What can be decided on the final day of the Premier League season?

20 May 2021 11:03

And so it comes down to this.

37 gameweeks of drama, excitement and frantic Premier League action, and what's been decided in terms of European placements? Absolutely nowt.

Obviously that's not entirely true; we know that the two Manchester clubs are safe in spots one and two in the Premier League respectively and so will be playing in next season's Champions League, but aside from that it's all up for grabs.

To give you an idea of just how wide open the race for Europe is with just one round of fixtures remaining, three teams are battling it out for two Champions League spots, six teams could still qualify for the two Europa League places and five teams could mathematically finish in the dreaded Europa Conference League spot - though admittedly Leeds are realistically out of the running.

With so much to consider ahead of the final day, 90min have done you a solid and given you a rundown of what results will see teams finish where, and we've even been kind enough to be realistic with our permutations rather than saying 'X will qualify if Y beat Z by 17 or more'.

Get your abacus at the ready.


A win secures Champions League football for Chelsea | Pool/Getty Images

Chelsea's 2-1 win over Leicester last time out has given them a great chance of securing Champions League football for next season.

Thomas Tuchel's side head to Aston Villa on Sunday with their future well and truly in their hands. If the Blues come away with a win then they'll definitely finish third in the table, but anything less than a win and they'll be relying on either Liverpool or Leicester dropping points.

A draw will be enough as long as one of the aforementioned sides don't win, though a defeat could see them slip into the Europa League.

Basically, just go and do a win and everything will be just fine. Or win the Champions League of course.

Realistic summary

Win = Champions League
Draw = Champions League as long as Liverpool and Leicester don't both win
Lose = Champions League as long as one of Liverpool or Leicester get beat. If Liverpool win or draw they'll go above them, if Leicester win they'll go above them but if they draw it will depend on how heavy Chelsea's defeat is.


Jurgen Klopp's side's destiny is back in their own hands | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It's a bit weird that we're all now looking at Liverpool potentially making the top four as a great achievement.

Jurgen Klopp's side host Crystal Palace on Sunday and a win will realistically be enough to clinch Champions League qualification (unless Leicester do something ridiculous like beat Tottenham 6-0 which we're not going to comprehend).

To keep it simple, if the Reds equal or better the Foxes' result at Tottenham (result meaning win, lose or draw rather than the actual scoreline) then they're in the top four, if they don't better their result then their only chance of Champions League football is if they draw and Chelsea get beat.

Realistic summary

Win = Realistically Champions League
Draw = Champions League if Chelsea get beat or if Leicester don't win
Lose = Europa League if Leicester don't get beat


Jamie Vardy's side probably need to win this weekend | Michael Steele/Getty Images

How've they done this again?

We all laughed about it potentially happening again when they lost a few games last month but they're actually on the verge of repeating last season's collapse.

Brendan Rodgers' Leicester would probably have taken Europa League football and an FA Cup win at the start of the season, but it'll feel a bit of a disappointing campaign if they finish fifth now having been in the top four for so long.

The Foxes host Spurs on Sunday and realistically they probably need a win to have any chance of Champions League qualification, though a slip-up from Liverpool could also be enough to sneak in with a draw.

Realistic summary

Win = Champions League if Chelsea and Liverpool don't both win
Draw = Champions League if Liverpool get beat or if Chelsea suffer a heavy defeat
Lose = Europa League unless Liverpool suffer a really bad defeat and they leapfrog them into the Champions League spots.

West Ham

David Moyes' side can no longer make the top four | Pool/Getty Images

Similarly to Leicester, West Ham would have bitten your hand off if you'd said they'd be sixth with one game to play, though it almost feels like they deserve more after their amazing turnaround.

Despite their win over West Brom last time out, the Hammers can no longer make the top four but you'd fancy them to finish in the Europa League spots. Realistically only Spurs can catch them, with Everton needing to win and complete an eight-goal swing to make up for their poorer goal difference.

West Ham host a Southampton side who don't really have anything to play for on the final day, though David Moyes' side's patchy form of late means we shouldn't be so sure of a home banker.

Realistic summary

Win = Europa League
Draw = Europa League
Lose = Europa League as long as Tottenham don't beat Leicester - if Tottenham do win then it's Europa Conference League time.


Will Harry Kane be at Spurs for whichever competition they're in next season? | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Ahhh Spurs, where did it all go wrong?

We were talking about Jose Mourinho's side winning the league at the back end of the year, now we're wondering if Ryan Mason's side can avoid the Europa Conference League.

Spurs head to Leicester on the final day and to be honest a lot of their fans would probably be glad of a defeat when you see the permutations.

Realistic summary

Win = Europa League if West Ham get beat, Europa Conference League if they don't
Draw = Europa Conference League as long as Everton and Arsenal don't both win
Lose = No European football if Everton don't get beat or if Arsenal win


Poor results at home have cost Carlo Ancelotti's side a shot at a top-four finish | Pool/Getty Images

In a season that promised so much the Toffees have had an absolute nightmare.

Nine home defeats in a season is their worst ever Goodison Park return for a single Premier League campaign, with Fulham, Newcastle, Sheffield United and Burnley among those to come away from Merseyside with three points.

Most Everton fans probably want this season finished with already, but at least their side has got a nice easy final day trip to Manchester City to look forward to.

Realistic summary

Win = Europa Conference League if Tottenham don't win
Draw = Europa Conference League if Tottenham get beat and Arsenal don't win.
Lose = No European football


Mikel Arteta's side could still scrape into Europe | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

1995/96 was the last time Arsenal played a season without European football, though they did go on to win the Premier League three seasons later so maybe it's all a ploy.

The Gunners have been pretty awful this season and their Europa League semi-final exit to Villarreal pretty much summed up their campaign.

They host Brighton on Sunday knowing even a win could see them miss out on European football entirely.

Realistic summary

Win = Europa Conference League if Tottenham and Everton don't both win
Draw = Realistically no European football
Lose = No European football

Source: 90min