The Premier League is approaching the final run-in and yet very little is actually settled at either end of the table.
There is yet to be clarity on who will win the title, who will finish fourth in the table, and who will avoid finishing 18th and dropping into the Championship.
For many teams, such as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, there is just one game of their season left, but there remain some sides in the league who have two to go, and that could make all the difference depending on where they currently sit in the league standings.
We’ve looked at the permutations going into the final week of fixtures, and we’ve also taken a look at which side in each scenario is likely to get what they want!
Have a look below.
WHICH PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES WILL BE ON TV?
This is a good question and there are a number of games that are going to be viewable on television in the run-in.
As it stands, these are the games that have currently been announced for TV are as follows.
- Newcastle United v Arsenal – Monday May 16th 2022 – 8pm kick-off – Sky Sports.
- Southampton v Liverpool – Tuesday May 17th 2022 – 7:45pm kick-off – Sky Sports.
No other games have yet been announced for television but it’s likely that most of the final day games will air on TV, especially those that are important.
WHO WILL WIN THE TITLE?
This is going to the wire.
Pep Guardiola’s side now have 90 points going into the final game of the season and they are four clear of Liverpool, although the Reds have a game in hand.
If Liverpool lose to Southampton, the title race is over, and City will be crowned champions without kicking another ball.
A draw would all but hand the title to City, too, by virtue of their superior goal difference. They have a 72 GD, while Liverpool’s is 65.
Were Liverpool to draw, and City then lost on the final day, it would be mathematically possible for the Reds to win the league, but they would need to beat Wolves and hope for an eight-goal swing. If City lost 1-0, Liverpool would need to win 7-0, for example. It is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely.
For Liverpool to win the title, they need to beat Southampton – a healthy goalscoring margin would help – and then beat Wolves. They would also have to hope that Villa do them a favour by taking points off City on the final day. Liverpool winning their final two games and City drawing would mean the Reds end the season with 92 points, while City end with 91. These are razor-thin margins.
There is also the very unlikely scenario of the two sides being locked completely level on the final day. Premier League rules state that a 39th match will be used to determine the champions if two sides are level on points, goal difference, goals scored and in the head-to-head results between them.
This would require Liverpool to take four points from their final two games, and for City to lose to Villa. If City lost 1-0, their goal difference would revert to 71. Liverpool would have to beat Southampton 5-0 and draw 1-1 on the final day, or vice versa. That would leave the two clubs locked completely level on points, goal difference, goals scored, and the head-to-head results.
That would mean a 90-minute fixture would be required to determine the Premier League champions. It’s not very likely but it is mouthwatering in prospect.
PREDICTION: Manchester City win the title. per FiveThirtyEight’s detailed statistical model, City have an 86% chance of lifting the trophy, while Liverpool have a 14% chance. It would require a major slip from Pep’s men, but they do play Steven Gerrard’s side, and he’ll be desperate to win the title for his former club.
WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?
Spurs did their job on Sunday by beating Burnley 1-0, having beaten the Gunners in a high-stakes north London derby last week.
That has seen Antonio Conte’s side leapfrog the Gunners into fourth place, two points ahead of Mikel Arteta’s team.
Arsenal face Newcastle United on Monday evening.
That game could prove pivotal.
The basic premise here is that Arsenal are still the masters of their own destiny. If they beat Newcastle and then follow that up with a victory over Everton on the final day, they will finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League. It’s simple in practice.
There is also a small chance that Arsenal could finish third but this would require them winning both of their games and Chelsea losing both of their two remaining games against Leicester and Watford. Spurs can also finish third but, again, Chelsea would have to lose both games, and they would need to beat Norwich. Arsenal would also have to drop points.
Spurs face Norwich on the final day and will likely have to win that game to have any chance, but if the Gunners win on Monday night, they will be relying on a favour from Everton on the last day.
If Arsenal fail to win at St James’ Park, the scenario switches completely and Spurs will suddenly have their fate in their hands. A draw would leave Arsenal one point behind, and a win for Spurs on the final day would seal their qualification. Spurs could also theoretically lose to Norwich on the final day in this scenario provided Arsenal drew with Everton because Spurs’ goal difference is superior to the Gunners’ by 13 goals.
