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Maurizio Sarri, manager of Chelsea, looking to bring the team in fourth place in the Premier League, and into the Champpions League for next season
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Which Premier League team truly deserves the fourth spot and access to the Champions League

It’s an odd and brilliant year for British football. Four Premier League clubs are involved in the UCL and UEL semi-finals. Liverpool and Manchester City look bound to finish the campaign with almost 100 points apiece. And, the teams eyeing a fourth-place finish in the league, are facing sharp fan criticism. Let’s take a peek at the FootballCoin stats and see which team deserves the final Champions League spot the most.

Chelsea

Similarly to Arsenal, Chelsea started the season well. Fans were intrigued, and generally enthusiastic, of the methods employed by new manager Maurizio Sarri. But, the relationship quickly soured. Sarri has seemed a man possessed by a desire to implement his style of playing at any cost. This has resulted in a mixed bag of results. And, for all the promise of attacking football, Chelsea may just be the most boring of the sides attacking a top-four finish.

hazard belgium world cupWhat do the FootballCoin stats tell us? In Eden Hazard, Chelsea have the league’s highest scoring player in FootballCoin. The Belgium maestro’s performances are one of the main reasons why Chelsea’s hopes for UCL qualification remain alive.

But, the other starting players have generally been disappointing. Jorginho, Sarri’s appointed general on the green, has indeed scored 1124 points. While that is impressive, the lack of coordination with the rest of his teammates has often put Chelsea at risk. Players like Kepa, Kovacic, and Barkley have had underwhelming showings. And, the manager’s insistence to play N’Golo Kante out of position, has dampened the World Cup winner’s potential.

Sarri has also raised eyebrows for refusing to grant more playing time to Chelsea’s burgeoning generation of youngsters. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been a rare presence in the EPL, enjoying his debut as a starter for England, before he did it with Chelsea. Andreas Christensen has remained all but forgotten on the bench, or in the stands. And, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has never been promoted from the role of a bit-part player.

Arsenal

The Gunners had a very good first quarter of the season. After a number of disappointing years, it looked like blue skies were on the horizon under the direction of new manager Unai Emery. The season has continued to include some highlights, but, frankly, in many respects, Arsenal is back to their old ways circa 2017. The 3-1 defeat to Wolves last night has shown this clearly.

Aubameyang and guendouzi - arsenal, two of our main fantasy Premier League tipsWhat do the FootballCoin stats tell us? Much like last year, the Londoners are simply not getting enough out of their star players. Ozil has managed a measly 666 points and Mkhitaryan only 637. With this in mind, the club should be more than willing to part with the pair. That is, provided any clubs are willing to pay Arsenal’s asking price.

Some improvements have been noticeable though, especially in the attacking department. Often castigated for his lack of attacking prowess, two of Arsene Wenger’s final two transfers have performed well. The players in question are Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both near the 1000 point mark in the FootballCoin season. A top-four finish might happen, but Arsenal’s main concern at this stage should be the Europa League, a competition in which they stand a better chance of impressing their critics.

Manchester United  

The Red Devils are the living embodiment of the proverb warning against the hardship of living through interesting times. United has faced numerous setbacks this season. Growing discontent led to the dismissal of manager Jose Mourinho midway through the campaign. Then, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment felt like a breath of fresh air for a couple of months. But, the oxygen tanks are once again all but empty.

Paul Pogba - Manchester United, France, disappointed following defeat in last UCL group matchWhat do the FootballCoin stats tell us? Stats are beyond personal impression. United’s players have been under fire recently, with the club likely to attempt to offload a lot of them in the summer. No fewer than 23 EPL players have achieved more than 1000 points in the FootballCoin season already. Out of them, only Paul Pogba (1380 points) represents United.

Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and David De Gea, who have played most of the season’s games, are not far behind the 1000 mark. But, the fact remains that they’ve been heavily error-prone. This is reflected in the fact that much less famous players stand above them in individual rankings. Lucas Digne and Ricardo Pereira have been much better defenders this season. West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski has done a better job in goal. Those stats are telling of United’s need to get more out of the individual performances of their squad members. Fans may be demanding changes, but we are likely to see the majority of the current squad members in a Man. United shirt next season.

Which team deserves to finish fourth?

All three clubs have largely failed under the weight of expectation. But, in the growing confusion, it feels like Arsenal and Manchester United have the most amount of work to do in the summer. The mental fragility of some of their players, as well as the lack of ability displayed by others, has weighed on their results.

Chelsea’s performances have been frustrating for sure. But, the club does have a handful of truly excellent players, Hazard, Kante, Azpilicueta, that are carrying the team. They also have a number of potential wonderkids, that if given confidence by their management may develop into EPL stars. Maurizio Sarri may be leading his first, and final, campaign in charge of Chelsea, but the Stamford Bridge side are the main candidates to finish fourth in the incredibly competitive Premier League.

Who are you banking on to bring their best in the final stages of this season? Join the FootballCoin community and show your fellow managers what your fantasy team looks like. There is XFC cryptocurrency at stake, for the top managers.

Eduard Bănulescu

 

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