Glenn Hoddle and Rio Ferdinand fear for stumbling Leicester's top four chances and tip West Ham  


Glenn Hoddle and Rio Ferdinand fear for stumbling Leicester’s top four chances amid a ‘hangover’ from last season’s collapse… with both pundits backing West Ham and even Liverpool to storm through and snatch a Champions League spot

  • Leicester are vulnerable after Friday night’s surprise 4-2 loss to Newcastle 
  • They have still five points above West Ham in fifth but have a daunting run-in
  • The Hammers can cut that gap to just two points against Everton on Sunday
  • Chelsea split the two teams in an exciting race for the Champions League spots
  • Glenn Hoddle and Rio Ferdinand both believe West Ham will swap with Leicester
  • The BT Sport pundits also believe Liverpool can make late top four surge 

Glenn Hoddle and Rio Ferdinand have expressed their fears for Leicester’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League – with West Ham tipped to come through and finish in the top four.

Leicester collapsed to a 4-2 home defeat against Newcastle United on Friday night and have a daunting final set of fixtures against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Brendan Rodgers’ side remain third in the Premier League table but their latest setback has offered fourth-placed Chelsea and fifth-placed West Ham optimism they can be overhauled.

West Ham have been backed to make a late surge and qualify for the Champions League

West Ham have been backed to make a late surge and qualify for the Champions League

Leicester slipped up in their pursuit of a top four place as they lost 4-2 to Newcastle United

Leicester slipped up in their pursuit of a top four place as they lost 4-2 to Newcastle United

BT Sport pundits Glenn Hoddle (left) and Rio Ferdinand (right) fear for Leicester's position

BT Sport pundits Glenn Hoddle (left) and Rio Ferdinand (right) fear for Leicester’s position

Top four race – Remaining games 

Leicester City

May 11 Man United (A)

May 18 Chelsea (A)

May 23 Tottenham (H)

Chelsea

Saturday Man City (A)

May 12 Arsenal (H)

May 18 Leicester (H)

May 23 Aston Villa (A)

 

West Ham

Sunday Everton (H)

May 15 Brighton (A)

May 19 West Brom (A)

May 23 Southampton (H)

Liverpool

Saturday Southampton (H)

May 13 Man United (A)

May 16 West Brom (A)

May 19 Burnley (A)

May 23 Crystal Palace (H)

Chelsea head to Manchester City on Saturday night in a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final on May 29, while West Ham host Everton on Sunday afternoon.

The Hammers could be just two points behind Leicester come the end of the weekend and have a much more favourable run-in against Brighton, West Brom and Southampton.

Speaking on BT Sport, Hoddle said: ‘Leicester have got the FA Cup final on their minds as well. It’s going to be a very, very hard task for me to win those games.

‘I have got a sneaky feeling that Leicester might just slip out. I think West Ham sneak in.

‘The pressure is off, they’re having a ball at the moment. They weren’t expecting to be fighting for the Champions League.

Leicester's James Maddison shows his dejection during Friday night's surprise defeat

Leicester’s James Maddison shows his dejection during Friday night’s surprise defeat

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers attempts to console his players after the major setback

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers attempts to console his players after the major setback 

‘West Ham have to keep their nerve. They can be more relaxed about it.

‘If they end up in the Europa League, it’s still a fantastic season. With [Jesse] Lingard playing well, they’ve got a good team. They’ve got a good balance, good defending and can score goals.’

Ferdinand agreed that Leicester are vulnerable to a repeat of last season’s collapse, when they dropped out of the top four only on the final weekend.

He said: ‘West Ham will be sitting there with the confidence and momentum they’ve got and saying the’ve got a crack on this.

‘I think Leicester might swap places with West Ham and Chelsea move up to third.

‘I think Brendan Rodgers has done a fabulous job, you can’t undermine what he’s done. I think there’s a hangover in that squad from last season. It’s very difficult to get that mental shift.

Liverpool have a pretty favourable run-in and could yet break into the top four positions

Liverpool have a pretty favourable run-in and could yet break into the top four positions 

‘West Ham have benefited more from having no fans. It’s sometimes a difficult place to be.

‘When you’re under a bit of pressure, it’s not easy to play in front of.’

Both pundits agreed that reigning Premier League champions Liverpool, who are seven points off the top four but retain a game in hand, could yet come through the pack.

Aside from next Thursday’s rearrange trip to Old Trafford, Jurgen Klopp’s side have a favourable run-in that sees them face Southampton, West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea could yet win the Champions League but are still aiming for a top four league finish

Chelsea could yet win the Champions League but are still aiming for a top four league finish

They would in all likelihood have to win all five matches to qualify for the Champions League.

Ferdinand said: ‘I think Liverpool are a team capable of winning every single game on that list. Liverpool are the team that could do it really.’

Hoddle added: ‘They’ve really got to mentally get their heads together to look like a class horse that can come through and finish in the top four.’

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