With just 3 weeks left of the Premier League season and only 2 in the Football League, it’s a nail biting time for a huge number of teams as promotions are being clinched, trophies are being decided and clubs are scrapping for survival. We’ve got a round-up of what’s been confirmed so far, and what’s expected over the coming weeks:
Premier League Title:
This is without a doubt one of the most exciting races for the title since the Premier League was formed. Over the Easter weekend, Liverpool took a giant step towards the trophy, capitalising on Chelsea’s defeat to Sunderland, and are now odds on favourites to win it. However, anything can happen in football and the fact that they have to play rivals Chelsea, and in-form Crystal Palace means that the pressure is on and it is theirs to lose, and Man City and Chelsea will not give up hope of getting their hands on the trophy just yet.
The FA Cup Final takes place the weekend after the end of the season between Hull and Arsenal at Wembley. Hull can cap off an impressive season by winning the trophy for the first time, whilst Arsenal are looking to end a huge trophy-drought. Having done the double over the Tigers this season, Arsenal will be going into the game strong favourites and it is hard to see them being beaten, but looking back a year ago the same was said about Manchester City and look what happened!
The League Cup was the first major trophy to be cleared up this season, with Manchester City beating Sunderland 3-1 in the final to give Pellegrini his first trophy in England.
As always, the top 4 teams in the Premier League will qualify for next year’s Champions League. 3 of these spots are all but confirmed, with Everton and Arsenal fighting it out for 4th place.
Chelsea are the only English team still in with a chance of picking up the Champions League trophy, with the first leg of their semi-final against Atletico Madrid taking place this week.
English clubs have 3 places in the Europa League next season. Man City have confirmed their place by winning the League Cup, however as they are extremely likely to be playing in the Champions league next year, it looks as if both 5th and 6th place in the Premier League will enter. Arsenal and Everton look as if they will take up one of these places, with Tottenham looking favourites to get 6th. Hull City will want Arsenal to finish in the top 4 as this will mean that they will enter Europe, whether they win the FA Cup trophy or not. If Arsenal were to finish 5th and win the FA Cup, then the 7th placed team (most likely to be Manchester United) will play in Europe.
Relegation from the Premiership:
In one of the most wide-open relegation fights of the Premier League, there are still 9 teams who are not mathematically safe from relegation, and no teams who are yet completely doomed. Sunderland picked up a vital win on Saturday and have games in hand on their relegation rivals, many of which still have to play each other to ensure a nail-biting end to the season which will no doubt go down to the final day.
In the Championship, both automatic promotion places have been confirmed, with Leicester and Burnley heading to the Premier League next season. Leicester need just 3 more points to clinch the title and be crowned champions. Derby County and QPR have sealed their places in the play-offs, with a host of teams in the race for the final two places.
Yeovil are all but relegated to League One. They must win both of their final games and hope for a number of other results to go in their favour, including a swing in goal difference. Barnsley are also looking like they have too much to do, but there are a number of teams looking nervously over their shoulder with regards to the final relegation place.
Wolves sealed their title as League One champions on Monday and will lift the trophy at their next game, whilst Brentford will be joining them in the Championship next season. Rotherham, Leyton Orient and Preston are all confirmed as play-off contenders, with the last spot being contested by Peterborough and Swindon.
Stevenage are the only one of four teams to be confirmed of relegation so far, but Shrewsbury have all but lost hope. Carlisle and Notts County could also be relegated next week but it’s not all over for these two yet.
With the Championship and League One promotion’s wrapped up, League Two is where all the end-of-season excitement is at. Scunthorpe, Chesterfield and Rochdale can all make sure of promotion on Saturday but Fleetwood and Burton will be trying to overhaul them. And even after the top 3 are confirmed, it will be a fight to the wire for the champions trophy.
Torquay need to win both of their final games to have even the slightest chance of staying in the football league. The other relegation place will be decided on the last day with a number of teams currently on level points.