With the vast majority of English Premier League clubs having played 33 or 34 league games thus far, the 2011-12 Premier League campaign is slowly but surely coming to a close.
That being said, the race for the title, UEFA Champions League qualification, UEFA Europa League qualification and to avoid relegation to the English Championship are far from etched in stone.
At the moment, Manchester United are top of the table, while Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur round out the top four.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United are level on points with Spurs, but are fifth in the table because there goal difference, +8, is inferior to Spurs’ +19 goal difference.
Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea are currently in sixth place, two points behind Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, and have a +18 goal difference.
Now then, it’s time to predict which teams will qualify for next season’s Champions League.
To be perfectly honest, I think that the top three places are already decided, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal in line to qualify to Europe’s premier club football competition.
That leaves just one Champions League berth available for Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Chelsea.
And the fourth place winner is…Spurs!
Out of these three clubs, Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur have by far the easiest remaining schedule.
Spurs’ remaining five fixtures are against the likes of Queen Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Fulham. I believe that’s all you need to know.
Now let’s take a look at the relegation zone.
Realistically, there are five clubs in danger of relegation: Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bottom of the table Wolverhampton Wanderers are on 23 points through 34 league games, and are five points behind 19th-place Blackburn Rovers.
I think it’s safe to say that Wolves are destined for relegation.
In addition, 19th-place Blackburn also seem to be heading to the English Championship, leaving one place in bottom three up for grabs.
Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers are the three main contenders for the last relegation spot.
At the moment, Bolton are the favorites because they are currently two points adrift of both Wigan and QPR.
However, Wanderers do have two games in hand on Queens Park Rangers and one game in hand on Wigan Athletic.
With that said, I still expect Bolton to be the third and final victim of relegation from England’s top-tier.
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