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Who Will Win The Race For The Champions League Places?

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We have a pretty interesting scenario going on in the Premier League with the race for the Champions League places. Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all fighting it out for 3rd and 4th spots, so let us analyze each team and try to figure where each might end up…

Spurs have been amazing this season and have played some breathtaking football. Having been 3rd for such a long time, it is only right that they would dream of competing against the likes of Bayern Munich and Valencia so to speak.

Players like Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Ledley King, Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker are quality players who deserve a chance to rub shoulders with Europe’s best. Their keeper, Brad Friedel is 40 yet he continues to perform week-in week-out.

Spurs have been a delight to watch this season and had a great run in the competition two seasons ago. Bale`s demolition of biggies like Lucio and Maicon is a part of Champions League folklore and would be a big motivator for them.

But Spurs have problems. They aren’t playing particularly well and all the talk of Harry taking the England job has had an unsettling effect on the players. They have had three defeats on the trot and do not exude the same confidence as was the case not long ago. There is a good chance they may drop down from 3rd to 4th or 5th if things don’t start looking up soon.

Arsenal right now provides at least one thing for certain: uncertainty!

You never know whether they will play brilliantly and destroy the opposition (5-2 spurs anybody?) or will capitulate after holding a lead (too many to count!). Of late they have had a resurgence of sorts what with the come-from-behind win over Spurs, Liverpool and Newcastle.

But the impression of them being soft, easy to negate refuses to go away and they’ll need to keep going in the same vein as they are now if they want to overhaul spurs for 3rd spot.

Robin van Persie has been simply sensational for them this season and the others owe it to him and Wenger to give it their best to ensure a 3rd place finish come mid may. Jack in the pack for Arsenal? Tomas Rosicky.  That guy has been almost like a new signing for the club and if they keep him fit and going so well, it’ll do them a world of good.

Chelsea has had big issues of its own to deal with this season. Their erstwhile boss Andre Villas-Boas had some ideas of his own but failed to get the squad to implement it successfully. Now, they’ve gone back to the old system with the old guard taking charge once again and the stirring win over Napoli was a big boost to the club which has otherwise had a rather disappointing season.

Seniors like Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba have to keep guiding the younger ones so that the team can look forward to maybe winning the FA Cup and getting a Champions League spot. They have been a strong team in the past and have the knowhow to win their remaining games and push their case for a 3rd place finish.

Liverpool, to put in simply, have been truly AWFUL this season – so much money invested and so little to show for it. They are heavily reliant on their captain and talisman Steven Gerrard for inspiration which won’t always happen since they guy has been injured for most of last year and the club’s stature demands that players like Luis Suarez, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll rise to the occasion and make the fans gung-ho with optimism.

Liverpool has graced the Champions League in the past and was a heavyweight not too long ago. They are 10 points off 4th place with 10 games to go and it’ll have to be a huge effort on their part if they are to get that 4th place and qualify for the Champions League subsequently.

In my opinion, Arsenal will be 3rd, Chelsea 4th, Spurs 5th and Liverpool 6th. It’ll be pretty tight and really interesting to see how this particular race ends come the end of the season.

By Yashasvee Prasad

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