Premier League Race for the Top Four: Man United look great value
Not many would have fancied this bet some two months ago. But a run of six consecutive victories puts Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United well within touching distance of the Premier League’s Top Four.
And at Evens, we reckon they’re great value for a Champions League place come May.
Granted, at 20/1, it’s unlikely the Red Devils will mount a title challenge. They’re already 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea and would need to leapfrog four other sides.
But they are within touching distance of the front quartet in the table.
And you have to give credit to Jose Mourinho. Despite being under plenty of pressure in the early stages of the season, he’s kept his side right in the mix.
Whereas it looked as though for much of the season, the former Chelsea boss didn’t know his starting XI, he’s had time to chop and change things. And it looks as though he’s found a winning formula.
United just missed out on a top four finish last campaign, with Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City claiming those spots.
But this year, it’s all to play for. And while one would consider Chelsea certainties for a Champions League place, there are five sides that will be doing battle for the remaining three.
As has so often been the case over the years, Arsenal should claim one. And that leaves United, City, Spurs and Liverpool to scrap for the other two.
They may have enjoyed a blistering start to the campaign, but do Liverpool boast a side strong enough to maintain their current position for the duration of the season? We don’t think so.
There are still huge question marks surrounding their defensive unit. And they’ll be without one of their key forwards, Sadio Mane, over the next few weeks, with the Senegal international away on international duty.
Just five points ahead of United at the moment, that deficit could soon be overturned.
As for Spurs, one would assume that an injury to either Harry Kane or Dele Alli would all but end their chances of finishing in the top four.
The England pair have been incredibly influential for the north London outfit thus far, scoring 18 of Tottenham’s 37 goals.
They may have been well and truly in a title race last season, but a lot has changed since then. That was a campaign in which City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool failed to bring their A games.
Unfortunately for Mauricio Pochettino, that hasn’t been the case this year. And his side’s inability to turn draws into wins this season could just be their downfall come the end of the year.
And then there’s City – United’s noisy neighbours who, quite simply, haven’t had too much to shout about in recent weeks.
They’ve gone from being genuine title contenders, to top four hopefuls in the matter of two months.
Disciplinary problems, injuries and defensive frailties have seen the Citizens fall gradually down the table.
And with the likes of Spurs and United suddenly finding some form, it may not be long before the pair leapfrog the two-time Premier League champions.
In short, as far as the odds go, we reckon the best value is with Mourinho’s United. They’re three points off third, they boast one of the strongest squads in the division, and they’re finally beginning to click.
But what do you think? Will United be playing Champions League football next season? And how do you see the top six panning out?
Let us know your predictions in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing