After one of the most fascinating Premier League title races in recent memory, it all comes down to the final weekend.
Manchester City is in the driver’s seat and should be lifting the trophy around noon ET on Sunday, but if we’ve learned anything from the past week in the football world, it’s that nothing is for certain.
And while the top-four and mid-table races are all-but solidified, there’s plenty of intrigue heading into the final set of games.
Here’s what you need to know about Matchday 38 in the Premier League:
THE TITLE RACE
What’s at stake: The Premier League trophy … and glory.
|Schedule||@ Brighton||vs. Wolverhampton|
MANCHESTER CITY: For Pep Guardiola’s side, the math is simple: earn the win and three points away at Brighton on Sunday and they’ll be lifting the trophy come match’s end. Anything less than three points, however, would spell trouble for the Citizens.
LIVERPOOL: Unless Man City stumbles at Brighton, Liverpool’s best-ever season in the Premier League will amount to nothing. All Jurgen Klopp’s team can do is ensure they take the three points at home against Wolves and cross their fingers for the impossible – it wouldn’t be the first time this week the Reds were on the right end of a miracle.
THE BATTLE FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The race for the top-4 became more battle for survival over the last month as the four teams squaring off for the final two Champions League places struggle for league results: Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have combined for just two wins in the four three matchdays.
What’s at stake: A place in soccer’s toughest tournament and all the money that comes with it.
|71 points||70 points||67 points||66 points|
|@ Leicester||vs. Everton||@ Burnley||vs. Cardiff|
CHELSEA: Given the heat Maurizio Sarri has taken in his first season as Blues boss, the results have been rather favourable at Chelsea. A spot in the Champions League next season is guaranteed before the final matchday, and another chance to lift a trophy will come May 29 against Arsenal in the Europa League final.
TOTTENHAM: Spurs have taken just three points from their last four Premier League matches, but due to equally-poor results from Arsenal and Manchester United have all but locked up fourth place and a Champions League spot next season. Tottenham will undoubtedly still be flying high from Wednesday’s unlikely comeback in the Netherlands, but need to be careful not to lose big at home against Everton and open the door for their North London rivals.
ARSENAL: Another putrid showing last weekend at home against 17th-placed Brighton means the Gunners would need a Champions League semifinals-sized miracle to get into the Champions League places on Sunday – Arsenal would not only need Tottenham to lose, but also would need an eight-goal swing to jump into fourth. Not all hope is lost, however, as Unai Emery’s side can clinch Champions League football next with a Europa League final win over Chelsea on May 29.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have nothing but pride left to play for as last weekend’s home draw to historically-bad Huddersfield meant United will miss out on the Champions League in 2019-20. In fact, the Red Devils are the only club in the Premier League’s top-six that won’t play in a Cup final in the coming weeks.
BEST OF THE REST
The Premier League’s middle class appears to be closing the gap as the quality outside of the top sis is the best it’s been in years.
What’s at stake: Possibility to play in Europe, plus a couple million extra pounds.
|57 points||53 points||51 points||50 points|
|@ Liverpool||@ Tottenham||vs. Chelsea||vs. West Ham|
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS: With seventh place locked up, Wolves will finish the season as one of the most successful promoted teams in Premier League history. Should Man City beat Watford in the FA Cup final – something we’d bet on 10 times out of 10 – Wolverhampton will be playing Europa League football next season.
EVERTON: Marco Silva’s first season in charge of the Toffees got off to a tumultuous start, but Everton will end the campaign as one of the Premier League’s in-form sides. A win at Tottenham on the final day of the season would be the cherry on top of what looks like a new era at Goodison Park.
LEICESTER CITY: After a red-hot new-manager bounce in the early days of Brendan Rodgers, the last month at Leicester has been a mixed bag. But this squad features plenty of intriguing talent all over the pitch, and will be a team to watch this summer transfer window.
WATFORD: The Hornets have taken just one point from their last three Premier League games ahead of Sunday’s finale at home versus West Ham, dropping Watford out of the race for seventh. However, a win over Man City in the FA Cup final later this month would clinch a spot in Europe for Javi Gracia’s side – a match in which they’re the overwhelming underdogs.