With Southampton’s win over Swansea at the Liberty last night, two teams are confirmed to go down- Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. The third team will be one of Saints, Huddersfield or the Swans, but it is likely to be the last of the three mentioned, meaning that we will not get to see a Welsh derby next season.
Apart from the relegation spots, the other important battle is the one for Champions League spots. The Manchester clubs have all but secured their spots for next season European competition with Manchester City securing the title and Manchester United cementing their 2nd spot. This has left Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham jostling for two spots. The Reds can obviously qualify automatically for the Champions League next season if they beat Real Madrid in Kiev, but they’d prefer to do it the league way.
Jurgen Klopp’s men looked all set to confirm 3rd place but a series of poor results, the most recent being their defeat at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea, has ensured it will not be as straight forward as some fans would’ve thought a few weeks ago. They need to beat Brighton on the final day of the season to confirm CL footy next season, and while a look at the 10bet odds indicates that they are strong favourites (1.15 at the time of writing), Brighton would love to play party spoilers after upsetting Manchester United a few days ago.
Tottenham Hotspur fans will also be watching their last two games nervously. The Lilywhites’ 1-0 loss to struggling West Bromwich Albion has allowed Chelsea to gain ground on them. The Blues on the other hand looked dead and buried after their 3-1 defeat to Spurs and their sudden draw with West Ham but have put together a good run of victories together to reignite their top four hopes.
Chelsea will first host Huddersfield Town at the Bridge on Wednesday and then travel to Newcastle on the final day of the season. Both are potential banana slips, with Town able to virtually guarantee survival if they pick up a point against the Blues, and Newcastle having former Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez at the helm at St.James Park.
Like Chelsea, Spurs also have a fixture against Newcastle remaining, but at home. They will finish their engagements with another home fixture against last season’s champions Leicester. The Lilywhites are two points ahead of Chelsea with two to play. Failure to get CL football after such a fantastic season (where they went toe to toe with Real Madrid and Juventus) would surely be a major disappointment for Mauricio Pochettino, and they’ll be keen to avoid that!
Week 38 promises to a massive one- be sure to catch all the action on your telly!