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Champions League

Premier League top four race: Liverpool’s fate in their own hands, Leicester or Chelsea may miss out

Liverpool will almost certainly finish in the top four of the Premier League if they win their three remaining games this season.

Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side over Manchester United on Thursday evening has heaped the pressure on Chelsea and Leicester City, who each have two games of the Premier League season remaining.

But for Liverpool the job is simple: win their remaining three matches and they will (barring a highly unlikely shift in goal difference) finish above at least one of Chelsea or Leicester.

The remaining fixtures

  • Leicester: Chelsea (18 May), Spurs (23 May)
  • Chelsea: Leicester (18 May), Aston Villa (23 May)
  • Liverpool: West Brom (16 May), Burnley (19 May), Crystal Palace (23 May)

The crucial Leicester vs Chelsea fixture

Leicester and Chelsea will face off in the Premier League next Tuesday, just days after their meeting in the FA Cup final, in a match that could effectively decide the race for Champions League qualification.

If Liverpool win their remaining three games they will finish the season on 69 points. But, with the two teams above them playing each other, it is mathematically unlikely that both Leicester (currently on 66 points) and Chelsea (64 points) will finish above the Reds.

Should the Foxes beat Chelsea then Tuchel’s side cannot make the top four if Liverpool win their three remaining matches.

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Should the game end in a draw then Chelsea cannot finish above Liverpool if they win their three remaining matches, but could deny Leicester a top four spot on the final day should the Foxes drop points against Tottenham.

Should Chelsea win then Leicester face the prospect of their top four place coming down to goal difference.

The goal difference permutation

If Leicester were to lose to Chelsea but win their final game of the season against Tottenham then it could come down to goal difference to separate the Foxes and Liverpool. But, for that to occur, Leicester would need to finish higher on goal difference.

As it stands, Rodgers’ side have a +21 goal-differential, with Liverpool on +20. But it would take a very unusual set of scorelines for the necessary results to leave Leicester ahead of Liverpool if they lose to Chelsea.

The current Premier League table

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