May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With a quiver of the lip and David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we arrive at the final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
At 11am all 10 matches will kick-off but with little of the intrigue that last season’s final day provided.
We won’t be seeing last-gasp strikes by Sergio Aguero to win the title and prompt Ian Darke to wonder ‘Who is writing this stuff?!?!’ And we won’t be seeing two teams like Bolton and Queens Park Rangers fluctuate between safety and relegation only for the former to succumb to their death after drawing 2-2 at Stoke City on a late Jonathan Walters penalty.
But not to worry as there are still plenty of narratives to tickle the fancy. Here’s the complete slate of matches with some of the storylines to keep you interested.
Newcastle United v. Arsenal (St James’ Park)
We all know Arsenal need to win at Newcastle to guarantee Champions League qualification and that with some help from Everton, could even manage 3rd place and automatic qualification. Newcastle on the other hand, are just happy to be staying up.
- Could this match be another 10 goal thriller? The reverse fixture was the highest-scoring match of the season where the Gunners destroyed the Magpies 7-3 at the Emirates.
- Might we see another hat-trick hero in red? Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have both managed the feat this season and Newcastle’s defensive woes make them vulnerable.
Tottenham Hotspur v. Sunderland (White Hart Lane)
To have any chance of securing qualification for next season’s Champions League, Spurs must beat Sunderland on Sunday. But don’t expect the Mackems to roll over as manager Paulo Di Canio has made it clear this match will be a battle: “This is an opportunity, to test ourselves at the top level, against a top side, away from home, against top individuals. I do not accept to go there and give a cheap result away because it is not my mentality.”
- Spurs have won 9, drawn 1 and lost 1 of their last 11 home matches against Sunderland. Can they reach double digits on Sunday?
- Gareth Bale is the undisputed player of the year in the Premier League but with many suitors waiting in the wings, might this be the Welshman’s last match at White Hart Lane?
Chelsea v. Everton (Stamford Bridge)
The clash of the Blues at Stamford Bridge not only has Champions League implications (the Blues must win to secure 3rd in the table) but also represents the final match in charge for both managers. Rafa Benitez’s interim spell as Chelsea manager comes to a close with Jose Mourinho tabbed for a dramatic return to Stamford Bridge while Everton’s David Moyes will be succeeding Sir Alex at United, as he leaves the Merseyside club after an 11 year stint.
- Marouane Fellaini has been in dominant form this season leading to numerous transfer rumors. Could Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge prove to be a future destination for the Belgian?
- Frank Lampard scored twice to beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park. Will the Englishman win it again for Chelsea?
West Bromwich Albion v. Manchester United (The Hawthorns)
It will be an emotional day for United supporters on Sunday as they say goodbye to one of the best football managers to ever grace the pitch, Sir Alex Ferguson. He and his players will be given (yet another) guard of honor as Ferguson looks to motivate his troups for one final win in his 1,500th game as manager at United.
- Wayne Rooney has not been included in the team traveling to West Brom. With the transfer requests being handed in and his displeasure at United, have we seen the last of Wazza in a United kit?
- United have 28 wins this season. Can they make it 29 on Sunday and equal Chelsea’s record for wins in a season?
- Are Steve Clarke’s men going to be up for this one? They’ve lost three straight including last weekend’s 4-0 embarrassment at the hands of Norwich City.
Liverpool v. Queens Park Rangers (Anfield)
It should be a walk in the park for Liverpool on Sunday as they face a relegated QPR team who they shutout 3-0 in December at Loftus Road. For Liverpool, a result will see them finish the season on a nine match unbeaten run.
- Since arriving at Anfield in January, Daniel Sturridge has scored 9 league goals. With Luis Suarez out, might the England international hit double digits?
- With relegation on the loom, could this be the last match for players like Loic Remy, Chris Samba and Junior Hoilett?
Manchester City v. Norwich City (Etihad Stadium)
In the club’s second match without Roberto Mancini, City look to end the season on a high while Norwich look to capitalize on last week’s 4-0 demolition of West Brom.
- Can the Canaries get their first ever victory at City?
- Despite his role as a substitute Edin Dzeko leads his club in scoring with 14 goals. Might the Bosnian be playing his last match for the Citizens?
