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The Premier League final showdown

The curtain draws close on the Premier League season this weekend with competition for places in Europe and relegation survival finally put to bed.

In this article, we examine those in contention to qualify for the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League alongside relegation. We as well discuss the potential implications of the outcome of fixtures on the last day of the league.

The Premier League trophy showdown

The Premier League title fight between Manchester City and Liverpool will be going down on the last day of the season, and Pep Guardiola’s team looks likely to prevail. 

Although a last-day stunner remains possible, after a 5–1 thrashing of Wolves on Wednesday, City was forced to play a 2–2 stalemate at West Ham on Sunday which reduced their lead over Liverpool to one point. Positively, they have a 6+ goal differential heading into the final day. 

All is in City’s hand as they would retain the title if they win their home finale against Aston Villa. A draw or loss would give Liverpool the chance to win the title and keep their quadruple dream alive if they beat Wolves at Anfield.

Going to Europe: the hopefuls and hopeless 

Manchester City (90 points), Liverpool (89 points), and Chelsea (70 points) have all been guaranteed places in next year’s Champions League that leaves two teams, Tottenham and Arsenal vying for the final UCL spot.

Tottenham Hotspur (68 points) has a considerable advantage with superior goal difference of 24 goals to Arsenal’s 9 goals and 66 points, which means Spurs will qualify for the Champions League if they at least draw against bottom-of-the-table Norwich City on Sunday. 

Arsenal, on the other hand, are the hopefuls. They must beat Everton at home and pray that Norwich comes through for them by defeating Spurs at Carrow Road. Losing the match would mean Arsenal will snatch the advantage from Spurs and qualify for the UCL next season. 

As it stands one of either Spurs or Arsenal will join either Manchester United or West Ham depending on the result of both teams’ fixtures on the EPL final showdown.

The race for the second Europa League spot will go down to the wires. Manchester United (58 points) now hold the lead position but West Ham United (56) are just two points behind and have a far better goal difference of 11 goals.

On the last day, a win for West Ham at Brighton would render Manchester United hopes of going to the Europa hopeless only if Manchester United draws or loses against Crystal Palace. Should this happen United would switch places with West Ham and will be heading to the third tier of European competition next season.

As no other side is in contention for a place in Europe, both are assured of at least a place in Europe next season.

Relegation showdown

Watford and Norwich City are already relegated with Fulham and Bournemouth returning to the Premier League to take their places. That leaves one spot in the second-tier Championship still up for grabs. It comes down to Everton, Burnley and Leeds. 

Everton and Burnley have a game in hand for Thursday night. The outcome of these matches could change the dynamics of the relegation battle on the last day and the mood of Jesse Marsch and his struggling side.

Just after the weekend, 16th-place Everton (who lost to Brentford after conceding two goals in two minutes) has 36 points, while 17th-place Leeds (which drew a last-gasp match against Brighton) has 35. Burnley is on 34 points after losing to Tottenham, but it has an untouchable goal differential over Leeds if it comes to it.

If Everton wins their outstanding match against Crystal they are automatically exempted from the relegation showdown on the last day. However, if Burnley wins theirs against Aston Villa they would still need a point on the last day to survive the relegation showdown and seal Leeds fate.

Last August, finishing 17th was probably not a goal for any of the three, but today it’s all that matters.

Showdown fixtures and predictions

Chelsea vs Watford –Thomas Tuchel will be working hard to lift his Chelsea side following a gut-wrenching FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday to end the season on a high note. Our prediction is Chelsea to win with over 3.5 goals.

Arsenal vs Everton – With a top-four finish now almost out of reach and hanging on Teemu Pukki and his team’s neck, Arsenal will host Everton at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon in their last game of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Our prediction is Both teams to score -Yes.

Norwich vs Tottenham – Tottenham’s  top-four fate is in their own hands as they prepare for their final Premier League match of the season against Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road. Our prediction is Over 9.5 corners.

Liverpool vs Wolves – In addition to a win, Liverpool must hope that table-toppers Manchester City drop points at home to Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa to give them a chance of lifting the EPL Trophy. Our prediction is  Liverpool to score first.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa – City appear to be on track to win their fourth Premier League title in five years, but strange things have happened before on the final day. Our prediction is Home to win with Over 3.5 goals.

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United – The Red Devils will travel to Palace in sixth place, two points ahead of seventh-placed West Ham United, who will travel to Brighton & Hove Albion in the battle for a place in next season’s Europa League. Our prediction is Manchester United to win or Draw.

Brighton vs West Ham –  Brighton & Hove Albion will be hoping to do Man United a favour by cementing their going to the Conference League next season. Our prediction is Both teams to score -Yes

Brentford vs Leeds – Brentford host Leeds United on the final day of the Premier League season, with three points crucial for Jesse Marsch’s team to prevent relegation to the Championship. Our prediction for this match is Brentford win or draw.

Leicester vs Southampton – Leicester defeated Southampton 2-0 in the Premier League earlier this season, the first time they have done so in the same season since the 2011/12 Championship season. Our prediction is Both team to score and Under 4.5 goals .

Burnley vs Newcastle – Burnley will face Newcastle on the final day of the season, with their Premier League status at stake. Our prediction is Draw no bet 1.

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