LEICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Jamie Vardy of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Predicting the Premier League Top Four

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Wilfried Bony of Manchester City celebrates with goalscorer Fernando Reges after the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at Etihad Stadium on March 21, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 21: Wilfried Bony of Manchester City celebrates with goalscorer Fernando Reges after the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at Etihad Stadium on March 21, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

We’re over the halfway hump of the season now, so we can expect to have a great look at who will be in the Top Four come the end of the season. It has been a really odd season thus far, with teams you wouldn’t expect jumping into the mix, and many teams struggling to to take advantage of other teams’ struggles. We finally are getting a clearer picture of who will be in the mix for Top Four, though. Today, we’ll look at who we expect to be there in May before looking at what order these teams will fall in. First up:

 

Manchester City

They may have their struggles as a team, but there can be no doubt that Manchester City will sit within the Top Four on the final day of the season. They currently sit 7 points above 5th place, and don’t look like slowing down.

With the announcement that Pep Guardiola will be taking over City next season, these players will have an extra incentive to play well. They will be fighting for the title and their spot in the team next season. I can’t see them falling out of the Top Four now.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal reacts to a missed opportunity during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal reacts to a missed opportunity during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal

Arsenal currently sit 4th in the table, behind a surging Tottenham. The former title favorites have hit a run of iffy form, only winning one of their last 5 matches. Regardless, they are still 5 points above 5th place. They are equally as far from 1st, so a title hunt is still on.

While the festive period hasn’t been kind to Arsenal, fixtures will begin to slow down significantly soon, giving them more time to recover from games. I expect the performances to pick back up soon, leading to a charge that will keep them in the Top Four, if not higher.

 

Tottenham

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03:  Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on January 3, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on January 3, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Tottenham have been in incredible form. They are on a three game winning streak, and have the best differential in the league. Goal differential has long been considered the best metric to determine where a team should be in the league. Without a doubt, Tottenham deserve to be where they are in the table.

That being said, I’m not certain they will reach much higher than 3rd place. There is a lot of talent in this Tottenham team, but they are incredibly reliant on two players for all of their goals: Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Once you get past the two of them, no player in that squad has above 4 goals this season. Currently, both players are fit and firing, but should one, or both, of them get hurt or fall out of form then we may see a different Tottenham team. I still don’t believe they will place lower than 4th this season. Their defense is just too strong, and that should be enough to secure them in the Top Four.

 

Leicester

Last, but certainly not least is the team everybody seems to be rooting for. They were at the bottom of the table at the start of 2015 and at the top in 2016. Simply put, they are the great surprise of this season, and they will almost certainly be making the Top Four. Depending on how the next two games go, they will even be title favorites.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  LEICESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 08 Leicester fans display a banner during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at The King Power Stadium on April 08, 2014 in Leicester, England,  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 08: LEICESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 08 Leicester fans display a banner during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at The King Power Stadium on April 08, 2014 in Leicester, England, (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

It’s incredible, but this Leicester team have been really good at just winning games. There isn’t some secret, no tactic that is throwing the rest of the league off. They are fast and really, really good at finishing. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited at some level at the thought of Leicester winning the league. The question is, will it be a pyrrhic victory? Do they have the squad to compete in the Champions League and the Premier League next season? Will doing this well in achieving Top Four, if not the league title, mean that larger, richer teams will come hunting for their star performers? There’s a lot of questions and dangers facing Leicester in the face of this incredible story.

 

Top Four Order Prediction

1) Leicester

2) Manchester City

3) Tottenham

4) Arsenal

Jeff Snyder

About Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder is an Associate Editor at 32 Flags, professional writer, and has been working in sports broadcast for almost half a decade. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheJackAnty.

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