Comparing the fixture difficulty of the PL’s Champions League chasers

Quick Reads

Liverpool and Manchester City have been the best teams in the league this season, but there are still three Champions League places up for grabs.

Leicester City andย Chelsea are currently third and fourth respectively but another five teams will fancy their chances of making the top four, while fifth could also make the Champions League if Man City’s ban stands.

Every team has 11 games left this season, so weโ€™re taking a look at which top four contender has the more difficult upcoming fixtures โ€“ on paper at least.

Leicester City

Leicester’s remaining fixtures: Norwich City (A) (20th), Aston Villa (H) (17th), Watford (A) (19th), Brighton (H) (15th), Everton (A) (11th), Crystal Palace (H) (13th), Arsenal (A) (9th), Bournemouth (A) (16th), Sheffield United (H) (7th), Tottenham (A) (6th), Manchester United (H) (5th).

That’s an average position of 12.5 so out of all the top four contenders Leicester City should have the easiest remaining fixtures.

They will face seven sides from the bottom half of the table and their next three league games are all against sides in and around the relegation zone.

But Brendan Rodgers’ side do have a difficult end to the season, playing top-four rivals in each of their last three league games.

Chelsea

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures: Bournemouth (A) (16th), Everton (H) (11th), Aston Villa (A) (17th), Manchester City (H) (2nd), West Ham (A) (18th), Watford (H) (19th), Crystal Palace (A) (13th), Sheffield United (A) (7th), Norwich City (H) (20th), Liverpool (A) (1st), Wolves (H) (8th).

The Blues are currently sitting fourth in the league table and they’ll face an average position of 12.0 in their final 11 games.

Chelsea do still have to face the best two teams in the league before the end of the season, but they will also play the bottom two at home.

Manchester United

Manchester United’s remaining fixtures: Everton (A) (11th), Manchester City (2nd), Tottenham (A) (6th), Sheffield United (H) (7th), Brighton (A) (15th), Bournemouth (H) (16th), Aston Villa (A) (17th), Southampton (H) (12th), Crystal Palace (13th), West Ham (H) (18th), Leicester City (A) (3rd).

On paper, United have got some tricky fixtures coming up over the next few weeks, although they tend to fare better against teams in the top half of the table.

The Red Devils have won away at Manchester City and Chelsea this season but they have only got five wins and three draws in 13 games against teams in the bottom half.

They’ll face an average position of 10.9 and United picked up 16 points out of a possible 33 when they played against these teams earlier in the season.

Tottenham

Tottenham’s remaining fixtures: Wolves (H) (8th), Burnley (A) (10th), Manchester United (H) (5th), West Ham (H) (18th), Sheffield United (A) (7th), Everton (H) (11th), Bournemouth (A) (16th), Arsenal (H) (9th), Newcastle United (A) (14th), Leicester City (H) (3rd), Crystal Palace (A) (13th).

Jose Mourinho is slowly turning things around at Tottenham but they are still sixth in the table, four points adrift of the top four.

Spurs face an average position of 10.3 in their final 11 league games, with five sides from the top half of the table and six sides from the bottom half.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s remaining fixtures: Aston Villa (A) (17th), Norwich City (H) (20th), Newcastle United (A) (14th), Manchester United (A) (5th), Tottenham (H) (6th), Burnley (A) (10th), Wolves (H) (8th), Chelsea (H) (4th), Leicester City (A) (3rd), Everton (H) (11th), Southampton (A) (12th).

Sheffield United have been the surprise package of the season so far as the newly promoted team are currently seventh in the table.

However, the Blades will need to produce something special to qualify for the Champions League as theyย face an average position of 10.0.

That means that Sheffield United have theย hardest remaining fixtures out of all the top four contenders.

Wolves

Wolves’ remaining fixtures: Tottenham (A) (6th), Brighton (H) (15th), West Ham (A) (18th), Bournemouth (H) (16th), Aston Villa (A) (17th), Arsenal (H) (9th), Sheffield United (A) (7th), Everton (H) (11th), Burnley (A) (10th), Crystal Palace (H) (13th), Chelsea (A) (4th).

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have already experienced European football in the Europa League this season, but they will be looking to finish in the top four this season.

Wolves face an average position ofย 11.4 with difficult games away against Chelsea and Tottenham still to come.

Arsenal

Arsenal’s remaining fixtures: Manchester City (A) (2nd), West Ham (H) (18th), Brighton (A) (15th), Southampton (A) (12th), Norwich City (H) (20th), Wolves (A) (8th), Leicester City (H) (3rd), Tottenham (A) (6th), Liverpool (H) (1st), Aston Villa (A) (17th), Watford (H) (19th).

That’s an average position of 11.0 and Arsenal face four of the current top six and all of the bottom three before the end of the season.

The Gunners picked up 11 points of out 33 in these fixtures under Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg earlier this season and Mikel Arteta will be hoping for a better return.


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