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

Pep Guardiola's men prevailed 2-0 in the Manchester derby to put them within sight of back-to-back Premier League titles.
Arsenal's top four hopes took another major hit in a 3-1 defeat to Wolves, their second straight Premier League defeat.
Frank Leboeuf explains how Christian Eriksen's qualities have put Tottenham in a comfortable position in the top four race.

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.  MAN CITY  (89 points from 35 games)

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

Victory at Manchester United means the way is now clear for City to retain the title. Now they are out of the Champions League, will those free midweeks prove key for their sharpness and results? 

Ogden: The long-awaited derby clash at United has been successfully navigated, and that should leave a home run to the title.

2.  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 will need a favour from one of the division's lesser lights if they are to win the title. 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.

The Premier League trophy decked out in colours of 2017-18 champions Manchester City
The Premier League currently resides in Manchester, with City. Will they have it at the end of this season?


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

3.  TOTTENHAM (70 points from 35 games)

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

The late victory at home to Brighton should almost see Spurs over the line in the race for the top four. Two of their remaining three games are at their brand-new stadium, so Mauricio Pochettino's men are very much favourites. It would be remarkable if they were to mess it up from here.

Ogden: Back-to-back defeats for Manchester United and Arsenal, and the win at home to Brighton, have kept Spurs in control of their own destiny. They now have daylight to the chasing pack.

4.  CHELSEA (67 points from 35 games)

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

Maurizio Sarri's men looked to be outsiders a few weeks ago, but now have their destiny in their own hands. The major hurdle is Sunday's trip to Manchester United, and if they come away from Old Trafford with a positive result they will be favourites for the top four. Along with Arsenal, they have the chance to reach the Champions League via winning the Europa League; Chelsea face Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals.

Ogden: A big week for Chelsea began with a disappointing home draw against Burnley. Much now rests on their visit to Manchester United on Sunday; a win at Old Trafford would go a long way to sealing a top-four finish.

5.  ARSENAL (66 points from 35 games)

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

Back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves have left their top-four hopes hanging in the balance. Two of their remaining three fixtures are away and they have only two wins on the road in five months, going back to Nov. 25. It's likely they will have to win all three games to finish in the top four. They also have a tough Europa League semifinal -- the competition winners earn a UCL place -- against Valencia to navigate. 

Ogden: Losing at home to Palace and at Wolves has put Arsenal's top-four chances in real jeopardy. They still have to go to Leicester, who are 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 a horrible week at a crucial point of the season.

6.  MAN UNITED  (64 points from 35 games)

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

United have suffered a dramatic collapse in form just at the wrong time, but their rivals haven't fared much better. They still know that victory at home to Chelsea on Sunday will put them level with their visitors, and with already-relegated Huddersfield and struggling Cardiff left to play they could remarkably still qualify for the Champions League.

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 seven points from their final three games will be enough, but United may have to win all three.


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 (37 points from 35 games)

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

The draw at Watford has all but seen Saints over the line. They have a favourable final three 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 35 games)

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

Brighton almost claimed a vital point at Spurs, but where undone by a late goal which keeps Cardiff within striking distance. That lost extra point could yet prove to be huge with three 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 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.


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