Everton, Leicester and Leeds look to avoid the drop, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Brentford are in the hunt for a Europa Conference League place, and Erling Haaland is on the verge of another top-flight record. Here’s what’s still left to play for on the final day of the Premier League season…
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The final day fixtures
- Arsenal vs Wolves
- Aston Villa vs Brighton – live on Sky Sports
- Brentford vs Man City
- Chelsea vs Newcastle
- Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest
- Everton vs Bournemouth – Live on Sky Sports
- Leeds United vs Tottenham
- Leicester City vs West Ham – Live on Sky Sports
- Manchester United vs Fulham
- Southampton vs Liverpool
Everton, Leicester and Leeds all still in danger
Image: The Premier League relegation battle is going to the final day of the season
The relegation battle is going right down to the wire.
With just one round of fixtures remaining, Everton (17th – 33 points), Leicester (18th – 31 points) and Leeds (19th – 31 points) are all in danger of dropping into the Championship with already-relegated Southampton.
You can watch the final battle for Premier League survival live on Sky Sports on May 28, with Everton vs Bournemouth and Leicester vs West Ham both to be shown live, with kick-off at 4.30pm.
‘Fans will tell us the score’ – Final words ahead of the final day…
Sunday 28th May 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm
West Ham United
Sunday 28th May 3:00pm Kick off 4:30pm
The relegation permutations
Everton will be certain of surviving if Leeds fail to beat Tottenham and Leicester don’t beat West Ham.
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As it stands, Leeds need a win to have any hope of staying up and could still be relegated even if they beat Tottenham and Everton don’t defeat Bournemouth because Leicester sit above them in the table on goal difference.
Leicester have to beat West Ham to have any hope of avoiding relegation, and hope Bournemouth can take something from their final-day game at Everton, and that Leeds don’t manage the unthinkable and overturn their nine-goal superior goal difference.
In the event that Leicester don’t win on Sunday, goal difference could yet prove decisive in a head-to-head fight to avoid the drop between Everton and Leeds.
Were Everton to draw with Bournemouth and Leeds to beat Tottenham then they would both finish the season on 34 points.
At present, Leeds’ goal difference is -27 and Everton’s -24. If Leeds were to win by three clear goals and Everton were to draw, Leeds would then finish above Everton on account of goals scored.
The race for Europe…
The identity of the top six is now confirmed, however, three teams are still fighting to take seventh and the final place in Europe that can be earned through league position.
As things stand, the European qualification picture is as follows:
- Champions League: Man City (Q), Arsenal (Q), Newcastle (Q), Manchester United (Q)
- Europa League: Liverpool (Q), Brighton (Q), West Ham (tbc)
- Europa Conference League: Aston Villa
Aston Villa (58 points), Tottenham (57 points) and Brentford (56 points) all go into the final day of the season with a chance of playing in next season’s Europa Conference League.
Maximum eight teams can qualify for Europe
The maximum that can qualify from domestic performance in the Premier League – either league position or by winning the FA Cup or Carabao Cup – is seven.
However, the places reserved for European titleholders are separate if a team does not qualify domestically.
With West Ham in the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League and unable to finish in the European places in the Premier League, it is possible that eight English teams could take part next season.
The ECL permutations
For Brentford to finish seventh, they have to beat City and hope that Villa don’t win against Brighton or Tottenham don’t win at Leeds.
Tottenham will finish above Villa if they beat Leeds and Unai Emery’s side are held to a draw or lose against Brighton.
However, Aston Villa will be certain of finishing seventh if they defeat Brighton. In the event that Villa draw, Tottenham lose and Brentford win, Brentford would finish seventh on goal difference.
What if West Ham win the Europa Conference League?
West Ham will earn a place in next season’s Europa League group stage should they beat Fiorentina in Prague on June 7.
As the Hammers will not qualify for Europe domestically, England would have eight teams in Europe next season.
What else to look out for on the final day…
Another record for Haaland?
Watch the historic moment when Erling Haaland scored an audacious chip against West Ham which was his 35th Premier League goal and also broke the record for most goals in a season
The destination of the Premier League title may already be known as Man City wrapped a third successive title last weekend, but Erling Haaland is on course for yet another league record when Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Brentford.
The 22-year-old has scored a phenomenal 52 goals in 48 games in all competitions – including a record-breaking 36 in 35 Premier League appearances.
He also has another record in his sights after his assist – his eighth of the season – for Phil Foden in City’s 1-1 draw with Brighton on Wednesday took his tally of goal involvements to 44.
That equalled the record set by Arsenal forward Thierry Henry, who scored 24 and provided 20 assists in the 2002/03 season, but Haaland has the chance to go one better on Sunday.
Rest or rhythm for cup finalists?
The biggest challenge Haaland might face in trying beat Henry’s record is that he might not start for City at Brentford.
For plenty of sides Sunday does indeed mark the end of the season, but for three Premier League teams there are finals to come, starting with the FA Cup final on Saturday June 3.
Manchester City face Manchester United at Wembley before City meet Inter Milan in the Champions League final on Saturday June 10. West Ham also have an eye beyond Sunday when they face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday June 7.
