Chelsea two wins from clinching up BPL odds

Monday, May 8th, 2017

By Andrew Ryan
Premier League Chelsea

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Finally, Chelsea is clear, most likely once and for all. The Blues have led the Premier League since November 21, and though they haven't ever ceded control since that point, there have been some nervy moments in recent weeks.

All the credit in the world goes out to Tottenham Hotspur. The side that Mauricio Pochettino has put together this season has been out of this world, and the fact that the club was able to stare a 10-point deficit to Chelsea in the face and cut it as low as four thanks to a nine-match winning streak in March and April was amazing.

But alas, it's going to end up mattering not in the end. The Blues are technically only four points clear at this point, but after Tottenham lost to West Ham on Friday, the door was officially open for Chelsea to plow right through again. Chelsea will face Middlesbrough on Monday afternoon, and if the Blues win that match, they'll be three points away from a Premier League championship while simultaneously relegating Boro in the process.

The drama the rest of the way though, is far from up in England, and it starts with the chase for the Top 4. All four of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have faltered time and time again down the stretch of the season, but eventually, two of those four are going to claim Champions League spots.

Man City seems to have the inside track at this point. The Citizens have 69 points through 35 matches and still face Leicester City and West Brom at home along with Watford away to end the campaign. Six points in those three matches will be enough to secure a safety in the Top 4.

Liverpool is technically third best right now with 70 points, but it has just two matches left to be played. Coutinho and company visit West Ham and are home to Boro in the final two weeks of the year, and four points will lock up a spot in the UCL for next season.

Arsenal saved its bacon by beating Manchester United over the weekend. The Gunners are still far from the Top 4 at this point, six points back of Manchester City and seven from Liverpool, but they have only played 34 matches and don't have an overly tricky one left (at Southampton, at Stoke, Sunderland, Everton).

Manchester United is the team in the most trouble at the moment with just 65 points in 35 fixtures. Man City almost certainly won't be caught now, but Liverpool is one slip away from at least leaving the door cracked open. Jose Mourinho knows that the easiest route to the Champions League for next season will be to win the Europa League, something that should happen with a match coming at home against Celta Vigo in the semifinal followed by a duel against mostly Ajax in Solna in the finale.

Everton has already wrapped up seventh place in the Premier League, thus earning it a spot in the Europa League next season.

The only other drama left in England is at the bottom of the table. Swansea City picked up three crucial points against Everton over the weekend to claw out of the bottom three while pushing Hull City to the brink. Crystal Palace isn't out of the woods yet, but it can end its misery by getting even a point next week against Hull in the finale at Selhurst Park. The Tigers would be wise to pick up the win there, because getting anything from Tottenham in the finale seems to be unlikely.

Swansea could also wrap up safety by beating already-relegated Sunderland at the Stadium of Light next week.

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