Erik ten Hag's Manchester United are firmly in the top four race.

Comparing Aston Villa, Man Utd & Tottenham’s fixture difficulty in PL top four race

The race for Champions League qualification is hotting up with Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester United all gunning to finish in the top four – but which of them has the kindest fixture list between now and May?

With Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal almost certainly guaranteed to finish in the top three, the remaining three months of the season will see a trio of clubs fighting to play in Europe’s elite club competition in 2024-25.

And, with England currently behind Germany and Italy in the pecking order for a fifth Champions League spot, finishing fourth has become more important than ever.

Aston Villa are currently in pole position, having enjoyed an excellent season under Unai Emery, but they lost to Manchester United in February 2024 and have the hardest set of fixtures left.

Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham can solely focus on the Premier League after being eliminated from all other competitions, whereas Villa are still in the Europa Conference League and United are still in the FA Cup.

Spurs also face City, Arsenal and Liverpool in successive games towards the end of April. United also have to face all three title contenders, but they are spread out over their remaining fixtures.

We’ve added up the current league position of all three side’s remaining league opponents – with Liverpool counting for one point and bottom side Sheffield United counting for 20 – and worked out the average strength of each side’s upcoming fixtures.

Note: all fixture dates in April and May are currently provisional.

Aston Villa – 49 points

24/2 – Nottingham Forest (H)
2/3 – Luton Town (A)
10/3 – Tottenham (H)
17/3 – West Ham (A)
30/3 – Wolves (H)
3/4 – Manchester City (A)
6/4 – Brentford (H)
13/4 – Arsenal (A)
20/4 – Bournemouth (H)
27/4 – Chelsea (H)
4/5 – Brighton (A)
11/5 – Liverpool (H)
19/5 – Crystal Palace (A)

Average league position of opponents: 9.5

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery celebrates at the end of the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday May 28, 2023.

READ: Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham are the Premier League’s most-improved sides of 2023-24

Tottenham – 47 points

2/3 – Crystal Palace (H)
10/3 – Aston Villa (A)
16/3 – Fulham (A)
30/3 – Luton Town (H)
2/4 – West Ham (A)
6/4 – Nottingham Forest (H)
13/4 – Newcastle (A)
20/4 – Manchester City (H)
27/4 – Arsenal (H)
4/5 – Liverpool (A)
11/5 – Burnley (H)
19/5 – Sheffield United (A)

Average league position of opponents: 10.6

Vitality Stadium, Boscombe, Dorset, UK. 26th Aug, 2023. Premier League Football, AFC Bournemouth versus Tottenham Hotspur; Ange Postecoglou Manager of Tottenham Hotspur inspects the pitch before kick off.

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Manchester United – 44 points

24/2 – Fulham (H)
3/3 – Manchester City (A)
9/3 – Everton (H)
16/3 – Sheffield United (H)
30/3 – Brentford (A)
3/4 – Chelsea (A)
6/4 – Liverpool (H)
13/4 – Bournemouth (A)
20/4 – Newcastle (H)
27/4 – Burnley (H)
4/5 – Crystal Palace (A)
11/5 – Arsenal (H)
19/5 – Brighton (A)

Average league position of opponents: 10.8

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every team to finish in the top four of the Premier League?