After nine months of customarily bonkers action, the Premier League reaches its conclusion on Sunday with what promises to be an almighty scrap for survival in the world’s richest league between Everton, Leicester City and Leeds. With Manchester City having been crowned champions on Saturday and the Newcastle United, Manchester United duo having secured top four berths during the week, the fight for 17th will be the biggest matter to resolve on the final day of the season, though there is still one European spot up for grabs. Here is what you need to know for decision day in the top flight:
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- Date: Sunday, May 28 | Time: All matches kick off at 11:30 a.m. ET
- TV coverage:
Everton vs. Bournemouth, USA
Leeds United vs. Tottenham, CNBC
Leicester City vs. West Ham United, SyFy
Manchester United vs. Fulham, Bravo
All other matches, Peacock Premium
- Live stream: fuboTV (free trial)
- Relegation: Leeds -3300; Leicester – 600; Everton +300
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Two from three must go down: For once the equation at the bottom of the Premier League table is relatively simple. Indeed the entire relegation race could be decided at Goodison Park, where Everton know that a win over Bournemouth will guarantee their survival and relegate the two teams below them. Leicester and Leeds are vying to avoid joining Southampton in the Championship next season; the former host West Ham United at the King Power whilst the latter will be at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
In theory, Everton have just the sort of match you would want on the final day, facing off against a Bournemouth side with nothing but pride and a few million that come from a higher league position to play for. However, having won three of their first four home league games under Sean Dyche, the Toffees are winless at Goodison Park since. They have not scored two goals in a game on Merseyside since October 22.
If Everton draw or lose then an opportunity opens up. Leicester would simply need to win and then their safety would be guaranteed. The talent is there in Dean Smith’s squad but it has flashed extremely infrequently this season, can the likes of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans deliver in what is likely to be their final game for the Foxes? Nineteenth-placed Leeds, meanwhile, are almost certainly gone. Not only do they face a Tottenham side with a consolation prize to play for, but their atrocious goal difference means they need to win, hope Everton lose and that Leicester also drop points. They could also survive with draws for Everton and Leicester but only if they crush Spurs by three goals.
In all likelihood, this is going to be a shootout between Everton and Leicester, two giants of the Premier League era, an ever-present in one corner, the fairytale champions in the other.
The scrap for Europe: Brighton’s draw with Manchester City on Wednesday brought jubilant celebrations on the south coast, all soundtracked by that legendary Europa League anthem. They’ll be in the connoisseurs’ continental competition but who will go in the junior varsity tournament? Tottenham might secretly hope it isn’t them; Daniel Levy’s vision for the elite stadium in north London was hardly that it would host the NS Muras of the world two years out of three.
If Spurs would not be willing participants in the Europa Conference League, Aston Villa and Brentford certainly would be. Unai Emery’s side are the ones in control of seventh place and qualification, they need only beat Brighton at the Amex Stadium to be absolutely certain they will qualify. Tottenham can reach seventh with a win if Villa fail to whilst Brentford are real long shots going into their game against Manchester City. Not only will they need to beat the champions (something they have already done this season) but they would need both Villa and Spurs to fail to win.
Haaland vs. Chelsea: It has been the most engrossing contest of this Premier League season. The half a billion dollar team against the remorseless scoring machine… and it’s going right down to the final day. Can the 32 or so first team players of Chelsea combine for a goal tally that is better than inevitable Golden Boot winner Erling Haaland? Through 37 games the answer is yes, actually. After a 4-1 defeat to Manchester United they have 38 to their name. Haaland has 36. And yet they’re giving him the Football of the Year prize?
Who ends the season with more goals? The smart money is probably on Haaland. Brentford are a good defense but not as good as Chelsea’s opponents Newcastle. Anyway, Chelsea make it hard enough scoring against far less inviting opponents.
Everton are almost certainly going to take their survival battle down to the wire but they should just about scrape by Bournemouth, making irrelevant events at the King Power and Elland Road. As for the battle for seventh, it may just be that none of the three contenders manage to claim all three points. Aston Villa might just be able to scrape back into Europe with a draw.