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The Battle For Fourth Place in the Premier League

number four1 The Battle For Fourth Place in the Premier League

The battle for fourth in the Premier League is a heated competition between four different clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Newcastle United and — the club that will probably finish third — Arsenal. The hotly contested fourth position will result in Champions League soccer next season with all of the lucrative TV money, media exposure and bragging rights that come along with it.

It’s the time of the year when the beauty of playing a 38-week season comes to fruition. Sure, the Premier League could set up a play-off season to determine the fourth place team, but why reward a club who may win the spot based on a lucky break or a brief run of form? Fourth place should go to the fourth best team in the league over the course of the entire season, where every game matters.

But which of the four clubs is going to finish in fourth place? Let’s take a look.

Arsenal

With the Gunners five points ahead in third place, it doesn’t look likely that any team is going to catch up with Arsenal unless Arsene Wenger’s team stumble and one of the fourth place contenders below them goes on a run of form to close the five point gap. In Arsenal’s favor is the fact that the club doesn’t have anything else to play for, other than finishing the league as well as they can. With Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott on song right now, it would take a bad run of form to undo Arsenal. That being said, the Gunners do face some of their bogey teams soon including Chelsea and Stoke.

Points: Third place, 64 points.

Stats: Arsenal has an 86% chance of finishing third, and an 11% chance of ending up in fourth.

Remaining fixtures: Wigan (h), Chelsea (h), Stoke (a), Norwich (h), West Brom (a).

Tottenham

Who knows which Tottenham will show up in their upcoming games? Will it be the one who masterminded their victory over Swansea, or will it be the Redknapp side that wilted against Norwich City, or looked tactically inept versus Sunderland?

Take it for what it is, but the next four sides that Tottenham faces are battling to avoid relegation. Tottenham certainly has a fight on its hands if the team wants to finish well this season.

Points: Fourth place, 59 points.

Stats: Tottenham Hotspur has a 56% chance of finishing in fourth.

Remaining fixtures: QPR (a), Blackburn (h), Bolton (a), Aston Villa (a), Fulham (h).

Newcastle United

Manager of the season candidate Alan Pardew has a chance to disrupt the establishment by continuing their brilliant run of form in their remaining five matches. It won’t be an easy task, though, with three of the matches being away. But if Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Demba Cisse can continue their scintillating form, buoyed by the vociferous Geordie support, then Newcastle could be playing in Europe next season. Their match against Chelsea could be the decider.

Points: Fifth place, 59 points.

Stats: Newcastle has a 16% chance of finishing in fourth place.

Remaining fixtures: Stoke (h), Wigan (a), Chelsea (a), Man City (h), Everton (a).

Chelsea

Chelsea faces a critical two weeks as they have a FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Sunday, followed by a two-legged Champions League semi-final against Barcelona over the next two weeks, and then several Premier League matches squeezed in between and afterwards. Their form in the FA Cup and Champions League could have a detrimental impact on their league form. Or it could end up being the only thing they have left to play for. All depends on what happens between Sunday and Wednesday.

Points: Sixth place, 57 points.

Stats: Chelsea’s chances of finishing in fourth place is 17%.

Remaining fixtures: Arsenal (a), QPR (h), Newcastle (h), Liverpool (a), Blackburn (h).

Who do you think will finish in fourth place in the Premier League? Vote now and share your opinions in the comments section below.

Stats courtesy of A Beautiful Numbers Game.

This entry was posted in Arsenal, Chelsea, Leagues: EPL, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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14 Responses to The Battle For Fourth Place in the Premier League

  1. Nelson says:

    Newcastle or Tottenham for me. The Toon are enjoying a fabulous run and their confidence could not be higher. Tottenham are going through their worst spell all season. But Tottenham is going to pick up points solely on the fact that all their competitors for 4th will be playing each other. Arsenal vs Chelsea and Newcastle vs Chelsea. That’s gauranteed dropped point for Tottenham to take advantage. The question is, will they?

  2. Dust says:

    Percentages / statistics aside I think the arse draw against Wigan, loose or draw against Chelsea and loose or draw vs stoke away, picking up only 3 out of nine. As crazy as that sounds, Wigan playing well could get a draw. Chelsea could get a draw here or depending how they fair against Barca a win. With stoke winning 3-1 last season in the same fixture it is reasonable to think draw at worse for Stoke.

    Spurs win 5 out of 5 and end up with 74 points
    The arse take 9 points out of 15 and end up with 73 points
    Toons 5th
    Chelski 6th

    Gaffer this story is more like it!

  3. WeAreGoonerWinIT says:

    @Dust,

    Are you serious? You are right about it sounding crazy, because it is.

    Tottenham winning all 5 games??? You mentioned Arsenal losing to Stoke 3-1 LAST SEASON but you failed to mention Arsenal beating Chelsea 5-2 AWAY THIS SEASON.

    I can see you use logic in your argument, NOT!!!!

    Tottenham won’t finish fourth, they’ll fall behind Chelsea in sixth.

  4. March says:

    Just the fact that Newcastle are in the discussion makes for a great season for them. I think they will finish fourth. Spurs have the most favorable schedule, but I just have a feeling they won’t take advantage of that and there will be some draws or losses that keep them coming up short. Poor Chelsea will be in sixth, but they are long overdue for a massive shakeup and a sixth place finish might be what they need to push them in that direction.

  5. trickybrkn says:

    I find it much more interesting to ask who will be the king of London.

    and of course that is the Arsenal.

  6. Jean says:

    The new big 4: MARK IT DOWN. ManU, ManC, Newcastle, and Spurs. Everybody else will be fighting for Europa League qualifications now :D

    • Paul says:

      Either Man U or City are going to walk away empty handed this year… For City being a ‘big 4′ team with all that money, a return of zero trophies is pretty shameful.
      Spurs are hit & miss at the best of times… Once Harry leaves for the England job, that’ll be that again for them. Newcastle aren’t a big 4 side, they’ve had a good season. They’ve got a long way to go before being labelled as part of the elite! No Arsenal in your list?!

  7. jules says:

    Maybe new to YOU, but nothing can erase the rich history of the Premier League. No one can or will ever take that away from the BIG 4: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manure

  8. ruffneckc says:

    haha, Spurs fans with their blinkers on again. Mind you fall in that big hole, you gloated Arsenal fans about earlier in the season.

  9. dust says:

    An expected response form ar5ena1 fans and 1 West Sham Fan (allegedly)

    Face it, without Robin Van Dirty you wouldn’t be in the top half of the table, he’s off next season then you’ll have …Podolski…

    You have lost to the following; Liverpool, Man Utd x 2 (inc 8 – 2), Blackburn, Spurs, Man City, Fulham, Swansea, QPR & Drawn to Swansea, Newcastle (with 10 men), Fulham, and Wolves (with 10 men),

    I hardly think drawing against Wigan who just out played and beat Man Utd and fighting for premier league survival, an in form Chelsea needing 4th place after their champions league falls apart after loosing to Barcelona and then Stoke Away.

    FYI Spurs losses ( Utd x 2, City x 2, Stoke (A), Everton (A), Norwich (H)

  10. Thomas says:

    Spurs have the easiest run in, and are in the worst form. They’ll have no one to blame but themselves if they aren’t in UCL next season.

    Newcastle has the least pressure, as they’ve exceeded all expectations this season.

    Chelsea has a veteran core that seemingly has shown up as of late. They also are still in two meaningful cup cometitons so they might have the toughest run in, and that ageing squad.

    I like Spurs and Newcastle.

    Highly doubt Arsenal slips up, and definitely not to the point of dropping out of the top 4.

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