Premier League top four predictions as Liverpool battle to rescue season

Manchester City have the title all sewn up now, right?

Well after their 4-1 demolition of Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's men are now five points clear at the top of the Premier League – with the added benefit of a game in hand of everyone else in the current top six.

The three other Champions League spot, however, are very much up for grabs with Manchester United, Leicester and Liverpool currently holding those places.

But Chelsea, West Ham, Everton, Tottenham, Aston Villa and maybe even Arsenal are all positioned to take a charge at those lucrative standings – with 10 points covering United in second and Villa in ninth.

Our expert reporters and writers have taken a look into their crystal balls and forecast who will be playing in Europe next season. This is what they saw…

ANDY DUNN

It has only been four matches but there has been sufficient evidence to suggest Thomas Tuchel will make a successful impact at Chelsea while Manchester United have too strong a squad not to finish top four.

With City the formality, that leaves one slot for me. Liverpool are in a spot of bother but they go to Leicester on Saturday and look more threatening away from home at the moment.

They have no FA Cup commitment this week, unlike Brendan Rodgers side, and they can collect a much-needed win at the King Power and stabilise their season.

That should set up a top four finish.

DAVID ANDERSON

Manchester City will be champions and now it is only a question of how many points they will finish in front.

They have timed their run better than Seb Coe or Steve Ovett to power past their rivals and leave them trialing in their wake thanks to their 10-match winning streak in the Premier League.

Manchester United are not the finished article yet, as evidenced by their inconsistency, but they would win enough games to finish second.

Chelsea have momentum again under Thomas Tuchel and they have a structure the players seemed to understand.

They are just a point outside the top four and have the quality to continue their climb.

Liverpool are in grave danger of missing out on the Champions League places as they continue to implode.

They looked like they had stabilised with their fine wins at Tottenham and West Ham, but their successive home defeats to Brighton and City have left them reeling and bereft of confidence.

It would not be a huge surprise if they missed out on a top-four finish for the first time since 2016 and Leicester, Everton, Tottenham and West Ham will push them hard.

But I believe they can pick up enough points of hold off their challenges and claim fourth.

NEIL MCLEMAN

Pep Guardiola’s side are now unbackable to reclaim the title but the top four race promises to go down to the wire. Chelsea have new momentum under Thomas Tuchel – and host Manchester United on February 28 in a huge game.

Jordan Henderson returning to midfield will steady the Liverpool ship to see Jurgen Klopp’s side see off the threat of Everton. Leicester to run out of steam again in the final furlong.

MIKE WALTERS

It's all over bar the telescopes – another Blue Moon is rising, and if there was any doubt who's going to win the title before Manchester City's 4-1 win at Anfield on Sunday, there is none now.

Of the chasing pack, Chelsea look in good order after just four games on Thomas Tuchel's watch. It might not always be an exhilarating watch, but they have only conceded once in 360 minutes since the German took over – and that was a daft own goal at Sheffield United.

Liverpool's reign as champions is all but over, and their catalogue of injuries in the back four has finally caught up with them. Now they face a battle to finish in the top four: at a pinch, they might just do it – but next Saturday's game at Leicester has just grown bells, whistles and alarm sirens of its own.

JOHN CROSS

My top four has a familiar look about it and surely this lot will stamp their authority on the Premier League even amid the most unpredictable and crazy season.

I think City can run away with the title now but Liverpool's demise has been greatly exaggerated in my eyes… I think they'll come back and be City's closest challengers.

I still feel United's inconsistencies are there for all to see despite enjoying a good season while Thomas Tuchel has shown what three wins can do…

ALEX RICHARDS

Man City are romping to the title now. Solid defensively and with match winners throughout their attack, don't expect them to lose the amount of games required to be caught – especially given the inconsistencies of the sides below.

Liverpool are experiencing their wobble at present but I'd expect them to go again. I've absolutely no worries about them tumbling out the top four despite their recent home struggles.

Manchester United still blow hot and cold and that's why they aren't rivalling City, but they similarly look a top four guarantee with the amount of goals they boast.

Can Chelsea keep up their early form under Thomas Tuchel is the big question? If so, then they'll be there, but you can't count out Leicester. However, their home form is a worry and they remain so reliant on Jamie Vardy. It looks likely to be a case of deja vu.

SAM MEADE

City now have one hand on the trophy after their demolition job at Anfield on Sunday. I'd be shocked if they didn't go on to claim a third league title in four years.

Below them is anyone's guess. Leicester probably appear the most settled side under Brendan Rodgers and the hope is that they would've learned from last year's collapse.

Chelsea's new manager bounce continued at Sheffield United and they certainly have the squad to force there way into the top four.

Already Thomas Tuchel has them just one point off fourth and I think momentum may carry them through.

Having watched them in recent weeks I think United could be the team to fall away with Liverpool taking the last Champions League place.

The Reds, while being poor at the moment, will have enough for me while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's determination to play down his side's chances seems to be doing them no favours.

For all their progression, you wouldn't be shocked to see them go winless for a run of four or five games.

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