The final weekend of the 2022/23 Premier League season is upon us, with six teams playing for things of note.
Three sides head into Sunday pushing for seventh spot, which awards a place in next August’s UEFA Europa Conference League playoff round. Another three sides push to maintain their Premier League status for another campaign. Only one of them will do so, with the other two joining Southampton in the Championship next year.
Here are the permutations going into Sunday’s final fixtures.
Europa Conference League spot: Aston Villa (58 points), Tottenham Hotspur (57) and Brentford (56)
While the top six places have all been decided, the last European spot is up for grabs. One of Aston Villa, Spurs or Brentford will partake in UEFA’s third tier club competition.
Unai Emery’s Villa host Brighton and Hove Albion knowing that a win will see them return to Europe after a 13-year absence. Should neither Spurs nor Brentford win, a draw will be enough for Villa, while a Spurs defeat and Brentford dropping points will assure them the UECL place regardless of their result.
In what has been another disappointing campaign for Spurs, they can still salvage something this season. A win versus relegation-threatened Leeds, paired with Aston Villa failing to collect three points, will see the North London club compete in the Conference League for the second time. A draw will be enough if Villa lose (Spurs would finish ahead on goal difference) and Brentford drop points.
Brentford’s situation could not be any more straightforward. The only way for them to jump ahead of their competitors for seventh is by defeating the champions Manchester City at home, while both Villa and Spurs drop points. If Thomas Frank’s side win and Villa draw, the former will finish seventh on goal difference.
Relegation fight: Everton (33), Leicester City (31) and Leeds United (31)
One of these three teams will secure Premier League football, while the other two will have the despair of relegation. This could go in many different ways.
Everton go into the final day with the advantage over their relegation foes. With a two-point advantage, all the Toffees need to do is beat Bournemouth at home and/or Leicester and Leeds both fail to win. Either scenario would be good enough. If Everton draw, they must hope that the Foxes fail to win, and Leeds either drop points or secure victory by less than three goals.
Dean Smith’s Leicester can snag 17th spot by beating West Ham at the King Power Stadium, along with Everton dropping points. Leeds cannot realistically pass the Foxes on goal difference, so it would not matter what they do. If all three of Everton, Leicester and Leeds finish level on 34 points (Leicester and Leeds win, while Everton draws), then Leicester will stay up on goal difference.
For Leeds, the only way to escape this messy situation is by beating Spurs at home and hoping both Leicester and Everton lose. If Everton draw their game, then a win by at least three goals would be required for Sam Allardyce’s side.
At 16:30 GMT on Sunday, all eyes will be on the inevitable drama that will transpire. Five of the 10 games will have significance at either side of the league table. This will be must-watch for football fans.
David Parkes | Get Football