After Manchester City secured their title with United’s loss to Leicester, Premier League took an interesting turn on matchday 36. It was presumed that Chelsea would be comfortable beating Arsenal at home to regain their third spot and secure a 9-point difference above West Ham, who have a game in hand. The worst United could go from here is third, which would still grant them UCL qualification. Thus, the race for the third and fourth spots has been resurrected.
Leicester and Chelsea have stayed inside the top 4 with two games to go. However, after the latest developments, it is not fixed whether they will stay for the remainder of the season. West ham, Liverpool, and a highly unlikely but mathematically possible Tottenham are in the battle to claim the UCL spots if either of the two sides in danger slips up.
Chelsea, who are on 64 points, host Leicester on matchday 37 (just 4 days after the FA cup final against them), which could be a crucial moment of decisiveness in the top 4 race. With Leicester facing Tottenham right after, Brendan Rogers’ side, who are just two points ahead of Chelsea, will have to be in their best shape to grab all six points.
With a game in hand, West Ham are still 6 points below Chelsea and don’t seem like the top contenders to overtake Tuchel’s men. However, Liverpool have 4 games left, since the Red Blood derby had to be postponed due to the protest by United fans, who broke into Old Trafford. Sitting on 6th with 57 points, Klopp’s side find it absolutely necessary to defeat Manchester United on Thursday night. Otherwise, they won’t be able to leapfrog Chelsea, unless Chelsea end up losing against Leicester and Aston Villa.
From this stage, the safest route for Tuchel is to get the possible six points, which will see them secure a UCL spot regardless of how the other fixtures result in. Leicester, on the other hand, need to win at least one of their remaining two matches to stay safe independent of how other results pan out.