Premier League Matchday 38: Final day set to deliver plenty of drama
The Premier League’s final day is upon us and it could be an exciting one with the title, Champions League qualification and safety still on the line.
All eyes will be on Manchester City and Liverpool but Tottenham still need to get the job done to finish above rivals Arsenal, while Burnley and Leeds head into the 38th game desperately trying to secure top-flight safety.
We have all the big contests previewed, as well as the finale’s dead rubbers.
The title race
Manchester City vs Aston Villa (Sunday, 4pm, Sky Sports Main Event)
Manchester City welcome Aston Villa to the Etihad knowing victory will hand them a fourth Premier League title in five seasons.
But any slip-up against Steven Gerrard’s men will open the door for Liverpool to pip them at the final hurdle.
Not that would appear likely given City have won nine of their last 10 games against Villa and each of the previous 11 meetings at the Etihad.
On top of that, the Citzens have only lost once in their past 27 outings and have won their final match in all of Pep Guardiola’s seasons in charge.
Liverpool vs Wolves (Sunday, 4pm, Sky Sports Premier League)
For Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool the final day equation is simple, win and hope that City choke at the Etihad.
Anything other than three points and the title will remain in Manchester for a second successive season, with the Citizens one point ahead and with a superior goal difference.
The Reds have a strong record against Wolves with 10 home wins in a row, while the visitors are also on their worst run under Bruno Lage with no win in six games.
If Anfield is to be host to a dramatic final day title win, Sadio Mane may play a big part with six goals on the final day already in his Premier League career.
The top-four race
Norwich vs Tottenham (Sunday, 4pm)
Avoid defeat at rock-bottom Norwich and Tottenham will secure Champions League football for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
Spurs are two points clear of neighbours Arsenal in fifth and have a vastly superior goal difference to the Gunners.
Their last defeat against the Canaries came in February 2014 but Spurs have lost three of the six games they have played against already-relegated sides in the Premier League.
Arsenal vs Everton (Sunday, 4pm)
Arsenal’s back-to-back defeats and Everton’s dramatic Thursday night win over Crystal Palace mean this clash at the Emirates has lost its bite.
While Toffees fans will be in the mood to party after securing their top-flight status, the Gunners will be desperate for an unlikely result in East Anglia.
Though Everton have lost their final league game in four of the last five seasons, they are looking for the fourth win in a row over Arsenal.
If Bukayo Saka, 20, features for the Gunners, he will become the second-youngest player to play in every game of a Premier League season for the club after Cesc Fabregas in 2006-07.
The relegation battle
Burnley vs Newcastle (Sunday, 4pm)
After a battling draw at Aston Villa, Burnley just need to match Leeds’ result at Brentford when they host Newcastle at Turf Moor.
The Clarets’ renaissance under Mike Jackson has seen them win three of their past four home games.
But they are also on a three-match winless run and are trying to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat to Newcastle.
Worryingly for the home faithful, Burnley have lost all of their final league games since returning to the top flight for the 2016-17 campaign.
Brentford vs Leeds (Sunday, 4pm, Sky Sports Football)
Leeds head to Brentford knowing they must better Burnley’s result to avoid dropping out of the top flight after just two seasons back.
The Whites are level on points with the Clarets despite only winning one of their past seven games but have a far worse goal difference than Jackson’s men.
They have not won at Brentford in 72 years yet have also only lost one of the past six meetings between the two.
And there is every chance late drama will decide their fate, with three wins and three draws coming courtesy of goals in the 90th minute or later this season.
The Europa League race
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United (Sunday, 4pm)
At the end of their worst ever Premier League season, Manchester United need a victory at Crystal Palace to secure their Europa League spot for next term.
If they come unstuck at Selhurst Park, West Ham can leapfrog them with a win thanks to their superior goal difference and consign new boss Erik ten Hag to the Europa Conference League.
But the Eagles have never managed to beat United at home in the Premier League, losing eight and drawing four of their 12 meetings.
And despite their five-game unbeaten run in South London, Palace have not won back-to-back home matches in more than two years.
Brighton vs West Ham (Sunday, 4pm)
While Brighton eye a top-flight finish for the first time in their history, West Ham will be keen for another Europa League adventure next term.
The Hammers are guaranteed European football but know victory could see them move up to sixth ahead of United.
They have never beaten the Seagulls since they were promoted five years ago with three defeats and six draws in nine meetings, including a 1-1 tie in December.
If Mark Noble makes his 414th and final Premier League appearance at the Amex Stadium, he will have played the seventh most games for a single side in the competition’s history.
Nothing to play for
Chelsea vs Watford (Sunday, 4pm)
Watford’s final top-flight game for a season at least sees them travel to third-placed Chelsea.
The Blues have never lost a Premier League home game to the Hornets, with six wins and a draw from the seven meetings.
Stamford Bridge has also not seen a home defeat on the final day of a campaign since 2002, when Aston Villa won 3-1.
The visitors have only lost more games than the 26 they have lost this season once before in their history, while only eight Hornets have found the net this year.
Leicester vs Southampton (Sunday, 4pm)
Leicester face a Southampton side whose horrendous end-of-season form could signal a relegation battle to come next term.
The Saints have only won one of their past 11 fixtures and could end up just two points clear of the drop-zone come Sunday evening.
Their inability to hold onto a lead has been costly with their 29 points dropped from winning positions the most since Spurs (33) in the 2007-08 campaign.
And the King Power has not been an easy place to visit with the Foxes winning seven and drawing three of their past 12 games there.