It all comes down to this. The final day of the Premier League season will affect the standings on both sides of the division, with the race for Europe and the scrap to avoid the drop yet to be decided.
Both players and coaching staff had hoped such a fate-defying confrontation could have been averted, but the league’s tendency to bring down kicking and screaming teams has again sparked a series of clashes that are sure to last a long time.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester will hope to grab the last two Champions League seats, with one gigantic club bracing themselves on an unimaginable scale for disappointment. Just below, Wolves and Tottenham will aim to finish sixth to avoid a tense wait for the FA Cup final.
And at the back are three teams fighting with each string to maintain their top status. Aston Villa may have taken themselves out of the relegation zone after defeating Arsenal, but Watford and Bournemouth can still experience delirium on the deadline.
Here, Sports email check out what’s at stake ahead of the biggest Super Sunday in recent years …
The final day of the Premier League season will determine the outcome on both sides of the table
Aston Villa is engaged in a relegation battle, but controls their fate after defeating Arsenal
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHASE
The race for the top four has caused countless intriguing twists over the course of this long drawn-out season. Chelsea and Leicester proved to be strong favorites to finish behind dethroned Manchester City and eventual champion Liverpool, but the skin color has changed dramatically.
There are two places up for grabs, with three teams battling it out. Manchester United has slowly but surely entered the picture, and in the third, as a result of their impressive unbeaten streak.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men only need a draw against Leicester to qualify for the Champions League, with Chelsea also in a similar position.
The burden has now fallen on the foxes. They have to beat United to secure a top table spot.
However, the Old Trafford outfit has a fallback option in case they fall short in the league. They could return to the European elite league by winning the Europa League.
Chelsea will have to fight with Manchester United and Leicester for a top four finish
Leicester’s loss of form means they have to beat United to qualify for the Champions League
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHASE
Man United – 63 POINTS
Chelsea – 63 POINTS
Leicester – 62 POINTS
Manchester United (H)
EUROPE LEAGUE RACE
Wolves and Tottenham are scrambling to secure a spot in next season’s Europa League showpiece.
The Nuno Espirito Santo team is currently in sixth place, just one point ahead of the contenders in North London. Both sides also have a similar goal difference (Wolves: +13, Tottenham: +14), making the last round of matches a direct shootout between them.
They can’t finish below seventh right now, but their goal to finish sixth will take precedence at campaign closing. This is because fifth place is occupied by one of the three clubs competing to finish in the Champions League places, and the sixth will guarantee entry to the second level of the continental tournament.
Jose Mourinho and Santo have certainly also emphasized the importance of avoiding seventh place for their teams. Should Arsenal win the FA Cup against Chelsea on August 1, they will take over the Europa League place from the unfortunate competitor.
With Spurs at great risk of missing out, the ranks of Mourinho will attempt to achieve a crucial result in the struggling Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, wolves travel to Stamford Bridge hoping to undermine the Blues’ own ambitions and complete a fantastic past 11 months.
Tottenham and Wolves compete in their last game to play in the Europa League
The men of Nuno Espirito Santo are one point ahead of Spurs and also want to avoid the seventh
EUROPE LEAGUE RACE
Wolves – 59 POINTS
Tottenham – 58 POINTS
Crystal Palace (A)
Norwich’s fate was transferred just over two weeks ago after their home was humiliated by West Ham. Three other clubs are at real risk of entering the championship next season, and their struggle to avoid the drop will result in ecstasy or pain.
Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth stagger on the brink, though the Midlands outfit took a giant leap to safety after defeating Arsenal in form, who couldn’t even attempt a target, at Villa Park. Trezeguet’s emphatic finish brought them to goal difference outside of the bottom three.
But the situation in the doldrums remains complicated. The best margins will likely determine the top flight table layout next season. Villa is in 17th place with 34 points, slightly ahead of Watford on goal difference. Behind them is Bournemouth, three points adrift.
Norwich’s fall in the championship was confirmed after their home was humiliated to West Ham
But Aston Villa may be able to save itself from the same fate with another crucial victory
THE RELEGATION SCRAP
Aston Villa – 34 POINTS
West Ham (A)
Watford – 34 POINTS
B’mouth – 31 POINTS
Villa travels to West Ham, who has already ensured their safety, on the last day. Watford plays Arsenal in the Emirates and Bournemouth takes on Everton. All three will look nervously over their shoulders, but may still dream of a new historical escape.
Dean Smith’s outfit is in complete control of their fate. If they bring down the hammers, they must seal the survival. Bournemouth and Watford face tough encounters in their bid to avoid the drop, meaning Villa may not even need maximum points.
The turmoil on Vicarage Road certainly helped their mission. Sacking Nigel Pearson may very well backfire and doesn’t seem to have had the desired outcome. His appointment had one simple goal: to keep up Watford. But the defeat to West Ham, which would have fueled tensions between Pearson and Gino Pozzo, turned out to be the last nail in his chest.
Watford’s dismissal of Nigel Pearson has not gone according to plan and the wrestlers remain in danger
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth must defeat Everton and rely on other results to avoid relegation
The heavy defeat to rampant Manchester City means Watford must improve Villa’s result on the last day. They will also have to hope that Smith’s team loses more than they by a margin of two goals.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, appeared to have fought back from the inevitable after defeating Leicester at Vitality Stadium, but losses to former South Guard Southampton champions have put pressure on it.
Eddie Howe’s troops are three points behind both Villa and Watford. They can only stay up if they beat Everton on Sunday and Watford and Villa lose their respective clashes.
LATEST DAY INSTALLATIONS
Arsenal vs Watford
Burnley vs Brighton
Chelsea vs Wolves
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham
Everton vs Bournemouth
Leicester vs Manchester Utd
Manchester City vs Norwich
Newcastle vs Liverpool
Southampton vs Sheffield United
West Ham vs Aston Villa
(ALL games start at 4:00 PM GMT)