Never has the Premier League been this exciting. After 37 games, we still don’t know who is going to end where. The Title, the Champions League spots and the relegation battle are all intact. The 10 games that will start at the same time on 13th May will decide all these. Let us take a look at all 10 games and the stakes that they hold.
Match 1 – Chelsea vs Blackburn Rovers
What can it decide : Literally Nothing.
Probably the only match that doesn’t hold any significance. Chelsea have 61 points and the fifth placed Newcastle United has 65 while the seventh placed Everton has 53. So, no matter what the result is, Chelsea will end up sixth.
Blackburn Rovers have 31 points and they are sure to get relegated. Chelsea will probably win this one and give themselves a morale boost before the all important Champions League finals.
Match 2 – Everton vs Newcastle United
What can it decide : Newcastle’s European Future and Everton’s pride in Merseyside
Newcastle are currently placed fifth with 65 points. Arsenal are two points ahead of them while Tottenham are one point ahead. What the Magpies can do is win this game and hope for Arsenal to lose theirs and Tottenham to lose or draw theirs. If that happens, Newcastle will finish third and gain automatic qualification to the Champions League.
A win is also vital for them finishing fourth because if they draw, Tottenham will finish fourth due to their superior goal difference irrespective of their result.
Everton on the other hand can play spoil sport for the Magpies. Everton are one point ahead of Liverpool and if they win, they will finish above Liverpool and can become the major force in Merseyside.
Match 3 – Manchester City vs Queens Park Rangers
What can it decide : The Premier League Title & The third relegation spot
If QPR lose here and Bolton win at Stoke, then QPR are relegated. Manchester City have one hand on the trophy and all they need is to beat a weak QPR side. City have been amazing at home, winning 17 and drawing once. QPR on the other side have won only three away games.
The match is a no-contest on paper but if QPR pull something magical, it will make the title race even more intriguing.
Match 4 – Norwich City vs Aston Villa
What can it decide : Pretty much nothing
Both Norwich City and Aston Villa are in the bottom half of the table and they are pretty much safe. Villa are only three points above the relegation zone but have a superior goal difference. Norwich are placed 13th and they mathematically cannot finish above 10th.
So, both teams are just playing for pride and it wouldn’t be interesting if we see a draw.
Match 5 – Stoke City vs Bolton Wanderers
What can it decide : Bolton’s fate in the Premier League
Bolton Wanderers are two points behind the 17th placed QPR. Given the fact that QPR has to face Manchester City, Bolton’s fate is pretty much in their own hands.
If they win, they have around 99% chances of staying in the league next season. But, as said above, if QPR pull a miracle an get at least a single point out of their game, they will stay in the league due to superior goal difference.
Stoke City on the other hand have nothing to play for. They will finish in the bottom half of the table irrespective of the result of this game.
Match 6 – Sunderland vs Manchester United
What can it decide : Possibly, the Premier League Title
Lets be fair, Manchester United have very little chances of winning the title now. But, they should keep their heads high and look for a win at Sunderland. Manchester United are never the team that concedes the title but it looks like that now. They will probably play their hearts out and keep their ears stuck to the radio.
Sunderland are safe. If they win and if West Brom loses, they can hope for a top-10 finish. Sunderland have improved drastically under Martin O’Neill and they won’t gift the game to Manchester United.
Match 7 – Swansea City vs Liverpool
What can it decide : The Merseyside bragging rights
Liverpool have been pretty ordinary this season but if they can win this game and hope Newcastle win over Everton, they will finish above their Merseyside neighbours.
Swansea are placed 12th and they still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the 10th place if they win this game and hope for favorable results from West Brom and Sunderland.
Match 8 – Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham
What can it decide : The Champions League spot
If Tottenham win this game and if Arsenal lose or draw theirs, Tottenham will finish the season in third place ensuring automatic Champions League qualification. If they finish fourth and if Chelsea win their Champions League finals against Bayern Munich, all the hard work that Harry Redknapp has put in will end up in vain.
On the other hand, if they lose this game and if Newcastle win theirs, Tottenham might end up outside the top four which will be even more devastating.
Fulham have been very awful away from home winning only four games and probably will end up in the same 9th place.
Match 9 – West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal
What can it decide : The Champions League spot, once again.
If Arsenal win, they don’t have to worry about anything else as they will gain automatic qualification. But if they draw, there still might be hope depending on Tottenham’s result. But Arsenal won’t put pressure on themselves by not winning this game.
West Brom are presently 10th in the league and a draw or a win will ensure their top half finish. They will part ways with their manager Roy Hodgson after this game and they will be looking forward to part ways with a win.
Match 10 – Wigan Athletic vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
What can it decide : Nothing
Wigan are safe with 40 points placed 15th in the league and Wolves were relegated a long time ago. A no contest and it will decide nothing. Wolves however will play for pride but the chances of them winning are next to impossible.
So, this is it. 10 games and the battle begins in England. Let us hope that it provides more twists and turns before the Euro and Olympics begins.