The Premier League 2020-21 season is one of the fiercest fought campaigns in recent memory and right now, as many as nine sides have the chance to crawl into the top-four of the table.
Teams like Aston Villa and Spurs might be nine points from the final Champions League spot but with how the Premier League season has been panning out, even they will not be giving up hopes of finishing in the top-four.
Man City are undoubtedly going to be in the Champions League next season and pundit Paul Merson is backing two other sides to make it to the top-tier of European football next campaign by finishing above the crop.
Merson told Sky Sports: “Man City are in, obviously – that’s the easy part!
“Next, I have to stick with Manchester United and Leicester, who are a very good team. The top three now will stay there, in my opinion. After that, this is so difficult. You know me, I don’t like to sit on the fence, but I’m finding it really hard to pick a team for the final spot.
“Despite their superb season so far, I don’t see West Ham lasting the distance, and that means a spot is up for grabs. Moyes’ side have been brilliant, but I saw enough in that second half against Spurs to tell me it’s just too much for them to do in the remainder of the season.
“Everton have got the fixture list to make a challenge, but I do worry about their consistency. For me, it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool for that final spot.
“If Chelsea have a good March, that’s it, they are in. But, I worry about Chelsea scoring enough goals. I can’t see them blowing teams away.
“I’ve always said Liverpool will make it but when push comes to shove, it so hard to stick with them, at the moment. It’s hard to get away from their form and the fact the luck is not with them. You look at the games they’ve lost, and you look at the games they have coming up and wonder if they can turn it around. They should beat Sheffield United but there is doubt there, especially with no defenders.
“I’ve shown so much faith in them, but the players keep dropping like flies. The one player I want on the pitch out of all of their players at the moment is Jordan Henderson.
“When things are not going well, he’s the leader. He’s the player that gets people going. With him now being out of the team it’s a bit of a worry.
“It feels like I’m just going with the name and not looking at the performances and results. The teams they haven’t beaten is very worrying. I don’t know why, but I have to stick with Liverpool. Please don’t ask me why but I’m keeping the faith with Jurgen Klopp and his side.”
Chelsea are making a strong claim for that final UCL spot after a string of improved performances under their new manager but we have a feeling Liverpool will be able to find their old form sooner or later, thereby edging the other sides in the Premier League top-four battle.
Right now, Liverpool are sixth on the Premier League table but with the quality they have in their squad, Klopp’s side should be able to retain their Champions League status.
But having said that, teams like Everton and West Ham United are sure to make things hard for the traditional big-six sides.