Arsenal losing on Monday night would mean Spurs going into the final day two points ahead and, due to their goal difference situation, they would only need a draw against Norwich to qualify.
PREDICTION: Spurs qualify. FiveThirtyEight and their statistical model gives Tottenham a 60% chance of finishing fourth, with Arsenal having a 41% chance. The game against Newcastle seems ripe for Arsenal dropping points, but they will undoubtedly be favourites if they manage to win in the north east.
WHO WILL BE RELEGATED?
There are three teams here battling for survival. Norwich City and Watford have both been relegated so there is a trio of teams trying to avoid the drop. Everton, Burnley, and Leeds United are all vying to stay in the Premier League.
Everton go into the final week in the strongest position. They are 16th in the table and sit two points clear of the relegation zone at this stage. Leeds are 17th and Burnley are currently 18th.
Everton lost to Brentford at the weekend but have two games this week, first against Crystal Palace in midweek and then against Arsenal on the final day.
If they beat Palace, they will be safe by moving on to 39 points. If not, they may need a result against Arsenal on the final day.
Burnley also have a game in hand, against Aston Villa on Thursday before facing Newcastle on the final day. If Burnley beat Villa, they will move on to 37 points. That will not be enough to secure survival but if they then beat Newcastle, they will be safe.
Leeds’ destiny is out of their hands. They play Brentford on the final day, but a win may not be enough.
If they beat Brentford on the final day, they will move on to 38 points. But if Burnley and Everton both win their games in hand, and then win on the final day, Leeds will go down regardless of their result.
The relegation situation is guaranteed to go to the final day but there are permutations.
If Everton and Burnley lose their games in hand, they will go into the final day with 36 and 34 points respectively. Leeds would have 35. Leeds also have a goal difference of minus 38, compared to Everton’s goal difference of -20 and Burnley’s of -18.
This would dramatically alter proceedings.
Everton beating Arsenal would secure their safety. Leeds winning would secure their survival too. Burnley would need help.
For Everton to be safe: Beating Crystal Palace is enough. If they lose, they would be well in the mire. Burnley winning their game in hand would leave it as essentially a straight shootout between the Toffees and Leeds. Everton, though, would just have to win on the final day to be safe. A draw would be enough if Leeds also dropped points. If Burnley lose their game in hand, Everton would only need a point against Arsenal on the final day.
For Burnley to be safe: Beating Aston Villa would mean they only need a draw on the final day to be safe. If they lose, they would have to win on the final day and hope either Leeds or Everton lose. In that scenario, Burnley would be safe with a draw if Leeds lost to Brentford.
For Leeds to be safe: If Burnley and Everton win their games in hand, Leeds are in trouble. They would have to win against Brentford and hope Burnley lose. No other scenario keeps them safe. If Everton win their game in hand, and Burnley lose, it comes down to Burnley and Leeds. A draw for Leeds would be enough on the final day if Burnley lose. Leeds winning in that scenario means they are safe regardless of the Burnley result. If both Everton and Burnley lose in midweek, the scenario is simpler. Leeds would just need to win on the final day to be safe.
PREDICTION: Leeds go down. They have a 56% chance of relegation, per FiveThirtyEight, while Burnley’s chance is 35% and Everton’s is just 9%. Leeds would need help to stay up, and are reliant on both Everton and Burnley dropping points. Their goal difference is the killer.
WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE?
This is technically still up for debate. Arsenal are guaranteed to finish fifth at least.
Manchester United are currently sixth but are not guaranteed to finish there; West Ham can still overtake them. A sixth-placed finish guarantees Europa League qualification, while a seventh-placed finish means qualification for the Europa Conference League.
The Hammers drew with Manchester City at the weekend.
They currently have 56 points, while United have 58. West Ham have a superior goal difference by a factor of 10 and that is unlikely to be eclipsed.
The Irons face Brighton away on the final day, while United play Crystal Palace.
If United win their final game, they will finish sixth. A draw for United would mean West Ham finish sixth with a victory. West Ham must win their final game to have any chance.
United losing leaves it the same, with West Ham needing to win.
Put simply: West Ham must win and hope United don’t.
Prediction: United finish sixth. United have a 79% chance of a sixth-placed finish, while West Ham’s chance is just 21%. With the talent in Ralf Rangnick’s squad, they should get over the line.
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