The four Premier League teams who will achieve a Champions League spot

The Premier League is on the horizon, which means it’s time to make some ill-fated, premature predictions about how things will end up by its conclusion about nine months from now.

There are only four spots to fight for and plenty of teams, so here is a rigorous assessment of who we feel will make the top four, and why.

Man City – 1st

Manchester City are still in the hunt for a Sergio Aguero replacement, and at the time of writing, that position looks more and more likely to be filled by Harry Kane, last season’s top goalscorer and assist provider. Furthermore, news of Jack Grealish moving to the Etihad, if that happens, will bolster their attack still further. The expectation is for them to win for a consecutive time. But this won’t be a clean-cut victory by any measure – it’ll be one of their hardest campaigns with certain star Liverpool players returning, Man United making some solid purchases and Chelsea’s newfound defensive rigour under Thomas Tuchel. Even still, there’s too much quality with the Cityzens not to go on and claim the title, especially with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Ruben Dias on their side. Talk about overkill.

Chelsea – 2nd

Statistically, Tuchel’s Chelsea are absolutely dominant at the back. As of the end of April, Chelsea let in just ten goals since their German boss arrived– that’s letting in just 0.45 per game on average, and half of those goals came during their 5-2 defeat to West Brom. Question marks remain over their fortitude upfront – Timo Werner, though obviously handy and zestful, has underperformed when it comes to scoring goals, while Olivier Giroud has left to AC Milan and Tammy Abraham, despite his obvious talent, is wasting away on the bench with some rumours he might be heading to Atalanta. Other speculation suggests they’re in for Romelu Lukaku but had a £100million bid rejected. If that comes to fruition, expect their league challenge to go to the wire.

Man United – 3rd

Man United painfully missed out on silverware last season, losing to Villareal on penalties in the final of the Europa League. They are back in the Champions League this season and will be hoping to do better than their group stage finish last campaign. The additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane should help with that. But can these additions be enough to secure a top league finish? In my eyes, no. Ole is at the wheel, a coach who offers a joyful dressing room and, indeed, somewhat an identity. He’s proved us all wrong in some huge games, but, for my money, he is not at the heights of those above him on the list (and even a fair few down below.) This will be United’s undoing – it’s going to take a superior manager to take the Red Devils back to their halcyon years., but the squad he possesses will grant United a solid third place, though.

Liverpool – 4th

Please don’t shoot; just hear me out first and then you can go all guns blazing on me. Liverpool did remarkably well to finish third last season and did so while enduring a plethora of injures. So far this window, they have made one addition, Ibrahima Konaté, a 22-year-old centre-back who’d do very well to earn a starting place among the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip. Likewise, in attack, Reds are superb. Saido Mane, Mohamed Salah, et all, all frighteningly good. But the Reds are going through a transitional stage and this season will be more of a turnover into next season. In the middle, they lack too, even more so with Gini Wijnadlum departing to Paris. Bobby Firmino does not seem as clinical as he was before, Jordan Henderson is still yet to be offered a fresh contract, Nabby Keita looked extremely well pre-season, but he has done ever since he’s joined and not so far made that form into the regular season. They still have a world-class attack, manager, and wingbacks, but 2021/22 season is going to be a transitional period more than anything. The only caveat to this is the influence of the famous Kop returning – could that superb home form be rekindled back to near-perfection?

Featured image credit: Getty