Gary Neville’s verdict on final top four depends on crucial Liverpool factor

The chasing pack in the race for the Premier League top four still have big work to do in the eyes of Gary Neville.

Sky Sports’ top pundit and co-commentator has delivered his latest verdict on who will qualify for the Champions League.

And this season’s battle to finish in the top four is harder to predict than ever before.

Leicester in third have been dragged back into the mix following their defeat at home to leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

They are four points clear of surprise package West Ham, who have a staggering 52 points from 30 games.

The Hammers took advantage of Chelsea and Tottenham’s slip-ups this weekend by beating Wolves 3-2 on Monday evening.

Thomas Tuchel’s Blues were leapfrogged and are now in fifth, one point behind West Ham.

Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are sixth and three points adrift of West Ham, as are reigning champions Liverpool – who Neville warns must improve their home form – in seventh.

Everton’s bid is faltering in eighth as they conceded late to draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace on Monday, leaving them five points off the east Londoners, although Carlo Ancelotti’s team still have an extra game in hand.

Before the West Ham match when Chelsea were still inside the top four alongside Leicester, United and City, Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football: “I think it will stay the same. I’ll stick with the four that are in there.

“But Liverpool could easily displace Chelsea, depending on how they [do at] Anfield, because Anfield has been a massive problem for them.”

After West Ham saw off Wolves at Molineux, Neville’s mind was not altered despite Moyes’ men jumping into fourth spot.

Neville continued: “I said before the game, Leicester… the top-three you think they will be in there.

“But even that tonight – I don’t think West Ham will make the top-four, as good a season as they’re having.

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  • “But it has brought Leicester back into a sort of a position where you think, they’re not as comfortable as I thought they were before the game, even though it’s not changed anything in terms of Chelsea, Tottenham or Liverpool.

    “It does make you think that result in terms of what is coming up in that West Ham-Leicester game that’s coming up.

    “Brilliant for West Ham, I think if Rice was fit they could potentially create a massive shock.

    “But I think they’ll just fall short and won’t get in the top-four.”

    West Ham’s visit from Leicester this coming Sunday is now crucial, and a home win at the London Stadium would move Moyes’ side within a point of the Foxes.

    Elsewhere, Liverpool welcome Aston Villa to Anfield on Saturday following their 7-2 mauling earlier in the campaign at Villa Park.

    Chelsea go to Crystal Palace the same afternoon, while Tottenham play Manchester United in north London on Sunday.

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