Coming Sunday, twenty teams will play their last game of this season in the British top flight, and the final matchday holds immense promises to be an exciting day for the Premier League fans due to numerous reasons.
Before looking into the most scintillating affairs of the final matchday, let us discuss what has already happened so far, in both ends of the table.
Manchester City have already been crowned the champions, and they have also made several new records this season. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have secured the second position, after a dull stalemate at West Ham last Thursday. At the bottom of the table, Huddersfield have saved their Premier League spot, thanks to a well-fought 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion have already been relegated to the Championships. Other than Swansea City and Southampton, every other club is safe now, and the final matchday will definitely be important for these two teams.
Following are the major talking points ahead of a magnificent Sunday.
(1) The race to top four:
As the equations stand, Tottenham have secured a top four finish with a win over Newcastle United. Liverpool need a win to confirm the same, and a draw will also be realistically enough to ensure that, for their much superior (+42) goal difference as compared to Chelsea (+27). However, if they run into an upset against Brighton & Hove Albion, and if Chelsea bounce back to win against Newcastle United, the Blues will leapfrog Jurgen Klopp’s men to become the fourth team in the league table.
Tottenham, on the other hand, will finish third with a win against Leicester City, and Mauricio Pochettino will want nothing less to end the campaign on a high note. In short, all eyes will be on these three games on the final matchday, and it is surely going to be the biggest thing to look forward to.
(2) Can Swansea pull off a miracle?
While West Bromwich and Stoke City are already confirmed to go to the Championship next season, the Swans still have a sliver of hope. At this moment, Southampton are three points ahead of Swansea and that can be equal if the Saints lose against Manchester City and if Carlos Carvalhal’s boys get three points against Stoke. However, Southampton still have the edge as their goal difference are -19, while the same is -27 for Swansea.
It might sound too unrealistic, but given that Mark Hughes’s men will be up against a free-flowing Manchester City, they can well concede 5+ goals. And in that case, if Swansea can get a similar win by big margin, they will be through. Too good to be true, but the fans can still hope for a miraculous ending to the season.
(3) Getting ready for the big finals:
This Brighton fixture on the final matchday will be the last competitive fixture before the big Champions League final for the Liverpool players. Quite expectedly, they will want to make the best use of it. On 26th May, the Reds will fight for glory against Real Madrid, who have got the coveted title three out of the last four times. Clearly, the task will be uphill for Salah and co, and a convincing win against Brighton will be a major confidence-booster.
Elsewhere, next Saturday, Manchester United and Chelsea will lock horns in the FA Cup final, to get one silverware in this campaign. Both teams have struggled in recent times, and they would earnestly look forward to get emphatic victories on the final matchday, to set themselves up nicely for the faceoff.
(4) Salah vs Kane – fight to the golden boot:
It is more or less the Egyptian’s award now, as his goal tally (31) is three more than that of Harry Kane’s. But, then again, the Spurs forward has netted six hat-tricks in the previous calendar year, and two of them came in the month of May. Salah, on the other hand, has not scored in the previous two Premier League outings. Thus, a surprise from the Englishman cannot be ruled out at all, and the viewers will be eagerly waiting to see which of the two wins the race on the final matchday.