Premier League Scenarios: Top 4, European qualification and relegation
Heading into the final week of the Premier League let’s take a look at the Top 4, European qualification and the relegation race, as it currently stands.
THE TOP 4 + CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The current Top 4 of Manchester City (1st, 80 pts), Liverpool (2nd, 80 pts), Chelsea (3rd, 79 pts) and Arsenal (4th, 76 pts) have all qualified for the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League. Their Premier League title chances are as follows.
Even on points with Liverpool, City tops the table due to their superior goal advantage (MC:59, LIV:50). As such, if City wins their final two matches and maintains their goal advantage, they’ll have won their second Premier League title in three years.
For Liverpool to win the title they’ll need to win their final two matches (against Crystal Palace this afternoon and Newcastle on Sunday) and for either City to drop points in one of their final two matches (against Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham on Sunday) or to overcome the goal differential. If that happens, it will be Liverpool’s first league title in 24 years.
For Chelsea to have a chance at winning the title they’ll need Liverpool and City to drop points in both of their final two matches. But if Liverpool win today or City win on Wednesday, Chelsea are eliminated from title contention.
Arsenal are out of the title race.
Hull City qualified for next season’s Europa League by virtue of reaching the FA Cup final and Everton join them as the Toffees are guaranteed to finish 5th or 6th in the Premier League table.
If Tottenham win Sunday, they will clinch 6th place and a Europa League spot. For United to clinch 6th they’ll need to win their final two matches and hope Spurs lose on Sunday.
Cardiff City (20th, 30 pts) and Fulham (19th, 31 pts) have been relegated and there are three clubs who could fill the final drop position: Norwich (18th, 33 pts), Sunderland (17th, 35 pts) and West Brom (16th, 36 pts).
A key match in determining the third relegated side will be Wednesday’s clash between Sunderland and West Brom. If the Black Cats win or draw against the Baggies, Norwich will be realistically, but not technically, relegated (due to far inferior goal difference). If Sunderland earn a minimum of two points in their final two matches, Norwich will be relegated.
West Brom can clinch safety on Wednesday with a win or draw against Sunderland while the Black Cats have to beat the Baggies to clinch.
*Note - Additional scenarios may arise, this post merely outlines the most likely ones.