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Hard to see past Liverpool for a top-four spot after Arsenal rout

| 10.02.2014

After a highly indicative weekend of Premier League action that saw fourth-placed Liverpool fire five past Arsenal for the first time in almost 50 years, the Reds look destined to rejoin the Champions League elite for the first time since 2009 at 4/11 odds.

Tottenham may have boosted their hopes of a top-four finish while denting Everton’s chances considerably with a smash-and-grab 1-0 home win, but Tim Sherwood’s side showed little during the narrow victory to suggest they are a good bet to make it at 3/1.

With the Manchester United car-crash showing little sign of getting back on track, we’ve had a gander at the Champions League qualification claims of the teams placed 4th-7th in the top flight.

Liverpool – 4th place, 50 points, 4/11 odds

The Reds’ 5-1 thumping of the Gunners was hardly an anomaly, as Brendan Rodgers’ side also bagged four-plus goals in recent wins against Everton and Stoke, as well as in five separate league triumphs during the first half of the campaign.

No team has won more league games at home this term than the Reds and with only Man Utd and Southampton of the top ten still to visit, the Merseysiders look nailed on for a Champions League return next season.

Tottenham – 5th place, 47 points, 3/1 odds

Spurs have now won six of the nine league games Sherwood has been in charge for, but the 1-0 points-grab against the Toffees owed more to the visitors’ lack of a centre-forward than any brilliance from the home team’s coach.

Emmanuel Adebayor’s well-taken 65th-minute winner from Kyle Walker’s quickly-taken free-kick was one of just two shots on target from the hosts over the 90 minutes and although the win kept them within three points of Liverpool, they still have to visit the Reds and Chelsea, plus Newcastle next time out.

Everton – 6th place, 45 points, 10/1 odds

The Toffees look out of it after dropping eight points in their last four games, especially as consecutive away losses have directly boosted their nearest rivals.

Roberto Martinez’s men made plenty of menacing runs in the first half at White Hart Lane, but without injured hotshot Romelu Lukaku Everton rarely looked capable of beating home goalie Hugo Lloris, who enhanced his already considerable reputation with another creditable performance.

Although Arsenal, Man City and Man Utd still have to travel to Goodison Park, the Merseyside blues’ recent reverses do not bode well for their chances.

Man Utd – 7th place, 41 points, 13/2 odds

A run of two wins, three losses and a draw in six 2014 Premier League matches looks to have killed-off the Red Devils’ already-fading hopes of regaining their Champions League spot through the top flight.

Considering David Moyes’ men have lost their last three in all competitions on the road, a trip to the Emirates next time out to face a dangerously wounded Arsenal side is unlikely to bring much respite.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune