A late run at the top four isn’t beyond record-breaking Swansea

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Swansea are safe from relegation this season. In reality that statement could have been made months ago, but after collecting three points against Burnley at the weekend, which took them to the promised land of 40, football folklore dictates that the Swans can breathe easy.

Arriving at the mark in just 27 games, manager Garry Monk has reached 40 points quicker than in any other Premier League campaign the south Wales club have contested.

That’s better than Michael Laudrup, the well-respected glamour name of European football, and Brendan Rodgers, who did so well at the Liberty Stadium he landed himself a gig at one of the most successful clubs in the top flight.

Considering Monk was a man many saw as a stop-gap replacement after he graduated from reserve centre-back to dugout leader in February last year, that is some achievement. But what next for the 35-year-old?

Certainly a record Premier League points haul is within his grasp. Swansea need just eight more to eclipse the 47 Rodgers managed in the club’s 2011/12 top-flight debut, but a far higher position than the 11th that tally gave them is a better target.

It could be that the Swans are the most unsung top-four challengers in the division’s history.

Currently a 200/1 shot to breach the Champions League places, the odds certainly suggest the club’s race is run in that regard. But in reality they aren’t out of it.

10 points separate Swansea in eighth and Manchester United in fourth. As their rapid ascent to 40 shows, they pick up points regularly – 1.48 per match, in fact – and their run-in for the remainder of the season is favourable.

Battles with Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are all that remain against teams that currently sit above them. The rest are all sides that have failed to beat the Swans in the reverse fixture this season, bar Stoke.

The call of the top four may just be getting louder.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.