Premier League permutations: The state of play with one match to go

Premier League permutations: The state of play with one match to go post thumbnail image

This article has been updated after Everton’s 3-2 win against Crystal Palace.


There is now just one round of matches remaining in the 2021-22 Premier League season.

Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Southampton ensured the title would be decided on the final day after Manchester City dropped points in their 2-2 draw at West Ham United on Sunday.

North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, meanwhile, are vying for the final Champions League spot. Antonio Conte’s side are looking like the favorites after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat by Newcastle United on Monday.

Behind them, Manchester United and West Ham are battling it out for qualification for the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

And at the bottom end of the table, one of Leeds United or Burnley will join Norwich City and Watford in the Championship. Everton confirmed their safety after Thursday’s remarkable 3-2 win over Palace.

The Athletic breaks down everything you need to know as the Premier League battles enter their final stages.


The title race

City dropped the ball against West Ham, with defensive seeing them go 2-0 down at half-time errors at the London Stadium. Although they clawed it back to 2-2, a missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez late in the game means that Liverpool are still in with a chance of adding the Premier League title to their Carabao Cup and FA Cup wins.

Jurgen Klopp’s side then cut City’s lead to a single point on Tuesday following a 2-1 victory against Southampton to keep them in the hunt for the Premier League crown. Liverpool made nine changes to the side that lifted the FA Cup on Saturday but put in a dominant display, as goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip kept their title hopes alive.

It is a repeat of the 2018-19 season, when City went into the final day of the season a point ahead of Liverpool. Klopp’s side, however, will be hoping for a different outcome this time around as City maintained their advantage to secure the title that season.

It remains an uphill battle for Liverpool, however, due to their inferior goal difference. They need to win their last game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield and hope City falter on the final day of the season to lift their second Premier League title on Sunday.

City will be hosting Aston Villa — who are managed by former Liverpool great Steven Gerrard. How he would love to spoil City’s day.

The title race

Pos Team GP Pts GD

1

37

90

72

2

37

89

66


The top-four battle

Having beaten Burnley 1-0 on Sunday, Spurs were two points clear of Arsenal in that all-important fourth place.

Arsenal had a game in hand on their rivals to close that gap, but Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a devastating 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Monday to put a big dent in their top-four hopes.

In the final game of the season, Spurs face Norwich at Carrow Road, while Arsenal host Everton. Norwich are already relegated and Everton avoided the drop following their stunning 3-2 comeback against Crystal Palace.

Due to Tottenham’s goal difference advantage over Arsenal (15), they in essence just need a point at Norwich to secure their place in next season’s Champions League.

The top-four battle

Pos Team GP Pts GD

4

37

68

24

5

37

66

9


The fight for sixth

It may not be the most glamorous battle as we enter the final stages of the 2021-22 campaign, but there is a significant difference between finishing sixth and seventh.

The sixth-placed side will join either Spurs or Arsenal in the Europa League while the seventh-placed team will compete in the next season’s Europa Conference League.

United, who haven’t played since their 4-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion on May 7, occupying sixth place. They are two points of West Ham, who themselves guaranteed ahead European football again after their draw with City — which happened at the same time as Wolves’ draw with Norwich on Sunday.

United’s significantly worse goal difference means Ralf Rangnick’s side must win their final game — a trip to Patrick Vieira’s Palace — to guarantee sixth place.

David Moyes’ West Ham, meanwhile, travel to Brighton, who has the fourth-worst home record in the Premier League.

The fight for sixth

Pos Team GP Pts GD

6

37

58

1

7

37

56

11


The survival battle

Everton went into the Palace game knowing a win would secure their survival, after they blew the chance to retain their Premier League status on Sunday with a 3-2 defeat by Brentford.

Frank Lampard’s side made it hard on themselves too, going two goals down in the first half, but turned it around to claim a memorable victory.

Thanks to their superior goal difference, a midweek draw for Burnley against Villa saw move above Leeds heading into the final game of the season. Leeds had picked up a vital point with an added-time equaliser against Brighton on Sunday.

Brentford have already had a hand in the battle for survival after their 3-2 win at Everton, and will again be center stage when they host Leeds this Sunday. Elsewhere, Burnley host Newcastle as Eddie Howe faces his former side.

Leeds must better Burnley’s result to survive…

The survival battle

Pos Team GP Pts GD

16

37

39

-19

17

37

35

-18

18

37

35

-38


What do the stats say?

While each set of fans will have their own thoughts on which team is guaranteed a top-four finish and who will be playing Championship football next season, the good folks at FiveThirtyEight have crunched the numbers to give the likelihood of possible finishing positions (in terms).

The predicted final table

Predicted Pos Team Prediction % Current Post Current GP Current Pts Current GD

1

82

1

37

90

72

2

82

2

37

89

66

3

100

3

37

71

42

4

96

4

37

68

24

5

96

5

37

66

9

6

79

6

37

58

1

7

79

7

37

56

11

8

39

8

37

51

-3

9

35

9

37

49

0

10

34

10

37

48

-4

11

42

11

37

46

-7

12

36

12

37

46

-19

13

41

13

37

45

3

14

83

14

37

45

-1

15th

78

15th

37

40

-20

16

78

16

37

39

-19

17

76

17

37

35

-18

18

76

18

37

35

-38

19

93

19

37

23

-42

20

93

20

37

22

-56


How do the European places work this season?

The top four Premier League teams automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League group phase.

The Europa League group stage spots go to the fifth-placed side and the winners of the FA Cup, with the Carabao Cup winners earning a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs.

As Liverpool have won the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, an extra Europa League place goes to the sixth-placed side and the Conference League spot goes to the team who finish seventh.


And what about prize money?

There’s plenty to play for even for sides that aren’t fighting for survival or battling for European places.

Here, The Athletic explains how every place matters in the final Premier League table with a breakdown of the prize money on offer.

(Top photos: Getty Images)

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