So here we are! The final day of the season has arrived for the Premier League and there is a lot more drama still left to unfold.
A few months back, there was a real chance of the season getting scrapped or see an early end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has taken a lot of effort from the authorities, the clubs and the players to arrive on this final day of the campaign.
While the fans have not been in the stadium, the football hasn’t disappointed and there is a lot at stake on the final day. The top four race now rests on two games kicking off at the King Power Stadium and Stamford Bridge.
The relegation dogfight has entered the final day as well when it seems Aston Villa and Bournemouth were condemned to go down. And if the drama is even close to what happened in the Championship on the final day of their season on Wednesday, we could be in for a wild ride.
So, let’s find out what the final matchday of the Premier League has in store for us.
Arsenal vs Watford (Prediction 2-1):
Arsenal have little to play for on the final day of the season. They are 10th in the Premier League table and the highest they could finish is eighth.
The Premier League campaign has been a real disappointment for the Gunners and their focus is likely to be on next week’s FA Cup final, which is their last window into next season’s Europa League.
While Mikel Arteta and his side will like to cap off the league campaign with a win at home, expect a heavily rotated side to take the pitch at the Emirates on Sunday.
On the other hand, Watford have everything to play for. The Hornets have dropped into the relegation zone going into the final day of the season. They are level on points with Aston Villa, who are just a place above them due to a slightly superior goal difference.
The sacking of Nigel Pearson has not helped the side and Watford need a win on the final day and hope Villa drop the ball against West Ham. They will take heart from the fact that Arsenal lost to Villa in the last game.
But do Watford have enough to get at the Gunners at the Emirates? The jury is out on that.
Burnley vs Brighton (Prediction 2-0):
This game is as meaningless as it gets on the final day of the season. Both sides have nothing to play for. Burnley are guaranteed to finish in the top ten regardless of the results around them.
Sean Dyche has done a wonderful in getting the Clarets to a top-half finish and they are on an unbeaten run of seven Premier League games, winning four of them.
Burnley will want to cap off their season with another win at home and finish ahead of a club of Arsenal’s size.
Brighton picked up vital points since the restart to make sure that they stayed above water and away from the relegation dogfight. Two points from their last two games made it mathematically impossible for them to get relegated.
Graham Potter has done a solid job in his first season at the club while trying to implement a change in their style of football.
He has something to build upon over the summer and take the club forward in the 2020-21 campaign.
Chelsea vs Wolves (Prediction 1-1):
Frank Lampard’s side have been fourth in the Premier League standing since October but they are in with a real chance of dropping out on the final day of the season.
Chelsea just need a point at home to confirm Champions League football for next season. However, they will be facing the trickiest of opponents in Wolves.
A defeat will leave them depending on the result between Leicester City and Manchester United, something Lampard would loath to do.
Wolves’ staunch rearguard and their ability to counterattack will present problems for a Chelsea side who have conceded 54 goals, which is the worst defensive record amongst the top ten teams.
Even 11th-placed Everton have conceded a goal less than the Blues.
Wolves have won two of their last three Premier League games and are confirmed to feature in next season’s Europa League. Worryingly for Chelsea, they have conceded just four goals since the restart.
If Wolves take a lead at Stamford Bridge, the job would become trickier Chelsea as Nuno Espirito Santo’s team know how to protect leads.
It is likely to be a tight game and with Champions League football at stake, Chelsea have little room for error on the final day.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur (Prediction 0-2):
It seems the Crystal Palace players cannot wait for the season to end at this stage. The Eagles had safety in the Premier League sewn up early but they are experiencing a torrid end to the campaign that threatens to spill into next season.
They have lost their last seven Premier League games and have been visible struggling for confidence on the pitch. Roy Hodgson has failed to arrest the slide and there are question marks over his future at the club, despite him signing a contract extension this year.
Can they finish the season without suffering another defeat? Doubt it.
A run of four wins in their last five Premier League games have helped Jose Mourinho to confirm Europa League football for Tottenham next season.
Spurs’ season seemed to be going nowhere a few weeks back but they have turned it around. Mourinho has shown his disdain towards the Europa League but has also conceded that it is important for the club to play in Europe next season.
Anything other than another win for Tottenham on the final day would be a shock, given Palace’s wretched form.
Everton vs Bournemouth (Prediction 2-1):
The Toffees are another side who have massively dropped off towards the final stretch of the season. The win over Sheffield United last time around was their only victory in the last five Premier League outings.
Carlo Ancelotti is expected to have funds to replenish a squad, who have looked average towards the end of the campaign. They looked like a team who could have chased a Europa League spot at the restart but they won’t even finish in the top half of the league table.
