PREMIER LEAGUE PERMUTATIONS: What needs to be decided this week

PREMIER LEAGUE PERMUTATIONS: With just 12 games to go, what will it take for Leicester, Everton and Leeds to survive or stay up? Plus… how the European places can change hands

  • There is still a lot to be decided in the final week of the Premier League season
  • Two of Everton, Leeds and Leicester will be relegated on Sunday afternoon
  • The race for a number of European spots could go right down to the wire

The Premier League title was won by Manchester City last weekend following Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but there is still plenty to be decided heading into the final weekend of the season. 

Leicester City blew a big chance to climb out of the relegation zone following their 0-0 draw against Newcastle last night. It means that Dean Smith’s side will be involved in a relegation scrap on the final day of the season with Everton and Leeds. 

Following last night’s draw against the Foxes, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle secured their place in the Champions League for the first time since the 2002/03 season.

The final Champions League spot could be wrapped up on Thursday, providing Manchester United pick up at least a point against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Meanwhile, the Europa League and Europa Conference League spots are still up for grabs.

Ahead of the final mid-week games of the season before this weekend’s finale, Mail Sport runs you through all the permutations.

Everton, Leicester and Leeds will all be involved in a relegation scrap heading into Sunday’s final round of fixtures

Liverpool’s top-four aspirations could draw to a close before the final day of the season 

BATTLE FOR THE TOP FOUR

Manchester United v Liverpool 

Following Newcastle’s draw with Leicester last night, Eddie Howe’s side secured their place in the Champions League next season.

Now, Liverpool will be hoping that Manchester United lose both of their remaining two games. Jurgen Klopp’s side have it all to do following their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend. 

The Red Devils currently have a game-in-hand over Liverpool. Erik ten Hag’s side face Chelsea on Thursday at Old Trafford.

If Ten Hag’s side pick up a point on Thursday night, Liverpool’s top-four dreams will crash to an end.

Newcastle secured their place in the Champions League next season following the 0-0 draw with Leicester 

Manchester United need just one point from their remaining two games to qualify for the Champions League 

Should United fail to beat Chelsea, the final Champions League spot will be decided on Sunday.

Ten Hag’s men face Fulham at Old Trafford, while Liverpool face already relegated Southampton. 

If United lose their next two games, Klopp’s side will only need three points to sneak into the top four on the final game of the season.

Remaining games 

Thursday, May 25

Manchester United vs Chelsea

Sunday, May 28 

Manchester United vs Fulham

Southampton vs Liverpool 

BATTLE FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE 

Brighton v Aston Villa

Not really much of a battle as Aston Villa’s chances of finishing in the top six look even worse than Liverpool’s hopes of getting out of the Europa League places.

But Aston Villa could theoretically overtake Brighton for sixth if they beat the Seagulls on Sunday.

Brighton will mathematically secure a Europa League spot with a draw against Man City

However, Brighton do have a game-in-hand and they could seal sixth with a point against Man City on Wednesday.  

Brighton also hold a +16 goal difference advantage over Aston Villa, meaning it would take a near miracle for the Midlands ide to jump ahead on the final day. 

Emery will be hoping that Man City didn’t party too hard and hand the Seagulls a thumping in their mid-week clash, though they would still likely need a huge victory on Sunday to make the Europa League. 

Remaining games 

Wednesday, May 24

Brighton vs Man City

Sunday, May 28

Aston Villa vs Brighton 

BATTLE FOR THE EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE 

Aston Villa v Tottenham v Brentford  

Aston Villa’s real battle appears to be the one to keep the final European spot, as they currently occupy the one and only Europa Conference League position.

However, just two points separate them, Tottenham and Brentford who sit in ninth going into the final day of the season. 

All three sides face tricky games going into the final day of the season and the order from seventh to ninth could drastically change by the close of play on Sunday.

While Aston Villa host Brighton, Tottenham face relegation battling Leeds and Brentford host newly crowned champions Man City.

The most interesting of the three games could be Tottenham’s clash with Leeds who need nothing less than a victory to ensure their Premier League survival.

Tottenham are chasing Aston Villa for the final European spot going into the season finale

Brentford are ninth in the league but are also in the race for the final European spot

Brentford will play what could be a much-changed Man City side given Pep Guardiola’s side will have an eye on the FA Cup final with Manchester United and Champions League final against Inter Milan.

However, City’s victory over Chelsea with a much-changed starting XI is a clear indication that no matter who Guardiola puts out it will be a difficult test for the Bees. 

Villa meanwhile will hope City thrash Brighton to keep their extremely slim Europa League hopes alive. But their European hopes could also benefit if Brighton secure sixth with a point against the champions, meaning they would have nothing to fight for against Villa. 

If it comes down to goal difference, then Brentford’s total of +11 gives them an advantage over Aston Villa and Tottenham who only have +4. 

Remaining games

Sunday, May 28

Aston Villa vs Brighton

Brentford vs Man City

Leeds vs Tottenham 

BATTLE FOR RELEGATION 

After Leicester’s result against Newcastle, the Foxes will need all three points to avoid relegation this weekend. 

Last night’s draw put them level with Leeds on 31 points – two behind Everton. 

Heading into the final game of the season, Smith will be hoping that his side can beat West Ham, while Everton and Leeds both lose their games against Bournemouth and Tottenham respectively.  

Leeds will need a miracle this weekend, with relegation to the Championship looking likely. The club need to beat Spurs at Elland Road on Sunday and hope Everton lose.

Sam Allardyce’s side could also stay up with a victory if Everton draw, though they would need to beat Spurs by three goals and hope Leicester fail to get the results that they need. 

Leicester will be hoping to get all three points on their final game of the season against West Ham

Sean Dyche’s Everton are just two points above the drop zone heading into the final game of the season

Leeds need a lot to go their way if they are to pull off the Great Escape on Sunday afternoon

After last night’s result between Newcastle and Everton, Toffees fans go into the final game of the season outside of the drop zone.

Therefore, a win against Bournemouth will be enough to keep them in the division.  

Should Everton draw on Sunday, it could lead them susceptible to the drop on goal difference.

A draw for Everton could be enough to keep them in the division if the Foxes lose on Sunday. Leicester have a goal difference advantage of +6 in their favour over Everton, meaning they currently have the advantage if they finish level on points with the Toffees.

Remaining games

Sunday, May 28

Everton vs Bournemouth 

Leeds vs Tottenham

Leicester vs West Ham 


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