The race for the top four

Now well into the ‘business end’ of the season, fans of Arsenal, Tottenham, Southampton and Liverpool are all craving a decisive break away from their team, in the pursuit of securing that top four spot. Who will make the cut?

Southampton

Koeman’s Saints have been a revelation this season, not even the most optimistic fan could have foreseen such an attack on the top four after the mass exodus of players in the summer.

They have cooled in recent times, all to apparent in the weekend’s 0-2 home defeat against Liverpool. However with their limited resources this was always bound to happen, the reality is they still sit fifth, a mere two points behind third placed Arsenal.

Another push is needed from Ronald’s men, which urgently requires Pelle to start slotting home again and Mane to turn up for games on time. If they get back to making St Mary’s a fortress then we could be talking about a masterstroke of a season from the Dutchman.

Predicted finish: 7th

Tottenham

Seemingly the most frustrating team on the planet right now, Pochettino looks to finally have a hold over his players and is getting the gritty performances that he made an art at Southampton.

However in standard Spurs fashion they fail to show up for selected games and the recent scare, delivered by West Ham was only avoided by that boy, you guessed it, Sir Harry Kane. With twenty-four goals he is quite rightly now on the Engand manager’s speed dial.

The final destination of the north Londoners falls squarely on Kane’s and Christian Eriksen’s shoulders. If they do not fire, then you can forget about the top four. They have, together dragged the team to victory in countless games this season, plus their knack of striking late. Spurs fans need to prey that they both remain fit and firing,

Predicted finish: 6th

Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers finally has the full squad available to him, only six months late. The re-integration of Daniel Sturridge has already given the Reds a sharper edge in front of goal and they look like they could be back to their potent best.The welcomed form of Coutinho and the ever-present form of Sterling bolsters a dynamic front trio of pace and creativity for Liverpool.

With Champions League failure a distant memory Rodgers and co can fully focus on the Premier League mission, with even super Mario looking like he might turn up for the tense run in.

The only potential banana skin for now comes in the form of their back line, which consists of Johnson, Skrtl and Sakho, all of whom look like making a Sunday league mistake once a game. A saving grace may be Mignolet’s re-introduction as they look to give Stevie G a royal send off come May.

Predicted finish: 5th

Arsenal

Arsene’s men have perhaps the most motivation to at least grab a top four spot this season, as they do make a habit of plonking themselves there. However it is only fair to point out that the Gunners are a different animal this season, the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez being the stand out highlight.

The Chilean has lit up the Emirates since his summer move, boasting twelves goals in twenty-three appearances. Perhaps not quite in the same class bracket, Danny Welbeck has also made an impact, his driving runs and ‘terrier’ attitude have made him a handful for many oppositions since his Old Trafford departure.

However much alike fellow contenders Liverpool, the area for concern lies in defence. The likes of Mertesacker and Koscielny have rewarded the Frenchman’s vote of loyalty however the recent purchase of Villareal’s Paulista clearly shows a slight weak spot. Every cloud has a silver lining however and in reality the attacking prowess that Arsenal boast should be a overriding factor responsible for their final league sitting.

Predicted finish: 4th

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