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Everything at stake in EPL 2019/20 final round

From top-four race to relegation battle: Everything at stake in EPL 2019/20 final round

July 25, 2020 By Ali M.
The final two Champions League spots will be decided in Matchday 38 of the Premier League, as well as the final two teams to get relegated.

The 2019/20 Premier League season will be coming to an end on Sunday, July 26. All 10 games of the 38th and final Matchday will kick off simultaneously at 11:00 AM ET, with the matches set to be aired on NBC Sports in the US.

While the title race had been done and dusted for some time now due to Liverpool's rampant form and huge lead at the top, a lot is left to play for. All eyes will be on the top-four race, with Man United, Chelsea, and Leicester locked in an exciting battle to claim the last two Champions League tickets.

However, it does not stop their as the battle to avoid relegation will go down to the wire, with as many as three clubs fighting to remain in the English top-flight. Here's everything you need to know ahead of Matchday 38 in the Premier League.

What has already been confirmed?

  • The title race: Liverpool are the champions and thus the trophy is not on the line on the final day.

  • The first two Champions League spots: Liverpool and Man City, who are first and second respectively, have both confirmed their spots in UEFA's premier club competition for 2020/21.

  • Arsenal can't qualify for Europe through the league: The Gunners will finish outside the top six for the first time in 25 years, meaning they cannot qualify for the Europa League through the league, but the FA Cup offers another route.

  • Norwich are relegated: The Cannaries will return to the EFL Championship after only one season in the Premier League.

What will be decided on Matchday 38?

The top-four race

This season has witnessed one of the most exciting top-four races in recent history. The final day will decide who will join Liverpool and Man City in the UCL next season, with Man United, Chelsea, and Leicester vying for the two remaining slots. Interestingly enough, the Foxes and the Red Devils will lock horns on Sunday. The Blues, meanwhile, are in for a tricky test themselves, taking on sixth-placed Wolves.

Solskjaer's side boast a slight advantage over the other two as they occupy the third spot with 63 points, sitting ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and ahead of Leicester by a single point. Here are the permutations heading into the curtain-closer:

  • Man United: Victory at King Power Stadium would secure them the third spot. A draw will also be enough to book their Champions League spot. The Red Devils will miss out on UEFA's premier competition if they lose to Leicester and Chelsea pick up at least a point at Wolves. If Solskjaer's side lose and the Blues also suffer a defeat, Man United would still make the top four.

  • Chelsea: Victory over Wolves would guarantee them a top-four finish – they'd grab the third spot if Man United fail to triumph. A draw would suffice regardless of the score from Leicester vs Man United. The Blues will drop to the Europa League if they lose this weekend and the Foxes pick up at least a point.

  • Leicester: Victory would guarantee them a top-four finish but a draw against Man United could suffice should Chelsea lose to Wolves, as Vardy and Co. boast a superior goal difference.

A Europa League spot

One of Man United, Chelsea, or Leicester will enter the Europa League next season. The team that finishes in sixth will also earn automatic qualification. However, that spot is under contention between Wolves and Tottenham. Nuno Espírito Santo's side boast the advantage, sitting one point ahead of Spurs. Failure to leapfrog Wolves could end in Mourinho's side missing out on the Europa League as England's third and final ticket would go to Arsenal if they win the FA Cup. A slip up from Jimenez and Co. would be excellent for Tottenham but they must beat Crystal Palace first. If this doesn't occur, then they will be rooting for Chelsea to beat Arsenal in the final.

The relegation battle

As of now, only Norwich have officially been relegated. Bournemouth, who sit in 19th with 31 points, Watford in 18th with 34 points, and Aston Villa in 17th, with also 34 points but a superior goal difference, are the three teams fighting to avoid the last two relegation spots. The Cherries are the most disadvantaged, not only due to their inferior points tally, but also due to the fact that they will be traveling to Everton on the final day. The Hornets face Arsenal, which will also be no walk in the park. Grealish and Co, on the other hand, will face West Ham. Here are the permutations:

  • Bournemouth: The Cherries will need both Watford and Aston Villa to lose and would have to beat Everton in order to avoid relegation

  • Watford: A slip-up from Aston Villa accompanied by a win for Watford against Arsenal would see the Hornets survive. If Grealish and Co beat West Ham, then Troy Deeney's side must win and beat the Lions' scoreline by a two-goal aggregate.

  • Aston Villa: They will simply need to match Watford's score in order to survive so long as it's not a defeat, as that could see both sides drop into the danger zone and Bournemouth survive.

Who have been promoted to the EPL for 2020/21?

Leeds United were the first side to secure promotion, having won the 2019/20 EFL Championship title. They will be joined by West Brom, who finished as runners-up. One of Brentford, Fulham, Cardiff, and Swansea will also climb up depending on who wins the playoffs.

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