3-way race for final Champions League places in EPL

The Red Devils have lost their last two Premier League games against Arsenal and Tottenham to end their hopes of finishing in the top four this season. While three wins from the three teams would leave the table as it is, there are many permutations that could potentially see a play-off for a place in the Champions League.

The only real area of interest now is over who will make it into the top four and claim a place in next season's Champions League.

Of course, if Liverpool failed to beat Middlesbrough while these results played out, it would produce a third-place play-off between City and Arsenal, rather than a fourth-placed one.

Sunderland, losers in nine of their last 12 games and relegated last month, were hardly a step up in class.

There had been little sign of Arsenal trying to chase down the top four as the game began in soporific manner, devoid of any intensity at either end, and it was Saints who had the best chances when a contest finally broke out around the half-hour mark.

Watford vs Manchester City coverage will then begin on Sky Sports 2 at 2.45pm, 15 minutes before kick-off.

But that's not how this works - if Liverpool lose 2-0 to Boro and Arsenal draw 1-1 against the Toffees, it's a Champions League play-off pure and simple, with fourth place on the line.

Scenario no. 2: Manchester City v ArsenalWhere anything's possible, depending on Liverpool.

Arsenal thought they'd scored early on, when Alexis Sanchez's long-range effort nestled into the bottom corner, but referee Roger East (correctly) ruled that the ball deflected off Olivier Giroud's arm on the way in.

"I've been in the business long enough to know the biggest mistake is counting points before you have them", Klopp said after the 4-0 win at West Ham.

News of City's goals against West Brom went down like a lead balloon at half-time and Monreal nearly deepened Arsenal's gloom with a comically miscued back pass that had Cech scrambling to keep it out.

But it would quite something if Liverpool, City and United had to square off post-season determine who takes the final spot.

Put simply, Liverpool must equal Arsenal's result and could even afford to lose to Middlesbrough by a single goal and still finish fourth if the Gunners draw.

Daniel Sturridge will lead Liverpool to Champions League, Arsenal will end in good form and look for Crystal Palace to triumph at Old Trafford. They secured their Premier League status with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hull City last weekend and will be playing without fear on Sunday.

  • Julie Sanders