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Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal? We asked five writers to predict who will finish in the final top-four spot


The race for the Premier League’s top four looked to be run a couple a weeks ago.

But things change fast in football and matters are far from cut and dry with just 15 games left to play.

Manchester City and Liverpool are home and hosed, while Tottenham’s history suggests that they should not stop casting nervous looks over their shoulders quite yet.

However, the fight for fourth place currently appears to be between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.

The trio are all far from complete sides and securing a place among Europe’s elite is going to be far from straightforward.

We’ve asked five writers to predict who will win the battle and – understandably – opinions are divided.

Chelsea

Ben Green: Failure to secure a top-four finish would be an absolute disaster for Maurizio Sarri in his maiden campaign, and while that looks a distinct possibility, the recruitment of a world-class striker could swing the pendulum in their favour.

Gonzalo Higuain looks set to join the ranks in west London, which will not only inject fresh impetus, but also add goalscoring proficiency in the final third. The last time the Argentine marksman worked under the guidance of Sarri he netted 36 league goals, which spells significant trouble for Arsenal and Man Utd.

Chelsea’s main concern has been the lack of an elite striker, and so should Sarri address the issue, they will be a real force in the second-half of the season.

Sam LongSarri’s men have hit the wall and appear to be at a loss for new ideas.

Defeat at the Emirates Stadium needs to serve as a wake-up call. Sarri has criticised his players in the hope of getting a reaction and I am backing him to get it.

Once Eden Hazard returns to form, the entire Chelsea side will get their mojo back. I believe they will just about sneak over the line ahead of their rivals – but it’s going to go down to the wire.

Arsenal

Chris Smith: Given the immense firepower of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, I’m struggling to see past Arsenal. The Gunners may have been wildly inconsistent of late, but the way Unai Emery totally out-thought and out-manoeuvred Sarri in their 2-0 win over Chelsea shows just how tactically astute the Spaniard is.

Chelsea just cannot match the attacking prowess of Arsenal, while I expect the bubble to burst for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United very soon. Add the fact that Emery is getting his defenders back fit and you’ll do well to stop the north Londoners from here.

Manchester United

Harry Edwards: Arsenal may have kept their top four hopes alive with their win over Chelsea at the weekend, but the Gunners still don’t look likely to finish in the final Champions League spot.

Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea look capable of the consistency required to finish in the top four, leaving a gap open for United to sneak into. The Red Devils look good under Solskjaer and, after beating Spurs recently, have shown they are not just flat-track bullies.

Only one team look like building positively on their current form and that is United, so the Red Devils should reclaim their place in next season’s Champions League.

Muhammad Butt: If there is truly just one more spot up for grabs in the top four (Spurs’ squad size could yet hurt them) then it has to belong to Manchester United.

Unlike Chelsea, who are struggling due to the clash between a lackadaisical squad and a tactically demanding coach, and Arsenal, who have a multitude of issues, Manchester United have shed so many of their woes by sacking José Mourinho.

Solskjaer has the Red Devils united and focused, the squad is happy, the best players are humming and they are playing an irresistibly joyous brand of football. It’s theirs to lose.





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