The Premier League is back! This Wednesday the first two matches since March will take place in the Premier League as four teams play the game in hand that they have over the other 16 teams in the tournament, with the remaining nine matches for each team to be played over the coming weeks on a specially arranged schedule that allows for matches on most days of the week.
For football fans, as well as betting enthusiasts, it is a great opportunity to enjoy the remaining games of the season and see how things resolve themselves, with a number of key issues still to be resolved in the Premier League over these remaining games. In this article, we are going to take a look at what these big issues are, the teams involved and who we think will be the teams to come out on top, or bottom, of each of the respective battles.
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Let’s start by taking a look at the most prestigious but also the most obvious of all of the major battles to be fought in the remaining Premier League fixtures and that is the race to be crowned Champions of the Premier League in 2019-20.
Premier League Title Race
- Odds To Win the title Race – Liverpool 1/1000, Manchester City – 100/1.
As you can see from the incredible odds on the two teams listed above (Leicester could in theory win the title, but Liverpool need just two more points to make it mathematically impossible for Leicester to do so) the title race is all but run. It looks like it is a matter of time before Liverpool wrap up their first league title in 30 years.
Having dropped just five points all season long, the Reds have been incredible throughout the season building on their Champions League success of 2018/19. They have stuttered a little of late, losing to Watford, then to Chelsea in the FA Cup and then twice to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, but while those defeats stopped their cup progress, the Premier League title is all but wrapped up.
The Reds start with an away game at Everton before a home game with Crystal Palace and two wins there will wrap up the title for them before they then head to face Manchester City at the Etihad in what should be a cracking game, even if there is nothing on the line.
City will know the title has gone as they are 25 points behind the Reds, albeit with a game in hand. However, having won the League Cup in February, Pep Guardiola will want to finish the season with both the FA Cup and Champions League in the trophy cabinet and I can see City’s main focus in their remaining games being on those competitions.
Expect Liverpool to wrap up the title win by the time they go to face City on Matchday 32 of the season and if not, they could even do it at the home of the Champions from last season.
Battle for Champions League & Europa League Places
In truth, the really interesting battle at the top of the Premier League lies outside the top two and in the battle for the Champions League qualification places for next season, and beyond that the Europa League qualification spots.
At the moment, Liverpool have already confirmed qualification for this tournament and it looks very much like Manchester City have second place in the table sewn up. Leicester are clear in third too, which means that unless the Foxes have a sudden drop off in form, there could be just one place conceivably up for grabs.
Currently, Chelsea occupy that spot in fourth, but have a resurgent Manchester United coming at them in fifth. However, the Blues are also just five points ahead of Wolves and Sheffield United in sixth and seventh (and the Blades have a game in hand), while Tottenham in 8th and even Arsenal in 9th cannot be ruled out fully.
There are a number of key games coming up over the next few weeks which could well have a big impact on these teams’ chances of playing in Europe next season. They include:
- Man City v Arsenal – Wed 17th June
- Tottenham v Man Utd – Friday 19th June
- Man Utd v Sheff Utd – Wed 24th June
- Chelsea v Man City – Thu 25th June
- Sheff Utd v Tottenham – Thursday 2nd July
- Man City v Liverpool – Thursday 2nd July
- Wolves v Arsenal – TBC (around 4th July)
- Arsenal v Leicester City – TBC (around 8th July)
- Sheff Utd v Wolves – TBC (around 8th July)
- Tottenham v Arsenal – TBC (around 11th July)
- Sheff Utd v Chelsea – TBC (around 11th July)
- Arsenal v Liverpool – TBC (around 15th July)
- Leicester City v Sheff Utd – TBC (around 15th July)
- Liverpool v Chelsea – TBC (around 18th July)
- Tottenham v Leicester City – TBC (around 18th July)
- Chelsea v Wolves – TBC (around 26th July)
- Leicester v Man Utd – TBC (around 26th July)
Not all of these games have been scheduled and the dates and times of the kick off of these games will be notified at a later date.
Our Tips – Liverpool, Man City, Leicester City and Manchester United to claim the Champions League qualification spots. Chelsea, Wolves and Tottenham to land Europa League qualification spots.
Battle to Avoid Relegation
In terms of finance, the teams battling to avoid the drop into the Championship, and the black hole of finances that it causes, will be one of the most intriguing aspects of the season and as exciting as anything happening at the top of the table.
Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich are the teams most in danger of the drop, although teams just outside of this group are not yet fully assured of safety.
At the moment, it looks like a battle between six teams to avoid the three relegation places and as with the race for European Qualification, there are some massive games involving these six teams on the schedule over the coming weeks.
- Norwich City v Brighton – 4th July
- Watford v Norwich City – 8th July
- Norwich City v West Ham – 11th July
- West Ham v Watford – 15th July
- West Ham v Aston. Villa – 26th July
Our Tips – We think Norwich are already doomed to the drop and we feel Aston Villa will join them, while I worry about Brighton, even though they are the highest placed of the teams in the group of six at the moment, which means Watford, West Ham and Bournemouth would just stay up.
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 12.25pm on Tuesday 16th June 2020.