So, there is a balancing act for the managers to find. Do they rest their players ahead of what is to come or will they look to build rhythm and momentum ahead of huge games for all involved?
Can Fulham finish on a high?
It’s been a remarkable season for Fulham on their return to the Premier League.
There’s no doubt that one of the first goals for Marco Silva’s side would have been retaining their position in the top-flight, which they secured a while back. Until quite recently they still harboured hopes of sneaking into the European places, but a run of three straight defeats to Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool ended those dreams.
However, despite being firmly tucked into the middle of the table with a confirmed 10th place finish, Fulham still have one target within their grasp.
The Cottagers need a point at Old Trafford against Manchester United this Sunday to match their best Premier League points tally of 53, which was achieved under Roy Hodgson during the 2008/09 season.
On that occasion, Fulham finished in seventh, and while that cannot be beaten this campaign, setting a new club record for points in a Premier League season with victory at United would be some achievement from Silva’s squad.
England players to make a statement ahead of summer
Gareth Southgate named his England squad for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia on Wednesday and the last day of the season represents a final chance for many players to impress ahead of meeting up for the Three Lions camp.
Lewis Dunk and Eberechi Eze were the big winners. Dunk, who has only been capped once by his country, comes back into the international fold for the first time since 2018, while the uncapped Eze will be hoping for a first outing in international colours in June after a strong end to the season.
Eze's fine form…
Eberechi Eze has been involved in 14 goals in 37 Premier League games this season (10 goals, four assists), more than any other Crystal Palace player. Half of these have come in his last eight appearances (six goals and one assist).
There was also an England return for Trent Alexander-Arnold and he will get another chance to impress Southgate in his new hybrid role when Liverpool travel to already relegated Southampton.
Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips will be hoping for minutes for Man Utd and Man City respectively. Both have had limited game-time this season but they still remain in the international squad with Southgate sticking by two of England’s key performers at Euro 2020. With the FA Cup final between the two clubs next weekend, this could be another chance to get some match practice ahead of joining up with the England squad.
Injuries also cannot be ruled out with tired bodies around at this late stage in the season. Southgate is sure to be watching as he formulates his future plans so an impressive final day showing could be rewarded.
England's squad in full…
Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham)
Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
The time for goodbyes?
The transfer window might not be open yet, but the rumour mill is already in full swing ahead of what is already looking like a busy summer.
Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Ilkay Gundogan and Granit Xhaka are just a few of the big names that have already been linked with transfers away from their respective clubs.
Will Sunday provide a few more clues as to who might actually be on the move?
It is commonplace now for players to thank supporters after the final game of the season, but eagle eyes will be on the lookout for emotion and whether a wave to the crowd could have more meaning ahead of the transfer window opening on June 14.
It’s not just players either. Speculation is already building as to which managers could stay or go for next season. Could Roy Hodgson be tempted into another season at Crystal Palace or will there be another goodbye on Sunday? Julen Lopetegui’s future appears to be in doubt at Wolves, while Ryan Mason and Sam Allardyce’s short-term positions could come to an end at Spurs and Leeds respectively.
The key stats and facts ahead of the final day of the season
- Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White and Bukayo Saka have all played in all 37 of Arsenal’s Premier League games so far this season. The last time the Gunners had as many as four players play every one of their league games in a single campaign was in 1990-91 (David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould).
- Aston Villa have won their last six Premier League home games, scoring 12 goals and conceding just once. They last won seven in a row in the competition at Villa Park between December 1992 and February 1993.
- Following their 2-1 win at the Etihad in November, Brentford are looking to complete their second ever league double over Man City. They previously did so in 1937-38, but this is just the third campaign in which they’ve met since then.
- Chelsea are winless in their last seven home games in all competitions (D3 L4), their longest since a run of 10 between November 1987 and April 1988. The Blues have also failed to score in eight home games in all competitions this season, last failing in more in 1980-81 (9).
- Crystal Palace have lost just one of their last nine Premier League home games (W3 D5), and are unbeaten in all four since Roy Hodgson’s return (W3 D1). Only one of their five home defeats this season has come to a side from outside London (0-1 v Man City in March).
- Dwight McNeil is Everton’s top Premier League goalscorer this season with seven goals. As it stands, it’s the Toffees’ lowest scoring top scorer in a single campaign since 2001-02 (Duncan Ferguson and Tomasz Radzinski with 6).
- Defeat for Tottenham at Leeds would ensure no European football for them next season, for the first time since 2009-10. Indeed, it would mean they finish no higher than 8th, which would be their lowest finishing position since 2008-09 (also 8th).
- Failure to win against West Ham will see Leicester City relegated from the Premier League, just seven years after winning the league title under Claudio Ranieri. They would be the second side to be relegated from the division after winning it, after Blackburn Rovers (champions 1994-95, relegated 1998-99 and 2011-12).
- Manchester United have won all five of their Premier League games against promoted sides this season, last winning all six in a single campaign back in 2011-12.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been involved in 17 goals in 14 Premier League games since the start of March (11 goals, 6 assists), more than any other player in the competition in that time.
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