Which Premier League clubs will qualify for the 2020-21 Champions League?
With the end of the 2019-20 Premier League season just a month away, ESPN have cast their eye on which clubs are likely to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Of course, Liverpool are already in it.
The 2018-19 Champions League winners have booked their spot in the competition after winning this year’s Premier League title.
Will Man City be in it too? Currently no, as the Sky Blues have been hit with a 2-year ban by UEFA.
Man City are hoping to overturn that decision as they await the verdict from their appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Working on the assumption that Man City don’t win their appeal, 5th place in the league will qualify for the Champions League.
Cutting to the chase, ESPN believe that Chelsea will finish 3rd, Wolves will finish 4th, while Man United will end up in 5th.
So now that Liverpool have the title, what about the race for the Champions League? Bad news for Leicester, good news for Wolves? https://t.co/s3kljV1Sjl
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) June 29, 2020
The Premier League table as it stands
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||34||8||12||14||36||47||-11||36|
|16||West Ham United||34||8||7||19||40||59||-19||31|
Why Chelsea & Wolves are likely to finish in the top 4
Chelsea have been perfect since football restarted.
In three matches so far, Frank Lampard’s side have beaten Aston Villa 2-1, Man City 2-1 and Leicester 1-0.
The Blues are now on a 5-game winning run, while ESPN’s Mark Odgen believes that run is likely to continue:
On current form, they should expect to bank maximum points from their next five games, but the crunch will come in their final two.
They may need to beat champions Liverpool at Anfield to ensure that their final-day clash at home to Wolves does not become a Champions League decider.
For the record, the bookies have Chelsea at 1/4 to finish in the top 4.
Chelsea remaining fixtures: West Ham (a), Watford (h), C Palace (a), Sheff Utd (a), Norwich (h), Liverpool (a), Wolves (h).
Meanwhile, Wolves have also picked up three wins in a row since football started up again.
Wolves beat West Ham 2-0, Bournemouth 1-0 and Aston Villa 1-0.
While ESPN predict that Wolves will finish 4th, it’s noted that the crunch match will be this weekend against Arsenal:
Saturday’s clash with Arsenal at Molineux is a major test for both teams — the Gunners need to win to keep their Europa League hopes alive; Wolves need to keep their winning run going — and three points against Mikel Arteta’s men will give Wolves the belief that they can finish as high as third.
Wolves are 4/1 to finish in the top 4 according to the bookies.
Wolves remaining fixtures: Arsenal (h), Sheff Utd (a), Everton (h), Burnley (a), C Palace (h), Chelsea (a).
Manchester United predicted to finish 5th
Manchester United are on a 14-game unbeaten run. Moreover, the Red Devils are still in the FA Cup plus the Europa League.
However, ESPN aren’t convinced that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will finish in the top 4, even though 5th could be enough for a Champions League spot.
Why? Because ESPN argue that Man United have been too erratic in 2019-20:
Inconsistency has been United’s problem all season, though, and any dropped points against strugglers or mid-table teams in the coming games could derail their charge for the top five, especially with Chelsea and Wolves in such impressive form.
Man United are 5/4 to finish in the top 4.
Man United remaining fixtures: Brighton (a), Bournemouth (h), Aston Villa (a), Southampton (h), C Palace (a), West Ham (h), Leicester (a).
Leicester, Tottenham & Arsenal
If ESPN’s predictions prove accurate Leicester are set to be the big losers.
Leicester are currently third in the Premier League. However, Brendan Rodgers’ side have yet to win a match since football came back.
After draws against Watford and Brighton, Chelsea beat the Fixes in the FA Cup on Sunday. Those results have left ESPN to conclude:
Make no mistake: Leicester are clinging on to their place in the top five, and their best hope of staying there may rest with the chasing pack running out of time to catch them.
Of course, a Leicester win at Everton in their next match could change perceptions.
In addition, if Jamie Vardy can rediscover his scoring touch – his next goal will lift him onto 100 Premier League career goals – the mood around Leicester may improve drastically.
Leicester remaining fixtures: Everton (a), C Palace (h), Arsenal (a), Bournemouth (h), Sheff Utd (h), Spurs (a), Man Utd (h).
Looking at the rest of ESPN’s forecasts, Tottenham are tipped to finish the league in 7th, one place above Arsenal in 8th. Meanwhile, sinking Sheffield United are expected to end the season in 9th.
Spurs fans may feel optimistic of their Champions League chances, however.
With Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both in the team, and with matches against Sheffield United, Everton and Bournemouth coming up, Tottenham have a great chance to significantly boost their Premier League points in the next fortnight.
This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.
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|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||34||-11||36|
|16||West Ham United||34||-19||31|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||22|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||20|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||19|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||19|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||16|
|Aguero, Sergio||Manchester City||16|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||15|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United||15|
|Martial, Anthony||Manchester United||15|
|Abraham, Tammy||Chelsea FC||14|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||14|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur||13|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||13|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City||11|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||11|
|Pukki, Teemu||Norwich City||11|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||11|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||10|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||9|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Lerma, Jefferson||AFC Bournemouth||0||11|
|Saiss, Romain||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||10|
|Wilson, Callum||AFC Bournemouth||0||10|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace||0||10|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||10|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||9|
|Dunk, Lewis||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||9|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Watford FC||0||9|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||9|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||0||8|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa||0||8|
|Sissoko, Moussa||Tottenham Hotspur||0||8|
|Hendrick, Jeff||Burnley FC||0||8|
|Capoue, Etienne||Watford FC||0||8|
|Diop, Issa||West Ham United||0||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City||20|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||12|
|Silva, David||Manchester City||10|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||9|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||9|
|Traore, Adama||Wolverhampton Wanderers||9|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||9|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||8|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||7|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||7|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||7|
|Moutinho, Joao||Wolverhampton Wanderers||7|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||7|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||6|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa||6|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||6|
|Tielemans, Youri||Leicester City||6|