May 4, 2014, 1:41 PM EDT
Does doing the math on who might clinch the Premier League title, who’s going to play in Europe next year and who’s going down leave you with a headache? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick look at how the Premier League shakes out – based on how things stand at the conclusion of Sunday’s matches.
We’ll start with something fairly straightforward. First, Cardiff City’s 3-0 loss to Newcastle and Fulham’s 4-1 defeat at Stoke leaves both sides relegated. They thought they’d try to get some points docked from Sunderland, but that’s not going to work, so they’ll be spending next season in the second division.
Speaking of Sunderland, hold on tight, because things are about to get tricky.
The Black Cats host West Brom on Wednesday in a match with huge implications on the relegation battle. Because the Baggies lost to Arsenal in Sunday’s early match, they’re just three points above the drop. However, because Norwich have a -32 goal difference, it’s almost impossible that West Brom could be relegated. Still, a point against Sunderland on Wednesday would make them mathematically safe – and puts Sunderland into the same “they’re never going to reach us on goal difference” category.
However, Sunderland could still drop down. If the Black Cats lose on Wednesday, it all comes down to the last round on Sunday. That’s when Norwich play host to Arsenal, who’ve got nothing left to play for, and Swansea, who are safe, visit Sunderland.
Because Arsenal are officially in the Champions League, Hull City claim a spot in Europa, regardless of whether or not they win the FA Cup. So 5th and 6th head to Europe’s second tournament – but next season, the winner gets a spot in the Champions League, so it just might become a bit more exciting.
Tottenham, however, seem to have tired of the tournament, and threw away their chance to take England’s final slot by losing 2-0 to West Ham. That means United, with two games remaining, can still slip into sixth. The Red Devils will need to beat both Hull and Southampton, while Spurs will have to lose to Aston Villa next Sunday.
Ok, this one is simple: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will play in the Champions League next season. While the top three spots may not have fallen into place just yet, we do know that it’s Arsenal that will go into the qualifying round. Unless, of course, the Gunners manage to overcome the +18 goal difference Chelsea currently have over them (assuming Chelsea end up second, but if they don’t, it’s an even bigger gap Arsenal will need to leap).
Premier League Title
Deep breaths. Despite Liverpool playing Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City hosting Aston Villa on Wednesday, the title can’t be decided until Sunday.
Currently Manchester City, who beat Everton 3-2 on Saturday, are top, thanks to a better goal difference than Liverpool. The Reds could re-take the lead at Palace, but unless they score more than ten, a win over Villa will have City back top come Sunday.
As for Chelsea, well…they’re almost out of it. After failing to score against Norwich, all the Blues can hope for is that both Liverpool and City will lose this week. Should that happen, Chelsea, who are currently a point behind both sides, will still have a chance to sneak in and grab the title.
That means Chelsea will need to beat Cardiff, which should be simple enough, while Manchester City fall to West Ham and Newcastle beat Liverpool.
Anyone think Chelsea can still do it?
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