The Fight to Finish in the Top Four

The Fight to Finish in the Top Four

Qualifying for the Champions League is so important financially for clubs. Finishing fourth in the Premier League, even if a mile behind the champions is still celebrated as if you’d won something. Let’s look at the weekend Premier League fixtures as the battle to finish in the top four hots up.

Saturday 19 February

West Ham United v Newcastle United (12.30pm)

This is important at both ends of the Premier League table. West Ham begin the weekend in fifth place two points behind fourth placed Manchester United and six adrift of third placed Chelsea (from a game more).

The Hammers will go fourth if winning this match as Manchester United don’t play until Sunday. West Ham have three of their next four league games at home (the others against Wolves and Villa) and need to make the most of them. Two of their last four home league games have been lost. Only once this season have they won two consecutive Premier League matches. They are 4/6 at Coral to win this game.

This might not be time to host Newcastle United. The visitors are out of the relegation zone. They have won three Premier league games in a row for the first time in four years. However, United will be without Kieran Trippier who has been a great influence since signing for them. Away form is still a problem, and they are 4/1 at BetVictor to get the win here. A West Ham win with both teams scoring is likely, that’s 5/2 at Betfair.

Arsenal v Brentford (3pm)

Arsenal may be sixth, but they are four points behind fourth position and with three games in hand. They have only been beaten by Manchester City in their last seven league games and have seven wins in their last ten home league fixtures.

The Gunners have to win games like this if they want Champions League football next season. Brentford are in 14th and seven points above the drop zone. It seems a long while since they began the season with a 2-0 home win over Arsenal. The Bees have one point from their last six games and have lost five of the last six on the road. An Arsenal win and leading at half and full time is 21/20 at William Hill.

Sunday February 20

Leeds United v Manchester United (2pm)

Manchester United moved back into fourth after a midweek home win over Brighton. They have only one loss (to Wolves) in their last 13 league games. United are unbeaten in their last six on the road and take on a struggling Leeds.

The home side are six points above the relegation zone but have conceded six goals in their last two games. Only Norwich have conceded more Premier League goals than Leeds this season. Go for an away win here and that’s 20/23 at Ladbrokes.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City (4.30pm)

Wolves are becoming the dark horses for a top four finish. They begin the weekend in seventh, six points behind fourth but with two games in hand. Wolves have won four of their last five league games, including wins at Manchester United and Tottenham.

Home form needs to be improved if they are to push for a top four finish. Only five points have been earned from their last five home league games, failing to score in four of them.

Leicester are 11th and ten points behind their opponents. They have lost their last three away league matches and conceded at least twice in each of their last seven games on the road. Back Wolves to get the win here, that’s 5/4 at Bet365.