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.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
According to the player’s agent and brother, an English club – and possibly multiple – made a large offer for the defender, but he is happy at Real Madrid.
Mar 9, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT
Because there’s still hope for humanity, a player convinces the referee he wasn’t taken down in the box and that a penalty shouldn’t be awarded
Mar 9, 2014, 7:34 AM EDT
Two goals from players in their Major League Soccer debuts crack our first Top 5 list.
Mar 9, 2014, 7:02 AM EDT
Will Bruin, Federico Higuaín, and Kenny Miller each scored two goals as a cagey start transformed into fireworks.
Gastón Fernández pays immediate dividends for Portland, but don’t overlook a strong night from Philadelphia
Mar 9, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
“La Gata’s” late heroics can’t overshadow a strong start for the new-look Union.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:25 AM EDT
MLS’s best forward had a very non-best night on Saturday, with his inability to convert a late penalty kick costing his team in Carson.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:02 AM EDT
The former Canadian international drew a late penalty in the Galaxy’s loss to RSL.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:18 AM EDT
Holding serve was enough in game one under their new coach, with Dallas’s big three threat delivering against the Impact.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
They finished last year at opposite ends of the East. On Saturday, D.C. and New York both stumbled in their 2014 openers.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT
After a downturn in 2013, Houston’s main attacking threat has already bagged two.
Mar 8, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
The 35-year-old, four-time Best XI midfielder is left looking for his fourth team in three seasons.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
CONCACAF Champions League mattered, Seattle will need more time, and Sporting plays to type in MLS opener.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
On his fifth team in five years, Barrett delivered Saturday for Seattle.
Mar 8, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT
Late match chaos produced 2014′s first point of drama, with the veteran journeyman giving Seattle a perfect start.
Mar 8, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
Bayern dominated once again, scoring six against Wolfsburg, while Schalke proved they’re still able to dominate matches by scoring four.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Four decades of soccer in the Pacific Northwest were celebrated at CenturyLink Field.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
The Rapids finally confirm the man who guided them through the preseason would replace Óscar Pareja.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Big wins for Man United, Chelsea and Cardiff on a stellar Saturday of PL action:
Mar 8, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT
Sporting’s title defense begins at CenturyLink Field, with MLS’s first game of the 2014 season available on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT
Goals from Eto’o, Hazard and Ba with two hands Chelsea crucial win, as title race intensifies:
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Rare bad night from Robbie Keane costs LA Galaxy against Real Salt Lake 0
- Atlantic crushed: D.C. United, New York open the season with three-goal losses 2
- Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video) 10
- Premier League Roundup: Chelsea clear at the top, Manchester United click, Cardiff bag huge win 0
- Dallas Manage 3-2 Win in Season Opener Against Impact
- Dynamo Shut Out the Revs as Bruin Scores a Pair
- Argentine Melodies Illuminate Rainy Night in Portland
- LA Galaxy Gift Real Salt Lake Three Points in Season Opener
- Berhalter Gets First Win as Columbus Downs D.C. United 3-0
- Colorado Rapids - 3 Hopes and One Fear
- NYRB Don't Know What Hits Them in Emphatic 4-1 Whitecaps Win
- John Terry Rules out International Return
- Aberdeen March on in Scottish FA Cup
- 2014 MLS Season: Rebuilding The San Jose Earthquakes