stand.

WILL CHELSEA SEE THE SEASON OUT IN FOURTH?

Chelsea have endured a mixed run of form so far, but they remain in control of fourth place, sitting three points ahead of Arsenal and six points ahead of Manchester United.

The Blues looked scintillating earlier in the season, but they look far from their best at the moment.

It’s also important to consider that Chelsea are likely to have Europa League football to contend with for the majority of this season, being expected to go far in the competition.

Though, Maurizio Sarri has dealt with rotation brilliantly so far this season and while it’ll be a test as the Blues face more difficult tests in Europe, the Blues clearly have the squad to deal with a high number of games.

Chelsea are also fortunate enough to have a world-beater in Eden Hazard on board and he’ll also have a chip on his shoulder, looking to make it a season to remember before his likely departure next summer.

The Blues could do with signing a goal-scoring striker in this window, but generally, they look very strong contenders for a top four finish.

Eden Hazard

CAN ARSENAL END THEIR TOP FOUR EXILE?

Inconsistency has been an issue for Arsenal since their stunning start to the season which saw them go 23 games unbeaten in all competitions.

A defeat to Southampton, a big defeat to Liverpool and a draw with Brighton in recent weeks has seen them allow Manchester United to get back into the race for fifth and even fourth.

Arsenal are clearly capable of battling for fourth, especially given the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. However, their inability to beat other teams in the top five or six will likely leave them looking up at the top four again this season.

Having said that, it’s early days under Unai Emery and it’s clear to see that the Gunners are heading in the right direction with the Spanish boss.

Arsenal

WILL SOLSKJAER LEAD MANCHESTER UNITED TO THE TOP FOUR?

It’s tough to predict Manchester United at the moment, given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to face a stern challenge.

The Norwegian has succeeded so far, but we will know a lot more about where this team is capable of finishing after they face Tottenham this weekend.

United have got their confidence back, and that’s huge for players like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

Their enjoyment of playing the game under Solskjaer could take them a long way, but they have given themselves a small mountain to climb, sitting six points off the top four going into a tough game this weekend when that gap could be further extended.

Manchester United Lukaku Lingard

WHO WINS THE RACE?

At this point, it’s difficult to overlook the leaders of the top four race with Chelsea arguably possessing the strongest team, the best defence and a superstar who is best equipped to single-handedly turn games on their head in Eden Hazard.

Chelsea are also only four points off third place and given their recent history of overcoming Tottenham, they’ll fancy their chances of making a run for the top three.

Things can change, it’s football after all, but at this point, Chelsea have to be the overwhelming favourites to make this fourth spot their own.

Eden Hazard Chelsea Liverpool EFL Cup League Cup Carabao Cup
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