The 2022-23 Premier League season is up and running after a long break of 75 days, and soon it will be followed by the famed Champions League. Exhilarating fixtures and results in the season opener have helped set the narrative of each team ahead of the campaign. In recent years, we have learnt the importance of finishing in the top four. Big clubs of England, which were once regulars in Premier League’s top four and played Champions League football regularly, now struggle to make it even to the top six.
While it’s safe to say that Manchester City and Liverpool will occupy two of the four Champions League spots by the end of the 2022-23 season, here are some teams who look likely to claim the two remaining spots.
Arsenal haven’t played Champions League football since the 2016-17 season and have only recently returned to the Europa League this year. Mikel Arteta and camp are rebuilding their squad and increasing squad depth as they aim for a top-four finish. Arsenal look very competitive this season after winning all of their pre-season games. Many fancy they will return to the top four by the end of this season. They have kick-started their 2022-23 season with a win against turf rivals Crystal Palace in a 2-0 away win. Things look bright for Arteta and his Gunners.
Tottenham have made use of this summer transfer window to increase squad depth as they prepare for their Champions League return. Manager Antonio Conte looks determined to achieve things with Spurs who remain trophyless. After a dismal 2020-21 season, Tottenham made an impressive comeback with a top-four finish the following season. They kick-started their 2022-23 season with an emphatic 4-1 win over Southampton. Now, they prepare to maintain their form and perhaps aim to end their title drought.
Chelsea find itself in a sticky situation following the change in club ownership and management. They have been unsuccessful in attracting most of their shortlisted talents to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window. However, the Blues have started their 2022-23 campaign with a 1-0 win over Everton. Moreover, they managed to sign Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly ahead of the season opener and are looking to sign more players before the transfer deadline. Amidst the internal crisis, many believe Thomas Tuchel can help the team recover from this phase and make it to the top four once again.
Amongst other clubs that have the potential to make it to the top four, Newcastle United and Leeds United stand out the most. The Saudi-backed Newcastle managed to sign Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, who was strongly linked with Arsenal, last season in the winter transfer window. The Toons were 19th in the league, fighting to avoid relegation before Eddie Howe was appointed manager. His massive recovery saw the team finish 11th on the final day of the 2021-22 season. Newcastle aim to go big this season with a top-four finish well within reach.
Leeds United looked resilient in the season opener against Wolverhampton, following a 2-1 win at Elland Road. One of Europe’s biggest spenders saw four of their new signings make their debut in a positive start to the campaign. Gaffer Jesse Marsh seems to have made some impressive recruitments in the summer transfer window as the Whites aim to return to their former glory. It shouldn’t be surprising if both Leeds and Newcastle finish in the top six, with the top four also a realistic possibility.
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