Tom Overend checks out the run in for the Top Four, and identifies where Wolves, Leicester and Manchester United may slip up in the final weeks.

The next five games will determine Chelsea’s fate next season in Europe next season. Sitting in fourth, any slip up in the final weeks could be punished with a return to Thursday Night Europa League Football next season.

Wolves, Leicester and Manchester United are their three closest challengers, and the performances of these teams will play a vital part in any final outcome for the Blues.

How Things Stand

Credit: SkySports

The Run In

Wolves:

Current Position: 6th, 52 points

Wednesday 8th JulySheffield United (a)
Sunday 12th July Everton (h)
Wednesday 15th JulyBurnley (a)
Monday 20th JulyCrystal Palace (h)
Sunday 26th JulyChelsea (a)

Wolves go into the final five needing to make up the most ground on their rivals. Away fixtures at faltering European Challengers Sheffield United and Burnley will present opportunities for much-needed victories.

It will be their match at home to Everton that will be the acid test as to whether Wolves can sustain their Top Four challenge into the final week of the season.

Manchester United:

Current Position: 5th, 55 points

Thursday 9th JulyAston Villa (a)
Monday 13th July Southampton (h)
Thursday 16th JulyCrystal Palace (a)
Wednesday 22nd JulyWest Ham (h)
Sunday 26th JulyLeicester (a)

Manchester United are the in-form team, unbeaten in their past seventeen games in all competitions.

Currently two points adrift of fourth, United have the simplest run of games on paper. They face teams only in the bottom half of the table until playing fellow challengers Leicester on the final day.

This leaves them strong challengers to end the season in the top four.

Chelsea:

Current Position: 4th, 57 points

Tuesday 7th JulyCrystal Palace (a)
Saturday 11th July Sheffield United (a)
Tuesday 14th JulyNorwich (h)
Wednesday 22nd JulyLiverpool (a)
Sunday 26th JulyWolves (h)

Frank Lampard’s team have a tough job on their hands to cling on to the final Champion’s League position.

Tough away fixtures at Selhurst Park and Bramall Lane subside to winnable games at home to relegation-doomed Norwich and already crowned champions Liverpool.

The final game at home to Wolves could possibly become a European playoff if they stutter.

Leicester:

Current Position: 3rd, 58 points

Tuesday 7th JulyArsenal (a)
Sunday 12th July Bournemouth (a)
Thursday 16th JulySheffield United (h)
Sunday 19th JulyTottenham (a)
Sunday 26th JulyManchester United (h)

Stuttering front-runners Leicester have the toughest run in. Away fixtures at resurgent Arsenal and relegation-threatened Bournemouth will be tough.

A trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the penultimate day exposes Brendan Rodgers to Jose Mourinho, whom he has yet to beat in his managerial career.

The visit of Manchester United on the final day will test the mettle of the side that were Liverpool’s closest challengers at the summit as recently as December.

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