21 Jul What’s left to play for in closing video games?
The Premier League’s “Mission Restart” has confirmed to be a hit, with the problem of finishing the 2019-20 season following the 100-day coronavirus-enforced shutdown now coming into its closing week.
Liverpool have already secured the league title, wrapping up their first home championship since 1990, and Norwich Metropolis have suffered relegation to the Championship after only one season again within the high flight. However there are nonetheless many points but to be resolved because the Premier League approaches its closing spherical of fixtures on Sunday.
The battle for European qualification will go into the ultimate day, and 5 golf equipment are locked in a struggle to keep away from occupying the 2 remaining relegation berths. The race for the Golden Boot and Golden Glove are nonetheless too near name, whereas Friday will see the 2019-20 Footballer of the 12 months introduced.
So how will all of it shake down by the tip of the season?
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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis are already assured of their place in subsequent season’s Champions League, however Metropolis’s success final week in overturning their two-year ban from European competitors has left Chelsea, Leicester Metropolis and Manchester United in a three-way battle for the 2 remaining spots.
One level separates the three teams going into the ultimate week, with fourth-placed Leicester forward of United in fifth by advantage of targets scored. It couldn’t be tighter. However by the point United go to Leicester on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team could possibly be three factors away from them. If United beat West Ham at Previous Trafford on Wednesday, each aim will depend — a giant win could possibly be essential so as to depart Leicester needing to win by multiple aim on Sunday to assert a high 4 end.
However Leicester and United can nonetheless each end within the high 4 as a result of Chelsea have a tricky closing week, with a visit to Liverpool on Wednesday adopted by a conflict with Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
If Chelsea lose at Anfield and fail to beat Wolves, Leicester can pip them on the publish.
EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
Arsenal’s run to the FA Cup closing has sophisticated the image within the race for the Premier League’s three Europa League spots.
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The primary will go to certainly one of Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester United, with a kind of golf equipment assured to complete fifth, so ending in sixth is now essential for the likes of Wolves and Tottenham. However Sheffield United and even Arsenal, presently in 10th, began the ultimate week with hopes nonetheless alive of a high six end.
Sixth will assure a Europa League place, however the team that finishes seventh should wait till the cup closing to find whether or not it’s sufficient for European qualification.
If Chelsea win at Wembley, seventh will likely be ok for the Europa League, but when Arsenal elevate the cup, they’ll declare the ultimate spot.
The image will grow to be a lot clearer after the midweek fixtures — Sheffield United misplaced at house to Everton and Wolves beat Crystal Palace on Monday, with Arsenal touring to Aston Villa on Tuesday — however it could possibly be a four-way battle for sixth on Sunday if all of them win this week.
WHO GOES DOWN?
Norwich are already sunk and the relegation battle could possibly be throughout by Tuesday night time if Watford keep away from defeat at house to Manchester Metropolis and Aston Villa fail to beat Arsenal at Villa Park.
Watford have misplaced their final 12 video games in opposition to Metropolis, nonetheless, and suffered an 8-Zero defeat on the Etihad earlier this season — 4 months after shedding 6-Zero to Pep Guardiola’s team in final yr’s FA Cup closing. So, the shape information suggests it is going to be unfortunate 13 for the Hornets, who surprisingly sacked supervisor Nigel Pearson on the weekend.
If Watford lose, second-bottom Bournemouth would then go into their closing sport at Everton understanding a win may preserve them up — relying on Villa’s consequence in opposition to Arsenal and the result of their sport at West Ham on Sunday.
Watford journey to Arsenal on Sunday, so back-to-back defeats would depart them in huge hassle.
Villa and Bournemouth should discover a win this week to provide themselves any probability of survival, however Watford’s daunting final two video games give each golf equipment a glimmer of hope.
Mark Ogden believes a transfer to Arsenal or Man United would have resulted in much more Prem targets and trophies for Jamie Vardy.
CAN JAMIE VARDY HOLD ON TO THE GOLDEN BOOT?
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy went into the ultimate week on 23 Premier League targets — two away from Southampton’s Danny Ings and three forward of Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. With Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on 19 targets, forward of the champions’ closing two video games in opposition to Chelsea and Newcastle, it seems to be like a four-way struggle to the end for the Golden Boot.
Vardy has only one sport left by which to spice up his tally — the conflict in opposition to Manchester United — and any aim in that one could possibly be sufficient to win the award and safe Champions League qualification for his membership.
Ings may have a hat trick at house to Sheffield United on Sunday to provide himself a real probability, particularly with Aubameyang and Salah, who’s aiming for a 3rd successive Golden Boot, having two video games remaining by which to shut the hole.
Arsenal face relegation-threatened Aston Villa and Watford this week, so Aubameyang seems to be to be Vardy’s greatest menace to topping the scoring charts.
WHO WINS THE GOLDEN GLOVE?
If Burnley’s Nick Pope can preserve one other clear sheet in opposition to Brighton at Turf Moor on Sunday, the England goalkeeper cannot be crushed within the race for the Golden Glove. Pope is on 15 shutouts for Sean Dyche’s team this season, however is certainly one of 4 keepers who can finish the season with essentially the most clear sheets.
Manchester Metropolis No. 1 Ederson has 14, however he has video games in opposition to Watford and Norwich this week by which he can take his tally to 16. Contemplating the type of each these teams, it’s tough to envisage Ederson even having a shot to save lots of.
Liverpool’s Alisson Becker has 13 clear sheets thus far this season and two video games left, giving him the prospect to maneuver degree with Pope in 15. (Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson was additionally on 13, however the 1-Zero defeat to Everton means one of the best he can do is 14 for the season.) However on present kind, it seems to be like boiling all the way down to a race between Pope and Ederson, and it may find yourself as a tie.
Mark Ogden makes the case for Kevin De Bruyne beating Liverpool’s stars to Premier League Participant of the 12 months.
CAN KEVIN DE BRUYNE BEAT LIVERPOOL RIVALS TO BECOME FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR?
With the Skilled Footballers’ Affiliation nonetheless to resolve whether or not they’ll run a vote for the PFA Participant of the 12 months this season, the Footballer of the 12 months — voted for by the Football Writers’ Affiliation — could possibly be the one recognised award handed out on the finish of a marketing campaign that has been elongated by the coronavirus disaster.
The winner will likely be introduced on Friday, and there’s no excellent candidate to succeed Raheem Sterling.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Anfield teammate Sadio Mane are the almost definitely from Jurgen Klopp’s squad, with Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold additionally in rivalry.
Manchester Metropolis midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is gathering help, nonetheless, after racking up 18 assists for Pep Guardiola’s team this season. De Bruyne could find yourself with simply the Carabao Cup by way of main trophies, however with so many Liverpool gamers splitting the Anfield vote, the Belgium worldwide may but be topped Footballer of the 12 months this week.