Premier League football will come to an unprecedented televised finale when the final day action takes place on Sunday.
Runaway leaders Liverpool ended 30 years of hurt when they lifted the trophy following victory over Chelsea on Wednesday.
Their closest challengers Manchester City enter the final matchday 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s champions. It is below these two that the real drama awaits, with so much still to play for at both ends of the table.
Premier League Set for Dramatic Conclusion
Champions League Places at Stake
Manchester United played out a drab 1-1 draw with West Ham United on Wednesday. In doing so, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sneaked into the top four for the first time since September.
The question for Solskjaer will be whether his side has enough left in the tank to stay there. They face fifth-placed Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in a match being billed as a winner-takes-all clash for Champions League football.
The truth for Manchester United is that a draw will be sufficient for them. The Red Devils will back themselves to continue their 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, knowing that doing so will secure their place among Europe’s elite.
Brendan Rogers will feel that his Leicester side will have to win. Victory for the Foxes will see them leapfrog their opponents. They could also go above Chelsea if Frank Lampard’s team are unable to find a way past Wolverhampton Wanderers in a difficult closing fixture of their own.
Europa League Target
Wolves and Tottenham occupy sixth and seventh in the table going into the final day. They find themselves separated by only a point.
Jose Mourinho’s side go up against an out-of-form Crystal Palace on Sunday, and will be hoping that Chelsea are too strong for Wolves in their game.
The mini-battle between Wolves and Spurs is full of intrigue in its own right. This is because finishing seventh will not be enough to guarantee Europa League football if Arsenal – who occupy tenth position in the league – win the FA Cup.
Premier League Relegation Dogfight
A three-way struggle to avoid relegation concludes on Sunday. After sacking their manager Nigel Pearson, Watford slipped into the bottom three following a 4-0 thrashing by Manchester City.
On 34 points, the Hornets may need to win a final-day showdown away at Arsenal if they are to have any chance of staying up.
Correspondingly, Aston Villa moved out of the drop zone on matchday 37 by securing a hard-fought win over Mikel Arteta’s side at Villa Park.
Dean Smith’s charges are currently safe on goal difference. A point away at in-form West Ham might be enough for them to stay up.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have 31 points but have not given up. They suffered heartbreak at the hands of Southampton last time out, and head to Goodison Park for one final roll of the dice against Everton.
The Cherries know that their fate is not in their own hands. They will need favours from elsewhere if they are to pull off a miraculous escape.
Goal difference could still prove their saviour.
Golden Boot and Premier League Assists Record
English strikers are enjoying good seasons this campaign with personal rewards on offer. With 23 and 21 goals respectively, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Southampton’s Danny Ings lead the way. Behind them sits Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 20.
Mo Salah and Raheem Sterling both have 19 league goals so far this season.
Manchester City face already-relegated Norwich City at home on Sunday. Should Sterling plunder 4 goals in that game, he will draw level at the top of the charts.
A record more likely to fall at the Etihad is Thierry Henry’s long-standing assists record of 20 in a single season. The Frenchman accomplished this in 2002/03, and will be interested to see if Kevin de Bruyne can surpass it.
The Belgian currently has 19 league assists to his name. Expect him to start on Sunday against Daniel Farke’s hapless side.
The Golden Glove
At the other end of the pitch, this one is a straight shootout between Manchester City’s Ederson and Burnley’s Nick Pope. Both goalkeepers currently have an impressive 15 Premier League clean sheets.
Ederson will be expecting to make that 16 against Norwich’s toothless attack. Burnley host Brighton & Hove Albion in their last fixture. Nick Pope will hope he can do the same.
All to Play For
The Premier League season is coming a close. But there is still a mighty long way to go.
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