The three London clubs hoping to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season have been handed a timely boost.
Chelsea currently occupy fourth place in the table and are in pole position for a place in next season’s Champions League, but they have competition as a result of a dip in form lately.
Tottenham were 12 points adrift when Jose Mourinho took over from the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, but have cut that gap to six points, although they too have suffered a recent dip in form.
Manchester United are currently the closest challengers, just five points shy of the Blues in fifth place, while Arsenal are nine points behind Frank Lampard’s side, but are showing signs of a recovery under new head coach Mikel Arteta.
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It is sure to be another interesting race between the four clubs for what looks to be just one remaining Champions League place, even at this early stage of the campaign, with Liverpool way out in front at the top of the table and Leicester city and Manchester City in behind them.
But the London sides have been given a timely boost in the race for the top four by Manchester United’s draw in the third round of the FA Cup against Wolves on Saturday evening.
The goalless draw means United and Wolves, who themselves will have an eye on a top four finish just six points shy of Chelsea, will play out a replay at Old Trafford – an extra fixture neither side will want.
It will add to an already bulging fixture list for both sides, with the replay to be fitted in during the week of Monday, January 13.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline at the Emirates Stadium (Image: Ben STANSALL / AFP)
United have a Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester rivals City on Tuesday night, with the return leg on Wednesday, January 29.
And a replay…