Premier League Preview: Final Matchday
It’s come to the time of year most of us dread, the final matchday of the Premier League season. The season has been long and rigorous and this Sunday it will finally come to a conclusion and we will have a definitive champion.
This campaign has been tightly contested between two sides: Liverpool and Manchester City. One of these teams will emerge as champions. As for the rest there are still Champions League spots up for grabs. Everything else is consolation for the other sides.
Tottenham vs Everton
Both these teams have had an up and down season, especially Tottenham. There was a time when they were in the title race, but quickly fell off. They’ve been on a horrid run of form in the league just like the rest of the top 6 (Manchester City and Liverpool excluded). Everton is set to finish solidly mid table whereas Tottenham still have a Champions League spot to fight for.
After Tottenham’s incredible comeback victory in the Champions League vs Ajax they will be feeling invincible. This will give them the boost they need to go on to win this game and secure their spot in the top 4.
Score prediction: Tottenham 2 – 1 Everton
Manchester United vs Cardiff City
Manchester United have had a terrible run of form as of late. They dropped points recently against bottom of the table Huddersfield. All of this while they were in contention for a Champions League position. Mathematically they have been eliminated from that, their highest possible position they can finish is 5th.
Cardiff City is an already relegated side which means all they are playing for is pride. Based on the way United has been playing then Cardiff will be feeling highly optimistic. However, with nothing on the line this United side might actually put something together because they will be relaxed. They will win this game, but barely.
Score prediction: Manchester United 1 – 0 Cardiff City
Watford vs West Ham
These two teams are essentially facing off to see which one gets 10th. Watford holds a slight one point advantage over West Ham who sit in 11th. There is no additional consolation to finishing in the top half of the table other than that.
Watford’s recent form has been subpar at best. West Ham on the other hand have had better luck with wins in their last two games. I predict it will be a high scoring affair too.
Score prediction: Watford 2 – 3 West Ham
Southampton vs Huddersfield
Last weekend Huddersfield got one of their best results of the season by drawing with Manchester United. For them that was their end of the season hoorah as they sit bottom of the league. They will struggle in this one against a Southamption side who will want to finish on a high.
Southampton haven’t been particularly great this season either and their last result saw them lose 3-0 to West Ham. However, they should be favorites in this matchup. Although they are favorites, neither team is playing for anything. Huddersfield will be playing their last Premier League game in who knows how long, meaning they will go out fighting.
Score prediction: Southampton 0 – 0 Huddersfield
Fulham vs Newcastle
Fulham is the last of the three teams to be relegated (along with Cardiff City and Huddersfield). Despite that they haven’t given up on the season as they’ve won 3 of their last 5. Those 3 wins are nearly half their win total of 7. Fulham have also conceded the most goals in the league.
Newcastle has more money and more talent, but they’ve had an average season at best for their club. Newcastle only sit with 4 more goals than Fulham on the season. Fulham may feel they have a great chance in this one before they get demoted.
Score prediction: Fulham 1 – 1 Newcastle
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
These two teams sit on almost identical points, but Crystal Palace edges it out by 1. They sit at 12th and 13th respectively, which is essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of the league. They are both safe, but not close enough to challenge for European competitions.
On the season, Bournemouth has scored more than their final opponents, but Palace has conceded significantly less. That could make all the difference in this one. This one could go either way, but the defense of Crystal Palace will prove to be the edge.
Score prediction: Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Bournemouth
Leicester City vs Chelsea
Leicester City have been one of the few sides this season that have been competitive with the top 6. In fact, they beat league leaders Manchester City earlier this season. In the reverse fixture vs Chelsea they took home a 1-0 victory.
Chelsea have a lot riding on this match. The difference between 3rd and 4th is one has an automatic bid into the Champions League and one is put into a playoff game next season (unless Chelsea were to win the Europa League). Chelsea have had a rocky season, but luckily for them so have the rest of the teams they are competing with.
Score prediction: Leicester City 0 – 1 Chelsea
Burnley vs Arsenal
Burnley is near the bottom of the table and aside from a higher final placement, there is little they can get out of this game. Their run of form has not been the greatest either, but neither has Arsenal’s. They may fancy an upset in this game and will give it their all to have the chance to take down a top 6 side.
Arsenal is hanging on a very slim chance of achieving Champions League football qualification. They would have to win comfortably and Tottenham would have to get battered. With needing both it makes it a long shot at best. They have a better chance at winning Europa League in order to get an automatic qualification.
Score prediction: Burnley 0 – 2 Arsenal
Liverpool vs Wolves
This game is going to be pivotal in determining who becomes Premier League champions. While Liverpool have had a very successful campaign thus far they are still 1 point shy of the top of the table. In order to have a chance they have to take care of business in this one. With Liverpool advancing to the Champions League final this will give them an opportunity to come away with the double.
Wolves has had a stellar season by their standards. Outside the top 6 they have easily been one of the better sides, if not the best side. They have found ways to get results and their defense has been great as well. They’ve conceded less goals than sides such as Manchester Untied and Arsenal. However, this will be one of the toughest games this season for them.
Score prediction: Liverpool 2 – 1 Wolves
Brighton vs Manchester City
This is the other game to watch in terms of the title race. Manchester City have found a way to surpass Liverpool and currently hang on to the top of table. City have been sensational in the league this season and they won’t slow down now.
Brighton sits just outside the relegation zone so for their side they’ve been celebrating remaining in the Premier League. That’s huge for them that they will start another season in the top flight despite their struggles this season. In their last 5 games they have 0 wins and they are one of the lowest scoring sides this season.
Score prediction: Brighton 0 – 3 Manchester City
Final Table Prediction
Featured Image: itv.com – credit to PA
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