Top 6 prediction for the Premier League

West Ham
West Ham have been outstanding this season
Varun Bakshi

The Premier League season is heading towards the final stretch and in one of the most unpredictable races of late, Leicester City find themselves top of the table with Tottenham Hotspur hot on their heals.A league that is grueling due its physical nature has thrown up its fair share of surprises. Liverpool and Chelsea are nowhere near contesting for the title or top four and Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City are chasing a pack led by a team that was fighting relegation last season.Leicester and Spurs both have squads that haven't been assembled through financial muscle. It's been a refreshing change for a league that looked to be spearheaded by the likes of Manchester City, United and Chelsea for their ability to attract the best players due to their financial clout although that ideology has been dispelled with the stunning display of teams like Leicester and Tottenham.Even a fearless West Ham side revitalised under Slaven Bilic are sixth currently followed by a free-flowing Stoke City side. The football on display has been stunning but with eight Matchdays to go, what's in store for the pack at the top of the table?

#6 West Ham

After ensuring they stayed in the Premier League, West Ham took the bold decision to sack Sam Allardyce and turned to Slaven Bilic. The Croat brought in some fresh faces none better than the Frenchman, Dimitri Payet.

A breath of fresh air, Payet has lit up the Premier League and revitalised the Hammers who are finding joy in the final third thanks to the former Marseille man. West Ham have gone from a team known to punt the ball long, to a free-flowing side that is happy to play at a quick tempo. With the likes of Cresswell and Reid at the back covering Adrian, West Ham have tightened their defence.

Last season under Allardyce, the side from Upton Park conceded 47 goals and scored 43, ending up with a negative goal difference. This season, with 9 games to go, they’ve scored 45 goals and conceded 33 with a positive goal difference of 12.

They’re still within a shout to make it to Wembley with a replay pending against Manchester United in the FA cup and the side couldn’t give their fans a better parting gift from Upton Park, than winning it.

With a fair number of games to go, it’ll be interesting to see how much gas West Ham have left in their tank. But Bilic has performed a remarkable turnaround nonetheless.

Predicted finish: 6th

#5 Manchester United

Manchester United
United could miss out on Champions League football next season

A side that looked down and out after the Christmas period has been resurgent off late with the youth lending a helping hand. A certain Marcus Rashford has shot the Red Devils to glory and the Old Trafford outfit find themselves closing in on the pack and hopeful of securing a top four finish if not the title.

Louis van Gaal has endured much criticism in the recent past with names being thrown around to replace him. But the Dutchman has rallied his troops well despite having his big names in Rooney, Schweinsteiger in the treatment room.

His belief in youth seems to have paid dividend with Varela, Borthwick-Jackson and co putting in stellar shifts and his compatriot Memphis Depay starting to show why he was so raved about in the Eredivisie. United have started to be more dynamic in attack with support of the full backs and midfielders finding feet ahead of them.

They seem to have had their worst behind them but the last games are the toughest which has probably defined the red half of Manchester in the past. Considering they’ve been littered with injuries, United would do well if they move northwards in the league table and their philosophy, they hope, shall finally pay off.

Predicted finish: 5th

#4 Manchester City

Manchester City
City need Aguero to fire on all cylinders

It's no coincidence that since Pep Guardiola’s announcement and Manuel Pelligrini’s imminent departure at the end of the season, City’s form has dipped pegging them back in the Premier League race. A side that on paper at the start of the season looked devastating has struggled with injuries and patchy performances.

Kevin De Bruyne’s absence has hampered City’s performances. The Belgian was instrumental in the Citizens’ attacking flair chipping in with useful goals and handful assists. The inconsistency of Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany’s injury concerns has seen a blip in City’s run.

With them wrapping up the League Cup, City are still challenging in the Champions League, a competition in which they could go pretty far if they can hit the ground running. With their final games being no easier than before, City have their work cut out for them.

Manuel Pelligrini would love to leave the Sky Blues on a high note, and with their squad having incredible depth, they could still get their hands on the title if they go on a winning run. But with their focus diverted with the Champions League and the arrival of a certain Pep Guardiola, City could slip up in the table.

Predicted finish: 4th

#3 Arsenal

It has been yet another frustrating season for Arsenal fans

Arsene Wenger was hell bent on not signing an outfield player in the summer, highlighting his confidence in his side that has faltered in recent games. The Invincibles seem a distant memory and Arsenal have lacked leadership and a tenacity to fight in games where they’ve been second best.

The Frenchman’s side on their day can beat any given team but their inconsistency has meant they’re third in the table. The Gunners have enough firepower in the form of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and co but need to hit the ground running before the rest of the pack runs away.

The midfield needs to take ownership and Santi Cazorla has been dearly missed, a player who always makes something happen for the Emirates stadium outfit. With them looking likely of exiting the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona, Arsenal must turn their energy and attention to attaining a title they once dominated.

With a good mix of youth and experience, Arsenal need to be at their best in the final third of the season to ensure the Gooners can celebrate a title that they once stamped authority on. The frailties at the back and the erratic midfield might mean Arsenal fall short, yet again.

Predicted finish: 3rd

#2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham could just miss out on the title

Mauricio Pochettino has adapted to the Premier League like a fish to water. After congregating an efficient Southampton squad, the Spaniard has elevated Spurs since arriving at White Hart Lane. Known for doing rigorous sessions, Pochettino has brought in the likes of Toby Alderweireld and given youngster Dele Alli the chance to shine in a team that thrives in the final third of games.

Spurs have outmuscled Chelsea and Arsenal to shine in London and their consistency coupled with a great work ethic could ensure they go all the way. Harry Kane has carried forward his blistering form from last season, and after having a rough start to the season and could carry a team to a first league title in a staggering 55 years.

Losing out players of the calibre of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, has meant Spurs have lagged behind their London rivals but with the title race blown wide open this year, it could be their best chance to get their hands on an elusive title that no one seems to be wanting to take ownership of. The rigours of European football coupled with a challenging run of games, tips the balance in Leicester’s favour with Spurs finishing a close second.

Predicted finish: 2nd

#1 Leicester City

Leicester City
The Foxes should just about get the job done

A miraculous comeback last season, though ensuring Premier League football, saw Nigel Pearson getting the sack with Claudio Ranieri hired to take the Foxes forward. The Italian has turned around the King Power stadium, ringing in small changes and threatening teams across the league with a classic 4-4-2 system.

The astonishing rise of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez coupled with midfield juggernauts in Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante has meant Leicester City are at the top of the table in an unbelievable season that even the most ardent Leicester fan wouldn’t have predicted.

Their fairy tale has many a fan believing that they could go all the way. Leicester have played open football and tried to hit teams often on the counter-attack. Their open style has seen them leak a few goals and Ranieri would be wise to start closing out games and being prudent in the final leg.

Even the neutrals are bouncing at Leicester’s incredible run but it could all be forgotten if they start to fade away. They’ve overachieved by every stretch of the imagination but make no mistake that this could go down to the wire. With games against West Ham, Manchester United and Chelsea still to come, Leicester don’t have it easy. The Foxes have prowled their way to the top and this pack, we believe, will be lead by it all the way.

Predicted finish: 1st

Edited by Staff Editor


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