Victor Lindelof.

What the top-four run-in now looks like

Tuesday 19 April 2022 14:22

The season run-in is now clearer as we know the Emirates FA Cup final will be between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley.

It means Manchester United face a lengthy gap of over two weeks between our penultimate Premier League fixture, at Brighton & Hove Albion on 7 May, and the final-day encounter at Crystal Palace on 22 May.

Following tonight's tough test at Liverpool, Ralf Rangnick's Reds have five games remaining and will hope to still to be in the hunt for a top-four place when the Selhurst Park clash takes place.

There will probably be plenty more twists and turns in the battle for a coveted Champions League slot so let's take a look at the schedule for each of the main contenders...

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UNITED

19 Apr: Liverpool (A) 20:00
23 Apr: Arsenal (A) 12:30
28 Apr: Chelsea (H) 19:45
2 May: Brentford (H) 20:00
7 May: Brighton (A) 17:30
22 May: Crystal Palace (A) 16:00

The fact the visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford has been moved to a Thursday night means big questions will be asked of our injury-hit side before the month is out. Four of our last five fixtures are against London clubs and both Brentford and Brighton are currently in great form. The Bees clash is on a Bank Holiday Monday and this programme looks a challenging one for the Reds, but hopefully we can rise to the occasion.

TOTTENHAM

23 Apr: Brentford (A) 17:30
1 May: Leicester (H) 14:00
7 May: Liverpool (A) 19:45
12 May: Arsenal (H) 19:45
15 May: Burnley (H) 12:00
22 May: Norwich (A) 16:00

Spurs remain in the box seat for fourth place but the shock home defeat to Brighton last time out has given hope to the chasing pack. Their remaining game this month is a tricky one, a London derby at Brentford, while a trip to title-chasing Liverpool precedes a crunch clash with arch-rivals Arsenal. Burnley could still be fighting for their Premier League lives, as could Norwich if they can get more points on board by showing the sort of form displayed at times at Old Trafford at the weekend.

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ARSENAL

20 Apr: Chelsea (A) 19:45
23 Apr: UNITED (H) 12:30
1 May: West Ham (A) 16:30
8 May: Leeds (H) 14:00
12 May: Tottenham (A) 19:45
16 May: Newcastle (A) 20:00
22 May: Everton (H) 16:00

Mikel Arteta's Gunners were strong favourites for a Champions League spot until a sudden slump in form and the fixture list looks a tough one. A run of games against Chelsea, on Wednesday, United and West Ham, could make or break their ambitions. There is the short trip across north London to meet Spurs in a key rearranged derby while Newcastle have turned St James' Park into a fortress of late. If Everton are not safe come final day, that could be some setting on the final day too. 

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Highlights: United 3 Arsenal 2

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WEST HAM UNITED

24 Apr: Chelsea (A) 14:00
1 May: Arsenal (H) 16:30
8 May: Norwich (A) 14:00
15 May: Man City (H) 16:30
22 May: Brighton (A) 16:00

The Hammers still have two shots at making Europe's premier competition next term as they are going strong in the Europa League and face Eintracht Frankfurt in the two-legged semi-final, with the trophy winners guaranteed a slot in the 2022/23 Champions League. With only five league matches left, there is a suspicion David Moyes may prioritise the European adventure but that could be misplaced if they can pick up positive results against fellow capital clubs Chelsea and Arsenal. Nevertheless, a trip to leaders Manchester City looks a tough proposition.

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Highlights: United 1 West Ham 0

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WOLVES

24 Apr: Burnley (A) 14:00
30 Apr: Brighton (H) 15:00
7 May: Chelsea (A) 15:00
15 May: Norwich (H) 14:00
22 May: Liverpool (A) 16:00
TBC: Man City (H)

Although outsiders, it would be wrong to dismiss Wolves, who have had a good season. If Bruno Lage's men win their game in hand with West Ham, they would draw level on points with the east Londoners. However, the Black Country outfit will need to pull out all the stops in some difficult fixtures and even the assignment at Burnley next time out may cause problems with the Clarets scrapping for survival.

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