Chelsea Leading Favorites to Finish in Top 4 as Premier League Returns to Play

Frank Lampard fist pump

Frank Lampard and his Chelsea squad look poised for a strong finish in the EPL, which resumes June 17. Photo from @brfootball (Twitter).
  • The Premier League restarts on Wednesday with back-to-back matches following a prolonged suspension of the season
  • Liverpool are set to win their first title in the Premier League era and there’s a fierce battle for top four and top six spots
  • Get odds and betting analysis below

The long-awaited return of the Premier League is finally here. June 17 will be an historic day as the league gets back underway with matches kicking off back-to-back. It will be the first Premier League action since March 9.

While Liverpool’s Premier League title is sewn up, and Manchester City are cosy in the top four, there’s a ferocious battle for the Champions League and Europa League spots behind them. Just eight points separate fourth-placed Chelsea from ninth-placed Arsenal.

Wolves and Sheffield United are pushing for a European spot, with Manchester United currently occupying fifth place, three points behind Chelsea.

English Premier League Placement Odds

Team Odds to make top four Odds to make top six
Manchester City -25000 N/A
Leicester City -600 -25000
Chelsea -150 -1200
Manchester United +175 -500
Wolves +500 +110
Tottenham +1000 +150
Sheffield United +1200 +300
Arsenal +1800 +300
Everton +10000 +2000
Burnley +25000 +6600
Crystal Palace N/A +10000
Southampton N/A +20000
Newcastle United N/A +50000
Brighton N/A +100000

Odds taken Jun. 14.

Chelsea In Pole Position

Chelsea have been the center of Premier League news in recent weeks, landing Timo Werner and being linked with Kai Havertz. Frank Lampard’s side are the betting favorites to take the final Champions League spot, too.

Teams with injuries are set to benefit most obviously from the league’s suspension. Chelsea were a battered squad when the league was halted in March, but are expected to be near full-health when matches return this week. N’Golo Kante returned to training, too.

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Pre-break form, however much that matters, was mixed for Lampard’s Blues. Chelsea had been patchy since the turn of the year, struggling to convert chances and slipping up defensively too often. Their second match after the league restarts sees them face Manchester City and they still have matches to come against fellow top-four hopefuls Sheffield United and Wolves, as well as champions elect Liverpool.

Schedule Challenges

Chris Wilder is pushing Jurgen Klopp for Manager of the Year. Sheffield United were on a charge and of the contending teams in the 2020 EPL odds, the Blades will have attracted plenty of interest at their price. Their form before the break (they won five of six) cannot be overlooked.

To say Sheffield United have overachieved would be a gross understatement. This is a freakishly good season for a team that many tipped to go straight back down. They have a game in hand (which will be played on Wednesday) that can put them two points behind Chelsea, but their schedule is far from kind to close out the season.

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The Blades face Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal in their final 10 matches. Having drawn against all four of those opponents earlier in the campaign, perhaps it looks more daunting on paper than it really is, but it’s hard not to wonder if the league’s suspension came at the worst time for Wilder’s side. The momentum, the form they had built up earlier in the year, has been as good as wiped from memory. A clean slate is unlikely to be in their favor, as is reflected in +1200 price to make the top four.

Given their knack for exceeding all expectations, however, a top-six berth is a much more reasonable proposition. At +300, that’s a tempting bet.

Break Benefits Spurs

Tottenham were on a major slide when the season was stopped. It was six matches without a win, including five defeats, for Jose Mourinho’s team. Time to regroup and for Harry Kane to recover changes their outlook drastically, one would imagine. They have a north London derby to come, they face Sheffield United in early July and meet Leicester in their penultimate match, but there are plenty of winnable games left on the schedule.

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Kane, Heung-Min Son and Steven Bergwijn should all be available for the league’s restart. Dele Alli will miss the first match back through suspension, but there are no injury concerns for the England international beyond that.

There are problems at Tottenham. The midfield remains an overbearing question mark, but if we are looking at this as a fresh start, they are a team in position to benefit more than most. Chelsea should hold onto the top four, but the +150 on Spurs to clinch a top-six spot is decent value.

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