After more than 370 matches and several VAR controversies, a prolonged Premier League season is set to come to an end. After nearly a year since Liverpool kick-started the season with a 4-1 win against Norwich at Anfield, the final round of premier league takes place on Sunday.
Liverpool may have won the league weeks ahead of the final day, but there is still a lot to play for. The relegation battle and the champions league qualification is still to be decided.
Relegation Battle – who will go down?
Avoiding relegation is a huge deal for the lower positioned teams in the premier league, as its not only a matter of club pride and reputation but it also has a huge financial effect on the club. Norwich has already been relegated and now will be preparing for their next season in the Championship. Two from Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Watford will be joining Norwich in Championship.
After a season-long battle, only 3 points separate the three teams. With almost identical goal difference, the three teams go into the final day to battle for the final place in the next year’s premier league.
Aston Villa, who starts their day outside the relegation zone on the basis of goal difference, faces a trip to the 16th place West Ham. Watford goes to the FA cup finalist Arsenal. Whereas, Burnmouth will visit the mid-table Everton.
According to the sports data analysts Gracenote, Bournemouth’s chances of going down are rated at 95%, Watford is 77.5%, whereas the figure is 28.5% for Aston Villa.
Who will qualify for Champions League?
With the top two spots already confirmed, Champions Liverpool and Manchester City have qualified for the next season’s champions league. Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester go into the final day to battle it out for the remaining two places. United, who is currently 3rd in the table going into the final day, visits fifth-place Leicester. United go into the final day knowing they need to just avoid a defeat in order to qualify for the Champions League.
Fa Cup Finalist Chelsea go up against sixth places Wolves, just need one point in order to qualify. Leicester will be guaranteed a spot in the top four if they win against United.
United go into the final day with an 80% chance of making it into the Champions League according to the Gracenote. Chelsea also has an equal chance to qualify. Whereas, Leicester’s chances of qualifying stands at 70%.
Two Englishmen battle it out for the golden boot.
Jamie Vardy goes into the final game of the season with 33 goals in his account, two more than the fellow Englishmen Danny Ings. Vardy who was playing in non-league football for Fleetwood Town eight years ago has a very good chance to win the Golden Boot.
It is a long time since two English players have battle it out for the golden boot. If Vardy and Ings finish in the top two of the goalscoring chart, it would be the first time since 1999-00 season since two English players finish in the top two.
Manchester City Winger Raheem Sterling with 19 goals has a chance to finish 3rd in the rankings. This would make it English players in the top three positions. However, Arsenal’s forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 20 goals and Liverpool’s Egypt forward Mohamed Salah with 19 goals can change that.
Battle for the Golden Glove.
Burnley faces Brighton on the final day of the league in a mid-table match. The match may not have much importance, but for the Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope it is a huge game as he has a chance to win the prestigious Golden Glove. Golden Glove is the award for the goalkeeper who keeps the most clean-sheets in a Premier League season.
However, Pope is tied up with Manchester City’s Brazilian keeper Ederson. If Pope wins the award, it would be the first time since an English keeper has won the award since City’s Joe Hart in 2014-15. But that happens if Burnley does not concede against Brighton and hope that relegated Norwich score against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
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