Chelsea has moved back into third place in the Premier League after a 4-0 win at Brighton this past week. Chelsea still trails first place Manchester City, but Chelsea is now a serious threat to Manchester United for second place. It is hard to see any team doing enough to challenge Manchester City, but the race for a Champions League spot could be entertaining in the last few months of the season. There is also a major race at the bottom of the table, as 11 teams are separated by just nine points.
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Top Four Race
Realistically the title race is all but over, as Manchester City leads Manchester United by 12 points with 14 games remaining. Manager Pep Guardiola said recently he has set a target of 10 more wins for his team to assure the Premier League title. "Always after the defeat against Liverpool, you have a little bit of doubt how you would react – what would happen if you went two games in a row not winning," he told a news conference. "That's why it was so important. We need mathematically 10 victories to be champions. We are going to try to win game by game."
United would have to almost win out and have City stumble to have any chance of winning the Premier League title and that seems extremely unlikely with just 14 games left in the season. The real race is for the top four and that is where things get interesting. United leads Chelsea by three points and they are six points ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham, although both of those teams have a game in hand. Arsenal is also still in the picture for a top four spot, as they are 11 points behind United but only five points back of Liverpool for fourth place.
The battle to avoid relegation could be an amazing one this season, as with 14 games remaining there are nine teams separated by five points. Southampton has 21 points and is currently in the relegation zone, but they are only two points behind Stoke City, Brighton and Newcastle United. They are just three points back of Huddersfield Town and just four points behind Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. West Ham United and Watford are definitely not safe, as they are only five points ahead of Southampton and Everton may still be in danger, as they are only seven points clear. It is also not out of the question that West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City could make a run and get of the relegation zone, as they currently sit in 19th and 20th place.
The Premier League is off until January 30 when matches resume with mid-week action. There are three games on Tuesday and seven on Wednesday. Teams will need the time off because the turnaround is quick, as there is a full slate of games on Super Bowl weekend, with games on Saturday, February 3, Sunday February 4 and Monday, February 5. Some of the key matchups have Manchester United visiting Tottenham and Tottenham at Liverpool and big matches that will impact top four positions. There are a number of key matches in the relegation battle including Brighton at Southampton. Let’s take a glance at what is coming up next.
Arsenal at Swansea City
Crystal Palace at West Ham United
Liverpool at Huddersfield Town
Bournemouth at Chelsea
Leicester City at Everton
Burnley at Newcastle United
Brighton at Southampton
West Bromwich Albion at Manchester City
Watford at Stoke City
Manchester United at Tottenham
Saturday February 3
Manchester City at Burnley
Stoke City at Bournemouth
West Ham United at Brighton
Swansea City at Leicester City
Huddersfield Town at Manchester United
Southampton at West Bromwich Albion
Everton at Arsenal
Sunday, February 4
Newcastle United at Crystal Palace
Tottenham at Liverpool
Monday, February 5
Chelsea at Watford
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