Southampton v. Stoke City (The Friends Provident St Mary’s Stadium)
Both teams are secure but a Southampton win will see them leapfrog the Potters in the table.
- Rickie Lambert’s 14 Premier League goals put him one behind Frank Lampard for most league goals by an Englishman. Can the striker score a dramatic double to steal the honor from the Chelsea great?
- Stoke’s defense was incredible before the New Year, securing nine clean sheets. Since then, they’ve only had three. Will Sunday see a fourth?
Swansea City v. Fulham (Liberty Stadium)
A Swansea win and a West Brom loss will see Michael Laudrup’s men finish 8th in the table, an incredible feat to add to their coup of the League Cup. For Fulham, a victory on Sunday could see them make an incredible jump from 15th to 10th in the table.
- Michu has been one of the best stories in the league after arriving from Rayo Vallecano for a mere £2m. Can he extend his goal haul of 18 on the season?
- Dimitar Berbatov has 14 goals this season, giving him 89 total Premier League goals. Can he reach the 90 goal mark on Sunday?
West Ham United v. Reading (Upton Park)
West Ham will need at least a draw to hold onto their 10th place spot while Reading are returning to the Championship after a disappointing single season stint in the top flight.
- Can Adam Le Fondre come off the bench and score yet again? He leads the league with 7 substitute goals this season.
- West Ham has only taken two of five Premier League matches against Reading. Can they end their season on a positive note and even up the series?
Wigan Athletic v. Aston Villa (DW Stadium)
A sad day at the DW as Wigan host Aston Villa knowing that next year they will be in the Championship.
- Villa’s Christian Benteke ensured his club Premier League survival. Can the big man add to his 14 goal haul this season?
- Could this be the last match in charge for Wigan manager Roberto Martinez? Numerous clubs, including Everton, have been inquiring about the manager’s services.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:04 PM EDT
How did the Galatasaray supporters pull off this Tifo before Wednesday’s match against Borussia Dortmund? How?!?
Oct 22, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT
The pair of Premier League clubs remaining in the competition face quite different tests on Thursday.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT
Perhaps it isn’t the sexiest year for rookies in Major League Soccer, but there’s a quartet of names set to stick around for a while.
Oct 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
“I had hope, it maybe didn’t look like it, but it happened,” Wenger said.
Oct 22, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT
“So overall, it’s a squad with a lot of experience playing at the highest level, and this will be another great benchmark for us,” Klinsmann said.
Oct 22, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
Of course many are claiming this “is the beginning of end” for Balotelli on Merseyside. That seems a bit much.
Oct 22, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT
Here’s the bar, Week 33 of Major League Soccer: Please feel free to raise it.
Oct 22, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
We are at the halfway point in Groups A-D, and some English clubs are concerned about their fortunes to be sure.
Oct 22, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT
It was a night to forget for the home side, as Real ruled at Anfield. Here’s what we learned.
Oct 22, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
The 21-year-old Honduran international did what a dangerous Alexis Sanchez couldn’t, but Arsenal was rescued late.
Oct 22, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Ronaldo, Benzema and co. put on a clinic at Anfield, as Liverpool are taught a lesson.
Oct 22, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT
The CAF claimed Platini said something he didn’t, and it hurt his feelings.
Oct 22, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT
Here’s what it’s like at Anfield, as Liverpool host Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
Oct 22, 2014, 1:58 PM EDT
With yesterday’s goal frenzy, will today give us the same excitement?
Oct 22, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
This is the second time Robinho is under investigation for such an alleged incident.
Oct 22, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT
NYCFC’s first Designated Player will be returning to the United States to fulfill commercial and marketing obligations, and it’s unclear whether he will make his way back to Australia to finish out his loan.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
Now that he’s back from a hernia problem, the American told Stoke’s YouTube channel that he is no longer a right-back and the club is aware of where he wants to play.
Oct 22, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Rog and Davo gain whiplash from QPR-Liverpool, and the Jurgen Klinsmann-Don Garber saga.
Oct 22, 2014, 10:28 AM EDT
After 10 years with the club, Gourlay has stepped down.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
The MLS side was eliminated from group stage play on an away goals tiebreaker as Honduran side Olimpia goes through.
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