Back in the 2000s, we saw a clear dominance of the so-called “Top Four” clubs. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United were considered the clear “Top Four”. However, a lot has changed since and the current top 6 clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Tottenham have been regularly challenged by teams such as Leicester and West Ham. This article will go through this season’s expected and unexpected contenders.
The expected contenders for the top 4
The Premier League top 4 odds have Liverpool and Man City pretty much nailed on to secure a place. These two clubs have been in the top 4 consistently for many seasons now and with the quality of their squads, it’ll come as no surprise to see them there again.
Following these two we have Spurs and Chelsea. What may surprise some is that Spurs have a higher likelihood of getting top four according to the odds. The Lily-Whites have looked the business under manager Antonio Conte and with their successful transfer window, they are a very popular pick this season.
They secured top four on the final day of last season after wiping the floor with already relegated Norwich, beating out arch enemies Arsenal. This was massive for Spurs, they hadn’t seen Champions League football since 2019 when they lost in the final against Liverpool! 4 years and 4 managers later, they’re finally back in business.
Chelsea never looked in doubt of getting top four last season. At the beginning of the season, they were deemed a title contender, but in the end they peeled off and couldn’t get close to Liverpool and City. £100 million striker Romelu Lukaku was massively disappointing for Chelsea, he was expected to be the man to push them on for the title. By the middle of the season, he had already lost his place to Kai Havertz.
This was thanks to his woeful on pitch performances and poor attitude off it. He was on record declaring his wishes to one day return to former club Inter and his disagreement on tactics with manager Thomas Tuchel. He was immediately dropped by the German, and it was inevitable that he’d leave after that. He returned to Inter on a season long loan.
If Chelsea’s record signing could’ve hit the ground running and lived up to the price-tag, maybe they’d be Premier League Champions at this moment. It remains to be seen who they’ll be competing with, will they be in the title race? Or will they be dragged into a top 4 battle?
The Bet365 Premier League top 4 odds for these four sides are as follows:
Some interesting odds to dissect here, Man City getting top four is practically nailed on and at 1/33, you’d have to be bonkers to bother with a bet. Same goes for Liverpool at 1/8. These two sides are in a league of their own at the top of the Premier League table.
Spurs and Chelsea slightly lag behind, but their odds are still much higher than the two teams below. These being Arsenal and Manchester United.
Jesus to resurrect Arsenal?
Arsenal have been away from the top 4 since 2016. This season will mark their sixth season away from Europe’s most elite competition. Under Arsene Wenger they got top four in almost every season. Arsenal fans will be longing for those days to return.
Mikel Arteta has been star-shopping in order to make his sides’ Champions League dream come true.
They’ve brought in Oleksandr Zinchenko from Man City for £30 million after missing out on Lisandro Martinez to Man Utd, they’ve signed Fabio Vieira from Porto for around the same fee and the most notable and exciting of them all- they’ve signed Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for £46 million.
Arsenal have been crying out for a striker ever since the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They looked to Alexandre Lacazette, but he simply wasn’t good enough and also ended up leaving on a free. The long-term striker they’ve been begging for is finally here.
He’s youthful, clinical and has bags of talent. So far he’s fit right in at Arsenal- scoring goals for fun in pre-season. His linkup play with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Ødegaard has been nothing short of superb. Mikel Arteta finally seems to have solidity in all areas of the pitch. It could finally be their year to start competing.
Their Premier League top 4 odds are 6/4 courtesy of Bet365. Will you be backing Gabriel and the Gunners to claw themselves back into the Champions League fold?
Man Utd- ten Hag hoping for fourth
Manchester United were nothing short of woeful last season, finishing sixth and winning nothing. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked, and Ralf Rangnick failed, leaving everything to do for Erik ten Hag this season. The Dutch manager has brought in a few of his targets, but United’s transfer activity has been too thin.
They lost a lot of players, including Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani, who both have immense quality. The future of Cristiano Ronaldo is also yet to be decided, he played just once for the club in pre-season and has been linked with joining many clubs.
Ronaldo aside, United have brought in three players to assist their efforts next season. These being:
- Christian Eriksen- free transfer
- Lisandro Martinez- £55 million from Ajax
- Tyrell Malacia- £12 million from Feyenoord
These three players will all improve the squad, but we all know by now that United need midfielders. Particular, sitting midfielders. They have been heavily linked with Frenkie de Jong all summer and have even agreed a fee with Barcelona, but the Dutchman’s willingness to join has been questioned.
A striker to replace Ronaldo in the long-term is also needed. RB Salzburg man Benjamin Sesko has been linked, but there’s nothing concrete yet.
As it stands United’s Premier League top 4 odds are sat at 7/4 on Bet365. Top 4 is the minimum for ten Hag, but the Dutchman will have some real competition to get there.
Potential surprise contenders for top 4
The ‘big 6’ are heavy favourites to make the top 4 but these aren’t the only sides in the league that have a chance. We’ve seen sides such as Leicester compete and make the top four in the last 6 years. Anything can and does happen in the Premier League, making it impossible to write teams off.
Newcastle United are currently trading at single figures, with their Premier League top four odds sat at 8/1. This implies that they have more than a 10% chance of securing top 4. They have been massively impressive under Eddie Howe and with the new financial backing behind the club, we’ll definitely see the Geordies competing in a few years’ time.
As for this season, it’s still unlikely. They’ve signed some top talent, including Nick Pope and Sven Botman, but another attacking player is a must if they’re to push on further.
West Ham also have a shot, they have been excellent in recent years and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League! What the Irons lack is consistency, but with the signing of hot striker Gianluca Scamacca, we could see them turn up the heat next season.
Leicester City, as previously mentioned, have been competing for top four in recent years. They missed out marginally twice and will be hoping they can push on to at least Europa League. However, they’re yet to make a single signing which definitely shows a lack of ambition.
The Premier League top four odds for these two sides are:
Will we see a dark horse push on and make the top four?
What happens if you get top four in the Premier League?
Top four in the Premier League grants you a place in the UEFA Champions League
How many points are needed to get Premier League top 4?
Around 70 points is usually a good benchmark if you’re looking for top four, but every season is different…