Top four battle set to continue in 2013
Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton are battling it for the right to play Champions League football
The 2012-2013 Premier League season may well be one of the tightest campaigns we've seen for a good few years. It seems that many teams are now at the same level of performance, and anyone can beat anyone.
Traditionally, the Premier League has seen United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal dominate the top four.
Now, with Liverpool dropping off the pace, this season sees Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and even West Brom fighting a five-way battle for the Premier League’s third and fourth spot, while City and United slog it out in what seems to be a two-horse title race.
While it does seem City and United are the only two contenders for this year’s title, Roberto Mancini's side are by no means out of reach for the teams that sit directly below them, making this years season even more fascinating. Every weekend we ask the same questions about the top. Who will win the league? Who will get fourth? Could Spurs finish above Chelsea and Arsenal? Could Spurs even catch City?
As far as Champions League goes and as good as their season has been so far, West Bromwich Albion are sure to be out of the picture come the end of the season.
Everton are also this season’s surprise package. Not in terms of how well they are playing - we've seen these levels of performances for a few years now - but the fact that they actually made a good start to the season and are incredibly consistent.
A Champions League position is by no means out of reach, but they'll have to resist pressure from Chelsea in the January transfer window to keep star man Marouane Fellaini.
Fellow contenders Arsenal have lost a key player in Robin Van Persie, and sometimes the goals haven't flowed as much as they would have liked them to.
Internal unrest within Arsenal and a regular inability to keep a clean sheet has put their regular Champions League position in jeopardy.
Tottenham were almost written off before the season had even started due to the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas and a poor start to the season didn't provide much evidence to challenge these views.
However, Villas-Boas' men have made a strong comeback and have seemed to fix their problem of conceding late goals. Winning eight out of their last nine games with some talented names linked with a move to White Hart Lane, there isn't much that will stop AVB's men finishing fourth, third or maybe even second this season.
Going into the second half of the season with only six points separating Tottenham in 3rd and West Brom in 7th, the battle for a Champions League spot is set to be one of the fiercest for some time, and it’s likely to go right down to the wire.