Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup: Yahoo Sport writers predict how the season ends

Dimitri Kondonis

Champions League, Europa League, and of course, Chelsea lifting the Premier League title the FA Cup.

Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham will all be vying with the two Manchester clubs to finish in the top four and secure Champions League football next season.

Arsenal, the notorious top four finishers, are at serious risk of falling outside the top four for the first time since Arsene Wenger took charge of the club while Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are also at risk of another Champions League-less season.

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Who will finish in the top four, who will earn Europa League football and who will win the FA Cup? The Yahoo Sport and some of our writers make their predictions

James Dickens (@JamesYahooSport)

Premier League winners: Chelsea
Champions League spots: Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United
Europa League spots: Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton
FA Cup winners: Tottenham

Chelsea winning the league doesn’t take Mystic Meg to predict. They have the best player in the League in N’Golo Kante, the joint best defense and are the second highest goalscorers.

Second place is a toss-up between Spurs and City, and I think Pep Guardiola’s side will just pip Tottenham. The north London club have an emotional run-in, seemingly at least, in their final season at White Hart Lane.

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Games against United and Arsenal will be tough, plus they have the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea as a distraction and given last season’s melt-down, betting on a strong finish from them is asking for trouble.

The other place up for grabs is fourth, which looks like it will be between Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Everton (yes really). My hunch is for United’s defensively solidity and, well, Zlatan to get them over the line and back in the Champions League.

Arsenal are all over the place, Liverpool are the opposite of Jose Mourinho’s side, weak at the back but great going forward and as likely to lose to Burnley as they are to beat City or Spurs. Everton must be included as they are level on points with Arsenal, but the Gunners do have two games in hand.

Not that winning two games is a given for this wash-out of a team but you would expect them to get a couple of points to pull away from Ronald Koeman’s resurgent Toffees.

 

Matt Lewis (@MattLewis27)

Premier League winners:  Chelsea
Champions League spots:  Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City
Europa League spots: Liverpool, Arsenal
FA Cup winners: Chelsea

Chelsea will win the title with weeks to spare, all that remains to be decided is who finishes where in the standings after Antonio Conte’s men claim the crown they richly deserve. Given the form shown by the Blues this term, I would expect them to do the double and lift the FA Cup too.

Tottenham’s next few matches against Burnley, Swansea, Watford, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are all easily winnable and should see Mauricio Pochettino’s side secure Champions League qualification for next season.

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Manchester United have been outside of the top four for so long this season, seemingly stuck in sixth place forever until recently, and I expect them to win their games in hand and join Spurs in Europe’s top competition.

The atmosphere at Arsenal is becoming increasingly toxic, particularly given the uncertainty around Arsene Wenger, and I think that the Gunners could finally miss out on fourth spot his year as they have to settle for sixth, behind Liverpool, with Man City rounding off the top four.

Mark Lawford (@Lawford62)

Premier League winners: Chelsea
Champions League spots: Spurs, Manchester City, Manchester United
Europa League spots: Liverpool, Arsenal
FA Cup winners: Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger to win something – the FA Cup – on this most miserable of seasons.

Chelsea look unstoppable with their huge winning runs, while Spurs have retained their consistency from last season.

Manchester United will sneak into the top four but Liverpool and Arsenal’s defensive frailties mean they will miss out.

Hamish Williams (@HamishYahooUK)

Premier League winners: Chelsea

Champions League spots: Manchester City, Spurs, Liverpool

Europa League spots: Manchester United, Arsenal

FA Cup winners: Manchester City

City will edge out Spurs for second and Liverpool will sneak into the top four, which means United and Arsenal will be left to battle it out for the Europa League. Chelsea will win the title, obviously.

Although on paper Spurs’ run-in looks easier than City’s, I think Harry Kane’s injury and their poor away record (only 18 points all season) could see them drop below Pep Guardiola’s men in the final reckoning. Liverpool’s inconsistency against ‘beatable’ opponents is well documented but they have no have cup matches to distract them from the league – and therefore no excuse to fail. This should be enough able to hold off a United side who are still drawing too many games.

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Speaking of United, although they are on a long unbeaten run they still find themselves in fifth and the amount of games they have to play could harm them – they will play 17 more times this season if they make the Europa League final. Five matches in 14 days against Anderlecht (twice), Chelsea, Manchester City and Burnley at Turf Moor could well define their season. Mourinho has already said he would rather win the Europa League than finish third or fourth – will he focus on that?

