Premier League Preview

Arsene Wenger’s final Premier League game will take place at Huddersfield Town as Arsenal look to end the season on a high. It could be a carnival atmosphere as Huddersfield fans celebrate their sides survival in the league. Their point this week gives them a four-point gap to Swansea. A win could move them on to 40 points and mean they finish as high as 15th. Arsenal will end the season in 6th no matter the result but it will be important to put in a good performance in preparation for next season. 

Chelsea still harbour hopes of a top-four finish after their mid-week draw with Huddersfield, but it is now a more difficult task. The 1-1 tie at Stamford Bridge was enough to secure Huddersfield’s safety but it leaves Chelsea two points behind Liverpool in 5th. Only a win at Newcastle on Sunday will give them a chance of Champions League qualification for next season and even then they must hope for other results to go their way. 

Liverpool can seal a top-four finish with a win at home to Brighton but really a point will be enough. They have a 15 goal advantage over Chelsea in terms of goal difference which will be unlikely to be overturned. One win in their last five games means that they will stumble over the line when top four could have been sealed in advance. Brighton sealed their place in the league with last weekend’s win over Man United but will be looking to end the season on a high. 

Champions Manchester City broke the points record in midweek and a victory at Southampton this weekend will take them to 100 points for the season. Four wins from five has seen them keep up their excellent form but face a side who are still not yet mathematically safe. Southampton’s mid-week win over Swansea will likely see them safe as they hold a three-point advantage and a better goal difference over their rivals. It would take a nine-goal swing to relegate the Saints now and so if they keep it tight then the job will be done. 

Swansea host bottom of the table Stoke hoping for a miracle to happen. Scoring is not something they have done much of this season so it may be a tough ask to see them put Stoke to the sword, but the already relegated side have nothing to play for. Although they are down they have tightened up in recent games but their defeat last weekend to Palace was the final nail in their survival hopes. Stokes 10 year stay in the top league has come to an end and they may well finish bottom of the pile having been overtaken by West Brom at the weekend have. 

Second place Manchester United host Watford but could have one eye on next weeks FA Cup final rather than this game. Watford have been safe for some time now and their win against Newcastle last time out was their first in seven games. Watford are one of a number of sides who could finish anywhere between 10th and 15th giving extra prize money. United need just a point to secure 2nd as they sit three points above Spurs. 

Spurs could seal third spot with a win against Leicester. Two wins and two defeats from their last five games has cost Tottenham points of late but they are now assured of a top-four finish so anything else is a bonus. Leicester could have challenged for a European place next season but five games without a win cost them a higher finish. They will not finish lower than 9th and a top half finish is what they could expect from a good season. They could push on for more next season given a few changes. 

The final three games involve sides with very little to play for aside from a higher finish in the table. Burnley are assured of a 7th place finish and Europe League qualification for next season. They face Bournemouth who could still finish the season on a high and grab a top 10 finish. Both sides have won one of their last five games. 

West Brom will be aiming to end the season on a high despite their relegation being confirmed in mid-week. They may not need to do much to avoid finishing bottom of the league as Stoke need to better their result. A win could see them finish 18th in the table. Palace are another of the sides who can finish in the top half, 15th or anywhere in between. Both sides are in form at the moment having gone their last five without losing, winning three. 

West Ham’s first win in five confirmed their Premier League status next season. I am sure the fans will expect more from next season but a win on the final day against Everton will help. Everton fans have also suffered at times this season and they would expect an improvement next season. They will finish either in 8th or 9th which, given the start to the campaign, is not a bad return.