So Much at Stake in Last Premier League Matchweek
Jul 23, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; Arsenal players stand on the pitch prior to a shootout against Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup soccer series at FedEx Field. Real Madrid won 2-2 (3-2 pen.). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Premier League has one more thrilling week in store for fans. So much is riding on this last round of matches. European football spots and the relegation battle will all be decided on Sunday. Which clubs will be competing in Europe next season and who will be spending next season in the championship?
Every player wants to compete in the Champions League. The thrill of playing in primetime in the middle of the week is always a special moment for players. As three clubs are vying for two spots, who will succeed between Manchester United, Chelsea, and Leicester? The two matches of importance are United vs. Leicester and Chelsea vs. Wolves.
With Manchester United playing Leicester, securing a spot is straightforward for either club. Win and you’re in. However, with United currently third and one point above fifth-place Leicester, a draw will be sufficient for them. A draw could be good enough for Leicester as well, but they would then be relying on Wolves to beat Chelsea.
Because Leicester holds a superior goal differential over Chelsea, Chelsea will need to not be level on points with them. To avoid that, they must win to join the Champions League as they currently sit fourth.
United Scenarios: Win or draw or loss and Chelsea loss
Leicester Scenarios: Win or draw and Chelsea loss
Chelsea Scenarios: Win or draw and Leicester draw or loss Leicester loss
The loser of these three clubs will qualify for Europa League for finishing in fifth place. The Wolves, currently in sixth place, will be unable to claim fifth place regardless of how things finish. Sixth place does qualify for Europa League as well, but only to the qualification round and not the group stage.
It is simple for the Wolves to retain sixth as they simply need to match or beat Tottenham’s result. Tottenham certainly have it easier playing a Palace team that has seven loses from eight matches since the restart. Their only win comes against relegation-threatened Bournemouth. If the two sides were to be level on points, Tottenham would secure sixth and Europa League contention as they have a better goal differential.
Wolves Scenarios: Win or draw and Tottenham draw or loss or loss and Tottenham loss
Tottenham Scenarios: Win and Wolves draw or loss or draw and Wolves loss
Whoever finishes in seventh place will be the biggest Chelsea supporters as the FA Cup winner also advances to Europa League. Should Chelsea win the FA Cup over Arsenal on Aug. 1, that will free up that entry as they would advance to the Champions or Europa League by their league standings, therefore sending seventh place to Europa League.
- Champions League: United and Chelsea
- Europa League: Leicester and Tottenham
The fight to remain a Premier League club is between Bournemouth (19th, 31 points, -27 GD), Watford (18th, 34 points, -27 GD) and Aston Villa (17th, 34 points, -26 GD). Not only are the points close, but the goal differential is extremely tight as well. The matches of importance are Everton vs. Bournemouth, Arsenal vs. Watford, and West Ham vs. Villa.
Bournemouth and Villa should have an advantage given that they are playing for something as Everton and West Ham could have their focus on summer holidays. Arsenal is a bit of an unknown, but they need to stay sharp for their FA Cup final the following weekend.
Goal differential makes this complicated, but here are the scenarios:
Bournemouth: Win and Villa loss and Watford loss
Watford: Win and Villa draw or l;oss or Draw + Villa loss or Win and Villa win*
Aston Villa: Win or draw and Watford draw or draw and Watford loss or loss and Watford loss+
Prediction: Bournemouth and Watford are relegated.
- * Watford must beat Arsenal by three more than Villa beats West Ham
- + Aston Villa must not lose by more than two goals compared to Watford’ss loss to Arsenal
Whether it’s European Football or Premier League status, millions of dollars are on the line for these clubs. Don’t turn the TV off early as there is sure to be late drama.