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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Predictions
With 10 gameweeks to go, here's how our writers think the Premier League will finish
The race for the coveted Champions League spots looks set to go to the wire.

Will Slattery

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Swansea City - Anfield PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

No. Chelsea will win with three or four games to spare.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

3. Who will be relegated this season?

Burnley, QPR and Leicester.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

None have really jumped out, to be honest.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

De Gea, Ivanovic, Terry, Fonte, Clyne, Matic, Fabregas, Sanchez, Coutinho, Silva, Aguero (4-5-1)

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

Not as good as last season.

Steve O’Rourke

Britain Soccer FA Cup Jon Super Jon Super

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

If Annie Power can fall at the last when looking set to win the Mares’ Hurdle by 15 lengths then anything can happen but, still, no.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal

3. Who will be relegated this season?

Aston Villa, Burnley, Leicester

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

Jonathan Walters is the best of a bad bunch isn’t he?

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

David De Gea (Man Utd), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Diego Costa (Chelsea) Sergio Aguero (Man City).

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

Manchester United aren’t very good.

Eoin O’Callaghan

Britain Soccer Champions League AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

Mourinho would never live it down if he lost it from here. And with Manchester City’s season rapidly disintegrating, there’s no other side that can get close enough to challenge Chelsea.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United

3. Who will be relegated this season?

I think Burnley and Leicester will go back down. But neither QPR or Villa have many winnable games left. There’s a bit of renewed optimism surrounding Sherwood but I’m not a fan of his management style. It’s certainly not suited to a relegation battle. Think it’s a shootout between him and Chris Ramsey but worth remembering that on the final day of the season Leicester take on QPR while it’s Villa v Burnley.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

A worryingly difficult question to answer. By process of elimination, Walters has been his usual cult-hero self and that perfect hat-trick against QPR was pretty memorable.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

De Gea (Man Utd), Ivanovic (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Fonte (Southampton), Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Matic (Chelsea), Henderson (Liverpool), Fabregas (Chelsea), Hazard (Chelsea), Costa (Chelsea), Kane (Tottenham),

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

Chelsea have been boringly consistent.

Fintan O’Toole

Britain Soccer Premier League AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

Nope. All the rest are faltering and Chelsea are getting the job in a style that Jose Mourinho loves.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool.

3. Who will be relegated this season?

QPR. Burnley, Leicester City.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

It’s been a poor year so far given the heights scaled last year by Irish players. Jon Walters has probably done best.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

De Gea (Man United), Clyne (Southampton), Fonte (Southampton), Terry (Chelsea), Ivanovic (Chelsea); Matic (Chelsea), Hazard (Chelsea), Sanchez (Arsenal); Kane (Tottenham), Costa (Chelsea), Aguero (Man City).

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

Maybe David Moyes wasn’t the problem after all.

Ryan Bailey

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Arsenal - Villa Park EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

Although their Champions League exit has shown Chelsea are not the unstoppable force we’ve been led to believe they are, the gap between themselves and the chasing pack is widening and under Mourinho they are a boringly consistent side that will get the job done with a handful of games to spare.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Man United.

3. Who will be relegated this season?

QPR. Burnley, Leicester City.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

There aren’t many candidates to choose from and while Jon Walters is the obvious choice, Ciaran Clark has become a regular at Villa after an indifferent couple of seasons. He’s one of very few Irish players playing week in, week out in the top-flight.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

De Gea (Man United), Clyne (Southampton), Terry (Chelsea), Reid (West Ham), Bertrand (Southampton), Sanchez (Arsenal), Matic (Chelsea), Fabregas (Chelsea), Coutinho (Liverpool), Kane (Tottenham), Austin (QPR)

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

Mourinho.

Niall Kelly

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Manchester City v Barcelona - Etihad Stadium EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

No. They’ll drop more points but nobody else, City included, has the consistency to catch them.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Liverpool in that order with United just missing out. That said, Liverpool are due a dip and United can only get better so fourth spot is on a knife edge.

3. Who will be relegated this season?

Leicester, Burnley and… Sunderland.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

None of the Irish lads in the Prem have even come close to matching Daryl Murphy at Ipswich, even when you take into account the drop in division.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

De Gea; Clyne, Ivanovic, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Henderson, Hazard; Kane, Costa, Aguero.

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Paul Fennessy

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Stoke City - Villa Park PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

1. Can you see anyone stopping Chelsea in the title race?

They let the 10 men of PSG back into the game when they seemed to be dead and buried, but I can’t see another slip from Mourinho’s men. They may well drop points in their last 10 matches, but none of their rivals look strong enough to capitalise.

2. Which four teams will get the Champions League spots?

Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool. United, Tottenham and Southampton are all similarly strong contenders for that third/fourth spot, but Liverpool have momentum on their side and are playing the best football of all the contenders right now.

3. Who will be relegated this season?

Leicester, Burnley and QPR are currently in the bottom three and I think that’s how it’ll finish. They look the three worst teams in the league from what I’ve seen.

4. Which Irish player has impressed you most so far?

Jonathan Walters gets plenty of criticism from both Stoke and Ireland fans, but there is a reason every manager he plays under seems to love him. Whether it’s out wide our up front, he has an excellent attitude and regularly influences games, as 10 goals in 26 appearances in all competitions attests. Ciaran Clark has also looked good since getting his place back at Villa.

5. Name your PL team of the season so far…

(4-4-2) De Gea; Ivanovic, Terry, Fonte, Azpilicueta; Sanchez, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard; Aguero, Costa.

6. Sum up the season in one word/sentence…

The good, the bad and the Mourinho.

Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrad troll former team-mates and opponents alike> 

‘Young players not ready to step up at this critical stage’ – O’Neill>

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