As we bid adieu to another hectic season of Premier league football, nothing is certain beyond the fact that Man City are Champions. With so much left to play for, let's take a look at which teams stand a chance to qualify for Champions, Europa and Conference League, heading into the final day.
The Champions League Scenarios
Liverpool making a potential last ditch attempt to finish in the top 4 after languishing most of the season has put a potential twist on the top 4 hopes of other existing contenders. Leicester City remain in danger of losing the Champions League spot to the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool after slipping down to 5th in the table. However, with only a point separating them and Chelsea and being level on points with liverpool, they’ve got a chance. Goal difference will also play a key part with both the Reds and the Foxes level in that regard. Here's how that could play out.
For Chelsea (3rd) to finish in the top four (67)
The Blues will enter the final day of the 2020/21 Premier League in third place after leapfrogging the Foxes in their penultimate game against them. A win against Aston Villa would prove influential in maintaining their 3rd position in the league along with the impending guarantee of Champions league football. They can also qualify if their nearest rivals Liverpool and Leicester lose their matches in which case a win/dra would be enough to solidify their position. But in any case if Chelsea lose and Liverpool and Leicester win/draw their matches it might spell trouble for Chelsea. Goal Difference will play a major part in deciding the final standings in that case with Liverpool having a one goal cushion. In that case either Leicester needs to draw by a lower goal difference margin or otherwise their only route of qualification lies through winning the Champions League.
For Liverpool (4th) to finish in the top four (66)
Liverpool’s last ditch attempt at making the top 4 after being out of it for most of the season has put a fresh spin on an otherwise topsy turvy season. With Leicester losing to Chelsea, the door has been opened wide ajar and Alison Becker's last ditch header to win the game against West Brom shows that the champions of last season mean business and would not go out gently into the night without a potential fight. Being level with the Foxes on points, goal difference has played a major role in securing their top 4 position currently. Although nothing is absolute and boils down to final day drama, Liverpool first and foremost needs to win their game in hand against Crystal Palace and banish any hopes of a potential ‘Crystanbul” if not otherwise.
In this case if Chelsea lose/draw and Leicester wins then, Liverpool has a scope of finishing in 3rd provided the foxes are unable to outweigh or outmatch the 3 goal cushion that Liverpool has at the moment. If Chelsea win and Liverpool win, Liverpool keep their hold in the 4th position provided Leicetser lose/draw. But if Liverpool manage to lose and Chelse and Leicester win their games at hand, then Liverpool have a chance of slipping down to fifth effectively guaranteeing their position in the Europa League.
For Leicester City (5th) to finish in the top four (66)
Having been in the driving seat for most of the season, they remain in danger of losing the Champions League spot to the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool after slipping down to 5th in the table. However, with only a point separating them and Chelsea and being level on points with Liverpool, they’ve got a chance. A home win at Spurs will be crucial enough in deciding their fate and whether they would be playing in Europe next season.
But a number of scenarios need to play out in order to render their position absolute. If Chelsea and Liverpool lose/draw, it will prove beneficial for the foxes leapfrogging to potentially third in the table. If Chelsea lose/draw and Liverpool win then also the foxes will be in a winning position depending on the goal difference whether they will secure the third or fourth spot. But if Leicester lose their game against Spurs, inevitably the fifth spot will be theirs meaning they would have to settle for Europa League last season.
The Europa League Scenarios
With West Ham United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs in the driving seat, a three way battle might still serve as the decider for finding out the Europa League outcome. West Ham’s 3-1 win against West Brom means that Arsenal can no longer qualify for Europe through Europa but instead have to settle for Europa Conference League although not absolute at the moment. Let's take a look at the potential scenarios as to who will secure the top 6 spot, It is important to remember that with 5th placed Leicester City winning the Fa Cup the spot for Europa qualification/play off gets extended to 7th as well
For West Ham (6th) to finish in the top six (62)
It has been a memorable campaign for the Hammers until a mishap in the penultimate latter stages effectively took away any hopes of securing a much touted Champions League. Currently standing in the 6th position with 62 points, West Ham has effectively been in pole position to at least secure Europa League and cap off a memorable season provided they win their game against Southampton.
Although nothing is absolute and a couple of other scenarios might kick into action West Ham are unable to beat or draw their home game against Southampton.If either of Everton or Spurs or both of them win their games in hand, it would put them level on points with West Ham in which Goal difference will provide the final decision. In that case Spurs might have a chance for securing top 6 owing to their superior goal difference in comparison to West Ham. This would further drop down West Ham to seventh in the table.
For Tottenham Hotspur (7th) to finish in the top six (59)
Led by interim coach Ryan Mason, Spurs realistically have a chance of making into the top 6 provided they win their away game against Leicester City, Failure to Aston Villa in the weekend have put them in a precarious position. If West Ham lose their game in hand Spurs could occupy top 6 with their superior goal difference. Failure to win might put them in contention for the Europa Conference League or even put them in danger of slipping further down the table to 9th if Everton or Arsenal win their games in hand.
For Everton (8th) to finish in the top six (59)
Carlo Ancelloti’s men have found themselves severely lacking in some games including a shock defeat to the newly relegated Sheffield United. Level on point difference with Spurs, Goal difference will again play an important role in this case. To finish 6th, they'll need their greatest win over city since the goal difference between 6th placed West Ham and them stands at a deficit of 8. It should also be remembered that with 5th placed Leicester clinching the FA cup, the spot for Europa playoffs extends to the team below meaning even Everton manage a win (irrespective of the goal difference with West Ham) they will most likely stand at 7th which means they will be eligible for Europa qualification/playoffs.
The Europa Conference League Scenarios
The Europa Conference League is a new third tier of European competition.It will primarily be for teams who qualify via their domestic league places, although it will include the cup winners from some lower-ranked leagues.Only one team from each of Europe’s top five leagues will be included in the competition and no team will automatically qualify for the group stages. With Spurs and Everton level on points and just one point gap between them and Arsenal, let's take a look at who can potentially qualify for this new competition.
For Tottenham Hotspur (7th) to finish in the top seven (59)
If spurs win their game in hand and West Ham lose, Spurs might occupy the 6th place on goal difference with West Ham. If Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal lose then the points table will remain as it is with Spurs either qualifying for Europa (playoffs) or as per the norms of the conference league owing to their standing in the tables. This might be subject to change depending on last day's results.
For Everton (8th) to finish in the top seven (59)
Everton will have an opportunity to play either Europa or Conference league if they manage a win/draw which would automatically propel them to 7th/6th place depending on the other results.
But in this specific scenario, both Spurs and Arsenal need to lose their games for Everton to qualify for Europa Conference League. Depending on this specific result and the fact that 5th placed Leicester clinched the Fa Cup, they might be eligible for either Europa/Europa Conference.This might be subject to change depending on last day's results.
For Arsenal (9th) to finish in the top seven (58)
West Ham’s 3-1 win against West Brom means that Arsenal can no longer qualify for Europe through Europa but instead have to settle for Europa Conference League although not absolute at the moment. So for Arsenal to clinch the 7th spot, they need to win at home against Brighton and hope Spurs and Everton lose/draw their respective games. If in an alternate scenario, Spurs and Everton lose their games and Arsenal draw then all three teams would be level on points. In that case goal difference would be the deciding factor which means Arsenal might have a chance of moving up to 8th owing to superior goal difference against everton and might be just eligible for Europa Conference league qualification keeping in mind that with 5th placed Liecester’s win the spot for europe qualification gets extended to the team below. This would make the 7 spot a Europa qualifier and the 8th a Europa Conference League qualifier.