The final day typically conjures up memories of jubilance and heartache in equal measure, and this year looks set to be no different. Join us as we run you through all the Premier League permutations at either end of the table.
Premier League Permutations
Manchester United needed just one point from their remaining two games to secure Champions League football, and made no mistake in midweek with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
The Red Devils and Newcastle join Manchester City and Arsenal to complete England’s four teams for next season, and they will bother be vying for a third-place finish on the final day to avoid the extra qualifying rounds that come with finishing fourth.
With Manchester United ending Liverpool’s six-year stint in Europe’s elite competition, a return to the Europa League for Jurgen Klopp’s men was confirmed ahead of the final day – a competition in which they reached the final in his first season as manager seven years ago.
The Reds have already secured qualification for Europe’s second tier of competition, while Brighton’s 1-1 draw with champions Manchester City on Wednesday was the crowing moment to a staggering season, which will see them compete on the continent for the first time in the club’s history.
Europa Conference League
Aside from the gut-wrenching battle at the foot of the table, the race for Europa Conference League qualification is perhaps the unpredictable narrative heading into the final day.
Aston Villa, Tottenham and Brentford can all secure a place on Sunday, with the former currently holding a firm grasp on the seventh place.
Unai Emery’s astonishing turnaround in the midlands wasn’t quite enough to reach their lofty Europa League ambitions, but Villa will qualify for the Conference League if:
- They win at home to Brighton.
- They draw with Brighton and both Tottenham and Brentford drop points.
- They lose to Brighton, Tottenham lose and Brentford don’t win.
Elsewhere, Tottenham fans will be eager for their disastrous season to come to end, and although they most likely won’t be too bothered by Conference League football, they will qualify should:
- They register three point away at Leeds and Aston Villa fail to win.
- They share the points with Leeds, Aston Villa lose and Brentford drop points.
For a side who were playing in League Two less than 15 years ago, Brentford’s desire to make a crack at European football will be strong on the final day. They will have to find a way past a relentless Manchester City side, but may take comfort in the fact the champions drew against Brighton in midweek.
They will qualify, if:
- They claim all three points against Manchester City and both Villa and Spurs fail to win.
With Nottingham Forest claiming a memorable win over Arsenal to ensure their survival, and Southampton’s destiny in the Championship already decided, it leaves two relegation spots open with three teams all clambering to escape.
Everton undoubtedly have the greatest chance of survival on paper. Sean Dyche’s team have been hot and cold all season, but they are currently two points clear of the relegation zone and arguably have the most favourable final day fixture among the stragglers.
Bournemouth, who have lost all of their previous three, stand between them and Premier League safety, which can be secured if:
- They beat Bournemouth.
- Bournemouth hold them to a draw, Leicester drop points and Leeds fail to win by three goals or more.
- They lose and both Leicester and Leeds drop points.
Elsewhere, Leicester picked up what may prove to be a valuable point away at Newcastle last time out, but Dean Smith faces a tall order if they are to find a way past West Ham. Coincidentally, the clean sheet they registered at St James’ Park was their first in the Premier League since facing the Hammers sixth months ago.
They will ensure their safety, if:
- They beat West Ham and Everton fail to win.
Greatest Premier League Relegation Escapes
Lastly, ‘survival specialist’ Sam Allardyce may be on course for a second successive relegation in what appears to be a ‘too little, too late’ scenario for Leeds.
Nevertheless, the Elland Road faithful will do everything they can to get them over the line, and they may fancy their chances against a sorry looking Tottenham side.
They will play Premier League football once more next year, if:
- They win, Everton lose and Leicester drop points.
- They beat Tottenham by three or more goals, Everton draw and Leicester fail to win.
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