Five into four doesn’t go! What order will Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Arsenal finish in?

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich apparently got rid of Phil Scolari due to a fear of not qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Whether or not the Russian couldn’t cope with the idea of not competing in Europe’s elite club competition, or whether they simply need the millions each club receives for playing in the competition, failure simply isn’t an option in his eyes. Will the club manage to stay in the top four of the Premier League this season?

Only Manchester United can be supremely confident of playing in the Champions League next season, with a twelve-point advantage over fifth-placed Arsenal, not to mention a game in hand. However, Liverpool could easily have lost at Portsmouth on Saturday, and their track record indicates that they are capable of a poor run between now and the end of the season.

Aston Villa have been the surprise package in the Premier League this term and currently occupy third place, thanks to their brilliant away form. However, are Martin O’Neill’s team in a false position, and will a lack of squad depth ultimately lead to them playing UEFA Cup football. Or will they leave Chelsea and Arsenal to battle it out amongst themselves for that fourth Champions League place?

The Blues are currently manager-less, after ousting Phil Scolari, although they still possess a big squad full of world class players. They clearly need to sort out their poor form at Stamford Bridge to ensure a place in the league’s top quartet, although Arsenal’s failure to achieve anything more than a draw in their past two matches means the Gunners are the ones who face missing out on playing against Europe’s finest next term.

What is your prediction for how the top five is going to pan out? Which team is going to miss out on Champions League football next season? Are Chelsea on a downward spiral, or will they recover now that Scolari has gone?

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