Premier League sprint to the finish: Title race, Champions League chase, relegation battles in focus

Man United least likely to make the top four (1:32)

The ESPN FC panel are all in agreement that Manchester United will have the hardest time clinching top 4 among the 4 clubs battling it out. (1:32)

The Premier League season is set for a frantic conclusion at both ends of the table, with the battles for the title, top four and relegation set to go down to the wire.

With permutations updated after each game, we run through what is left to play for and ESPN FC senior writer Mark Ogden offers his thoughts and predictions.

Jump to: Title race | UCL qualification | Relegation

- Premier League table

- SPI odds for the Premier League season


1. LIVERPOOL (88 points from 35 games)

Still to play: Huddersfield (h), Newcastle (a), Wolves (h)

Liverpool have now set a new club record for Premier League points, but they may well need a favour from arch-rivals Manchester United if they are to win the title as it's City's to lose. They also have to navigate a two-legged Champions League semifinal against Barcelona while Man City rest.

Ogden: Jurgen Klopp's team have done all they can do, but their fate now lies in the hands of others. Even if Liverpool win their final three games, as they probably will, it may not be enough. The time has come for one of City's remaining opponents to deny them a win and, looking at City's remaining fixtures, it may be a forlorn hope.

2. MAN CITY (86 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Man United (a), Burnley (a), Leicester (h), Brighton (a)

After a good win away at home to Tottenham, the title is still City's to lose, and the only major obstacle now appears to be the small matter of the derby at United on Wednesday -- which is their game in hand. Now they are out of the Champions League, will those free midweeks before the end of the season prove key for their sharpness and results?

Ogden: The long-awaited derby clash against United now looms into view for Pep Guardiola's team. Win that one and it should be a home run to the title. City have won their last two league visits to United and it would take a major upturn in form for the home side to claim anything from the game.


The top four in the Champions League will qualify direct to the group stage, with fifth and sixth into the Europa League.

3. TOTTENHAM (67 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Brighton (h), West Ham (h), Bournemouth (a), Everton (h)

Three of Tottenham's remaining four games are at home at their brand-new stadium, with Brighton among the visitors, so Mauricio Pochettino's men are still very much favourites to book a Champions League place. But will their Champions League semifinal against Ajax cause a distraction to their league form?

Ogden: Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City looked to be a major blow to Tottenham's top-four hopes, but defeats for Manchester United and Arsenal on Sunday have kept Spurs in control of their own destiny. A win at home to Brighton on Tuesday will put daylight between Spurs and the chasing pack.

4. ARSENAL (66 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Wolves (a), Leicester (a), Brighton (h), Burnley (a)

Arsenal's shock home defeat to Crystal Palace leaves their top-four hopes hanging in the balance -- largely because three of their remaining four fixtures are away and they have only two wins on the road since Nov. 25. None of those away games look remotely simple. They also have a tough Europa League semifinal against Valencia to navigate.

Ogden: Losing at home to Palace on Sunday has put Arsenal's top-four chances in real jeopardy ahead of a tough week on the road which sees them visit Wolves and Leicester, who are both chasing seventh spot and potential Europa League qualification. Sunday's Manchester United vs. Chelsea clash will see at least one rival drop points, but Arsenal may regret the Palace defeat.

5. CHELSEA (66 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Burnley (h), Man United (a), Watford (h), Leicester (a)

Chelsea looked the outsiders of the four a few weeks ago, but now they have as good a chance as anyone of making the Champions League via the Premier League. Win at home to Burnley and they will climb to third before their rivals play their games in hand in midweek. They also face Eintracht Frankfurt, who are fourth in the Bundesliga, in their Europa League semi.

Ogden: A big week ahead for Chelsea, starting with Monday's home game against Burnley. If Maurizio Sarri's team win that and then bag another three points against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, a top-four finish will be as good as sealed. Chelsea can even afford to draw at United if they beat Burnley.

6. MAN UNITED (64 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Man City (h), Chelsea (h), Huddersfield (a), Cardiff (h)

United have three home matches left from their remaining four games, but their form has nosedived. The 4-0 humiliation at Everton was a new low, on the back of the Champions League exit to Barcelona. Playing two of the bottom three in their final matches is favourable, but it might be game over for their Champions League hopes after the fixtures against City and Chelsea.

Ogden: A disastrous run of results has seen United slip down to sixth place and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are now needing others to drop points if they are to sneak a top-four finish. Nothing less than 10 points from their final four games will be enough, but United may have to win all four to finish fourth.


The bottom three teams will be relegated, and it looks as though one of these sides will join the already-relegated Fulham and Huddersfield in the Championship.

16. SOUTHAMPTON (36 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Watford (a), Bournemouth (h), West Ham (a), Huddersfield (h)

Saints have a favourable final four matches compared to Brighton and Cardiff. A recent run of three wins in four games looks to have provided the breathing space they need.

Ogden: If Southampton beat Bournemouth at St Mary's in the South Coast derby on Saturday, the Saints can celebrate survival for another year, but Ralph Hassenhuttl's team may already have enough in the bag, barring late surges by Brighton and Cardiff.

17. BRIGHTON (34 points from 34 games)

Still to play: Tottenham (a), Newcastle (h), Arsenal (a), Man City (h)

A fine point in a 0-0 draw at Wolves has given Brighton an unexpected boost in their bid to stay ahead of Cardiff in the relegation fight. That extra point could yet prove to be huge with four games left to play.

Ogden: Saturday's 0-0 draw at Wolves ended Brighton's four-game losing streak in the league, which included a potentially crucial defeat at home to Cardiff. With Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City still to play, the Seagulls will need something from next Saturday's home game against Newcastle to keep Cardiff at bay.

18. CARDIFF (31 points from 35 games)

Still to play: Fulham (a), Crystal Palace (h), Man United (a)

Victory at Fulham at the end of the month looks an absolute must to even be in contention to stay up. And Cardiff still have Man United to play at Old Trafford, on the final day no less.

Ogden: A spirited home defeat against Liverpool saw Cardiff emerge with nothing, but next Saturday's trip to Fulham and the home game against Crystal Palace give Neil Warnock's team hope of taking the survival battle to Old Trafford.


19. FULHAM (23 points from 35 games)

Fulham were relegated April 2.

20. HUDDERSFIELD (14 points from 35 games)

Huddersfield were relegated March 30.