By Ronnie Allen
The Irons are still scrapping away for that seventh spot current holders Watford, Wolves and Everton all flat out to finish best of the rest.
For anyone of them seventh place would see them laying down solid foundations for more success next season.
The signs are that the race for the seventh place is going to be fiercely contested among these four teams to the very end presenting a chance of winning some serious monry.
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The next handful of league fixtures of each team will have a huge say in which team finishes seventh at the end of the season.
Wolves have enjoyed a magnificent season after promotion under boss Nuno Santo. The club made good use of the manager’s link with super agent Jorge Mendes and brought in some excellent Portuguese players with his help, Ruben Neves being a great example.
They have played exceptionally well against all the teams below them. Not only that they have squeezed out some good results against the top teams. They got a point each against City and United, and a win against Spurs being the most remarkable. However they have to play Chelsea and United within the next five league matches where they could potentially drop points.
Javi Garcia’s appointment at the beginning of the season has worked wonders for Watford. The new manager has really got the best from a squad which is unchanged from last year. They began strongly with a couple of victories and a draw and sent out a strong message.
They are level on points with Wolves but they have a tough job ahead of them if they want to stay ahead of them. They play title contenders Liverpool and City and a resurgent Manchester United team in their next five games.
West Ham made huge investmentshoping for a Europa league spot under Manuel Pellegrini. But our performances at the start of the season were so miserable that relegation talk wouldn’t go away. At present we are in ninth only four points behind Watford and Wolves. n.
We are the only team on this list who play only one top six opponent in the space of next five games. On top of that we play relegation fodder Huddersfield during that period. This gives us a massive advantage over our rivals and renewed hope of finishing seventh.
Marco Silva was chosen as boss at the start of the season to lead this expensively assembled squad.
He has put his mark on the team which is now playing with an attacking flair and always wants to take the game to the opposition.
However, the club has failed to fill the hole left by a certain Romelu Lukaku and until they get a striker who can score 20 goals a season it’s all going to be very hard work.
They are the least likely to leapfrog Wolves this season for reasons mentioned above and they have a tough run of fixtures in the next 30 days which will severely affect their chances of finishing in that prized seventh position.