Battle for the Top 4 : Potential candidates to steal the 4th spot in the Premier League

January 4, 2022

In January, the intrusion of cup games has given several teams a much-needed break from the Premier League right after the hectic Christmas period. This break also allows us to analyse the chances of teams to secure the top spots, win the league and avoid the drop zone.

It is a near certainty that the three at the top — Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool — will form the top three in the league. However, the race for the fourth spot gets incredibly intriguing as the games go by.

The teams in contention to take the fourth spot include Arsenal, who currently hold the fourth spot, West Ham United, who find themselves a point behind The Gunners, Spurs, who are two points off the Champions League places, and finally Manchester United, who find themselves four points behind Arsenal.



The Gunners probably hold the best chance of securing a top-four spot in the current campaign. Their recent run of games, in which they have beaten Leeds United, Norwich City, West Ham, and Southampton have highlighted the attacking prowess they possess. Furthermore, their display against Manchester City merited much more than what the scoreline indicated.

With players like Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, and Bukayo Saka understanding their roles in the side and performing to their respective potentials, Arsenal are my favourites for the fourth Premier League spot.



Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur
My second favourite team to make the top four are Spurs. Although they have two games in hand and will go above Arsenal if they pick up more than two points in those games, they fall behind Arsenal in the pecking order simply due to their run of form and the manner in which they have won their previous games.

Spurs’ last outing against Watford saw them clinch a late winner through Davinson Sánchez to win the game 1-0. They recently drew to a ten-man Southampton as well, who played the majority of that game a player short due to a red card in the first half.

Spurs have a slightly tedious fixture list coming up, where they take on Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City in the space of five Premier League fixtures. Although Antonio Conte’s methods might not seem the prettiest, they are proving to be effective, making Spurs a great shout to take the fourth spot.



West Ham United

West Ham United
West Ham, who have held the fourth spot for the longest time among the four sides so far this season, have dropped off in form and find themselves chasing the rest of the pack. Although they saw off Crystal Palace and Watford in recent games, there is much for David Moyes’ men to prove and convince fans that they are favourites to take the fourth spot.

The Hammers have a decent run of fixtures coming up and will fancy their chances of continuing their run by beating Norwich in their next league fixture.



Manchester United

Manchester United
The most debated team in English football right now are Manchester United. Their recent loss to Wolves in the Premier League at home has not helped their cause in any manner. Although it is their first loss under Ralf Rangnick, performances have barely improved since Man United decided to change their boss.

Rangnick’s side have managed to scrape a couple of 1-0 wins over Norwich and Crystal Palace while drawing to Newcastle United. The team do not represent a style of play, and rumours speculating dressing room battles including Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes do not help either. For the Red Devils, next up is a trip to Aston Villa followed by a clash against West Ham — a tricky set of fixtures.

The coming weeks could play a vital role in determining who stays in and drops out of the race for the top four. Arsenal take on Spurs in the next round of fixtures, and soon after, Man United face off against West Ham. Both games could have lasting effects on these teams’ chances going into the last few months of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

For now, Arsenal are the ones on the up and look the likeliest to take the fourth spot.


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