As the season draws to a close several clubs still have plenty to play for in the hope of qualifying for next year's Champions League, Jim Knight takes a look at the contendersFour teams remain in the hunt for Champions League football, and with Newcastle heroically adding their name to that list, a more traditional big gun looks set to miss out on the biggest stage next season.
Sportingbet have priced up a specials market on which sides will miss out on that coveted top four finish, and out-of-sorts Spurs are arguably the headline act, with 4/6 (1.67) on offer for them to miss the cut.
Harry Redknapp’s side have been in dramatic decline since the demoralising defeat to Arsenal in February, and at the time of writing have recorded just one victory in nine Premier League games. They are now 7/1 (8.0) to beat their neighbours to third.
They have, on paper at least, the easiest run-in of the four contenders but the alarming rate at which Spurs have leaked points raises question marks over whether they can turn things around against Blackburn, Bolton, Aston Villa and Fulham.
North London rivals Arsenal are deemed dead certs to finish above that dotted line, with 6/1 (7.0) their price of failure compared to the 1/4 (1.25) to finish just behind the Manchester clubs.
They are missing Mikel Arteta, however, and are yet to win a match without the Spaniard in their line-up this season.
Chelsea are priced 4/11 (1.36) to close that seven-point gap on Newcastle, who are 1/2 (1.50), but the Blues have three home games to look forward to – including a match-up with the Magpies at Stamford Bridge. Could a late surge see them overtake all their top 4 rivals? Sportingbet go 16/1 (17.0) on them to snatch third.
Meanwhile, Alan Pardew’s men are a short price due to their remaining fixtures look a tough test. Should they be found out at Chelsea or Everton, flattened by Man City’s title charge or simply slip-up at Wigan, the dream would surely be over for this season’s surprise package.
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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