They would like to cap off a disappointing season with a win at home on Sunday.
Bournemouth have left themselves too much to do on the final day of the season in order to survive in the Premier League.
They will start Sunday in 19th in the standings and have no options but to go for a win at Goodison Park. But three points will not be enough and they are depending heavily on Aston Villa and Watford dropping the ball as well.
Bournemouth will take heart from the frantic final day in the Championship but it seems surviving relegation will be a bridge too far for the Cherries.
Leicester City vs Manchester United (Prediction 1-2):
Leicester City are on a run of one win in four Premier League games and need a victory on Sunday to get them into next season’s Champions League.
The Foxes have been in the top four since the fifth matchday of the season. But they are going into the final day outside the Champions League spots.
After winning 12 of their first 16 Premier League games, Leicester have tasted victory just six times in their next 21. The drop in form has been alarming and on the final day, they will be without three of their regular back four and their creator-in-chief James Maddison due to injuries and suspensions.
They will be facing a Manchester United side who have not tasted defeat in the Premier League since January.
After spending all but three matchdays in the top four until now, Manchester United are going into the final day in third place. However, they have looked ragged in recent games.
The defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final was poor and there were visible signs of fatigue in their 1-1 draw at home to West Ham. But the good news is that they only need to avoid a defeat at the King Power Stadium to return to Europe’s rich table again next season.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer and his side should be confident of getting a result at a stadium where they have not lost in the league since 2014. They also have the attacking prowess to get at Leicester’s injury-ravaged backline.
Despite their recent ragged form, the smart money will be on the Red Devils to get the result they need on the final day.
Manchester City vs Norwich City (Prediction 5-0):
Manchester City will finish second in the Premier League but they have not been in the races with champions Liverpool for months. Pep Guardiola’s side have won their last four, scoring 16 goals in the process.
They are looking to put down a real marker ahead of next season when they are expected to challenge for the league title and stop a rampaging Liverpool side.
And in Norwich City, they have perfect cannon fodder on the final day on Sunday.
Norwich are already preparing for life in the Championship with a couple of early summer signings. The Canaries have never looked like surviving this season and have been going through the motions, losing their last nine Premier League games.
Their home win over Manchester City was an early shock in the season but expect no such results on the final day. Norwich can’t wait for the campaign to end and Manchester City will look to have another goal-fest.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool (Prediction 0-2):
Two wins in the first four games after the restart got Newcastle United away from the relegation dogfight. But their form since then has been poor and they have lost three of their last five Premier League games.
The uncertainty off the pitch has crept into their performances and Steve Bruce’s side are now limping towards the end of the season.
They will like to end the campaign on a high note at home but their visitors are newly crowned champions, Liverpool.
The Reds are on a party mode but have something to gain from a win on the final day. While they won’t touch or breach Manchester City’s 100-point tally from the 2017-18 season, three points on Sunday will take them above their own tally from the previous year.
Not sure this will be on their mind when they take the pitch at St. James’ Park, but anything other than a win would be a shock result for the Merseyside giants.
Southampton vs Sheffield United (Prediction 1-1):
Ralph Hasenhuttl has overseen a remarkable turnaround in form for Southampton this season. A 9-0 defeat at Leicester was the nadir of their campaign and they looked like relegation fodder in December.
But the Saints have shown remarkable resilience and fortitude in the second half of the season and are set to comfortably finish in mid-table.
Danny Ings’ 21 Premier League goals have powered them forward and they now have a platform to build for next season and a manager who remains highly rated.
While Sheffield United have squandered a chance to play in Europe, Chris Wilder’s side have exceeded expectations by any metrics this season.
A cursory look at the early season predictions would make it clear how much the Blades have achieved this term. Most pundits had them as a sure shot candidate to get relegated back to the Championship after just one season.
But they have defied everyone and it is a testament to what Wilder has done that a top-half finish for Sheffield United is being considered as a disappointment.
West Ham vs Aston Villa (Prediction 1-2):
The Hammers secured their Premier League status for one more season with the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. David Moyes was brought in to do exactly that and he has completed his remit with a game in hand.
West Ham spent big last summer and just surviving relegation was not on their agenda, but Moyes’ crisis management skills have averted disaster for the club.
They have little to play for on the final day but the manager will still demand their complete effort against the Villans.
Aston Villa are out of the relegation zone going into the final day of the season but just on goal difference. The Villa fans will have their eyes on Watford and what they will be doing in another part of London.
A win for Dean Smith’s team on Sunday will guarantee them another season in the Premier League unless of course, Watford hand out an unlikely hammering to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Their Premier League future is mostly in their hands, something that seemed unlikely even a few weeks back.
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