With Arsenal six points behind Liverpool, on an awful run and with both the fans and the squad apparently divided, surely this is the end of Arsene Wenger’s proud Champions League run?

Mohab Magdy (@Mohab_Magdy1983)

Premier League winners: Chelsea

Champions League spots: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City

Europa League spots: Manchester United, Arsenal

FA Cup winners: Manchester City

Chelsea are 10 points clear on top of the Premier League table, they are by far the best team in the league in all aspects, I don’t see any possible scenario ending with them losing the league.

Spurs are enjoying another fine season under Mauricio Pochettino’s management, they showed a great response to Harry Kane’s absence at the beginning of the season. They are in a perfect position to finish second.

Despite Liverpool’s inconsistency, especially against smaller teams, comparing the remaining games for the Reds to Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal will make them favourites to guarantee third spot.

City in essence have a two-point lead over rivals United (If they win their postponed game away at Southampton), they have a slightly easier schedule and they will host United at the Etihad Stadium. All those factors give the Citizens a better chance to secure the last Champions League spot.

They have the toughest schedule among all top 4 contenders (Yet to face Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City), and they are still competing in the Europa League. I think securing the Champions League spot after the Europa League triumph will be an easier route of Mourinho’s men, than finishing top 4 in the Premier League.

Arsenal are literally in free-fall having lost four of their last five league games, and given all the uncertainty around Wenger’s future with the team, as well as Sanchez and Ozil’s contracts, it is very unlikely we will see the Gooners in the Champions League next season.

Dimitri Kondonis (@dkondonis)

Premier League winners: Chelsea

Champions League spots: Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal

Europa League spots: Manchester United, Manchester City

FA Cup winners: Chelsea

Fairly standard set of predictions, bar the race for fourth place.

Chelsea, obviously, have been nigh-on unstoppable since their drubbing at Arsenal at the start of the season – what an amazing reversal of fortunes!

Spurs have been a joy to watch this season and, bar Chelsea’s stubborn rigidity, might actually have pushed for Premier League glory. Liverpool’s problems are well documented; they enjoy a battle against the top four teams but seemingly become complacent against sides in the bottom half of the league.

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But I back Arsenal to sneak into the top four, simply due to their record under Arsene Wenger. I know this is an unprecedented level of crisis for the Gunners, but having never finished outside of the Champions League places with the Frenchman in charge, I back them to finish the right side of the line.

Leaving, of course, Manchester rivals City and United outside of the top four. Woops. (*Disclaimer, I did call both of these teams to finish outside the top four midway through the season, so must remain committed).

Kevin Darling (@DarlingKevin)

Premier League winners: Chelsea

Champions League spots: Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool

Europa League spots: Manchester United, Everton

FA Cup winners: Manchester City

Conte has turned a rabble into a machine. Chelsea are set up to be so solid that, barring some kind of cataclysmic injury crisis, it seems inconceivable they could throw it away now.

The fact Spurs are almost certain to surpass last season’s points total says it all. This is the best Spurs team of most of our lifetimes, and even without Kane they are a more complete side than most of their rivals.

City’s defence and goalkeeper have frequently been shambolic; the attack has frequently been breathtaking. Third sounds about right.

Liverpool are not the finished article – the defence is no better than City’s – but a favourable run-in and lack of distractions should see them over the line (providing they can break the habit of under-performing in the “easy” games”).

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Manchester United are a club in the ascendancy, but trips to Arsenal, Spurs and the Etihad probably leave them with too much to do for fourth. The Europa League could be the best chance of making the Champions League.

 With Lukaku, Schneiderlin and Barkley imperious in recent weeks, Ronald Koeman’s Everton are improving as the season goes on, in direct contrast to Arsenal. The two sides meet on the last day of the season and Everton will want it more.

Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer)

Premier League winners: Chelsea

Champions League spots: Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool

Europa League spots: Manchester United, Arsenal

FA Cup winners: Tottenham

United are the team that are on a long unbeaten run in the Premier League, but they have a very difficult run-in and it is hard to see them beating Everton, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the final weeks of the season.

Unless Spurs or Liverpool collapse – which is possible – United will finish outside of the top four, with City strong enough against the lesser teams to overhaul Tottenham and finish second.

Arsenal’s spirit has been broken and it is hard to see it being revived, especially if Arsene Wenger confirms he is staying as manager.

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