It is going to be one of the most enthralling finales to a Premier League season than we have seen in recent years.
Fates, destinies, statuses, and individual awards will be determined this weekend when the curtain falls on the 2021/22 league season in England.
To say the least, it has been one of the tightest races to the league title, securing European qualifications, the battle to escape relegation, and more. Almost all the clubs have a stake in the matches coming up this weekend.
Manchester City and Liverpool have undoubtedly been in a league of their own this campaign. The standard, quality, and sumptuous football from the two teams who have set the precedence in English football for a few years now, has been unprecedented.
The two sides have shared the last four league titles between them; City has three, while The Reds won their first league title in the 2019/20 season since it was renamed.
Just one point separates the two teams ahead of the final game this weekend and have they scored close to 200 goals in the league. The Pep Guardiola side host Aston Villa at the Etihad and Liverpool entertains Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. A win for City in front of their fans seals the title for them, but a draw at home and a win for Liverpool means the title will head to Merseyside. The Cityzens need just a win, regardless of how many goals Liverpool put past Wolves.
Perennial ‘top-four title’ chasers, Arsenal, bottled their chance of Champions League qualification in their 2-0 defeat at Saint James’ Park last Monday. It initially appeared to be a four-horse race between them, Manchester United, West Ham, and Tottenham Hotspur. However, United and the Hammers have the other ambition not to play in the competition next season, leaving the Gunners and Spurs to battle for the last spot, with Chelsea having cemented the third place.
As it is with the league title, the last available Champions League slot will also be decided this weekend. Tottenham travels to face already relegated Norwich City and Arsenal have a date with Everton; a team that has spent all season fighting to stay afloat. Spurs are two points ahead of their London rivals and a goalless draw will grant their desire, so long Arsenal does not score eight goals without conceding against the Toffees who also could need at least a point in the game to confirm their top-flight status for next season.
Surprisingly, the battle for the second Europa League spot is also up for grabs, and again in what has become a familiar trend these days, United is in the mention. They have had a disastrous campaign and it is underlined by their fight with the Hammers for a space in the second tier of European club football next season.
United have 58 points from 37 matches, two points above the Hammers. The Old Trafford side will face Crystal Palace away from home, and the David Moyes’ team will face Brighton. A defeat for West Ham will not affect the outcome of United’s game, but if the Ralf Rangnick’ team loses in London and their contender win at Brighton, they could settle for the Conference League.
Two teams; Watford and Norwich, are already sure they will be playing in the Sky Bet Championship next season. One Everton, Leeds, and Burnley are seeking not to become the third casualty. However, one of them must join the other two sides. Two points are between the three teams and they have tough games on their hands on Sunday away from their home grounds.
Everton goes to the Emirates Stadium, Burnley makes a trip to Newcastle, while Leeds travels to Brentford. With Everton and Burnley having a game each in hand, it will determine what they hope to get on the final day.
Also, most of the individual awards are yet to be decided in the league this campaign. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been consistent over the past few seasons and has been spectacular this campaign. He is on the verge of winning the golden boots in England for the second time in four years.
The Egyptian has scored 22 league goals this term, and Spurs’ Son Heung-min, who has netted 21 times, has been too close for comfort for the 29-year-old, taking the decider to the last day.
Salah is also vying for the most assist this season in England. The former Chelsea forward has assisted his teammates 13 times, however, this time, his teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold, is the contender with 12, and the clash against Wolves this weekend could change anything.
For the goalkeeper with the cleanest sheets, City and Liverpool shot-stoppers are expectedly in the running. Allison Becker and Ederson have 20 clean sheets each so far, and both countrymen will be at their best to take home the coveted award for the men between the sticks in England’s elite league.