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Manchester City may have stolen Arsenal’s thunder with a dream Premier League title, but the real drama sits at the bottom of the table.
A former champion, a Merseyside veteran, and a stubborn Yorkshire presence are all on the cusp of relegation as the final matchweek will script an indomitable fall for two of these giants.
Leicester City and Leeds United are tied on points at 31, with the Foxes slightly higher on goal difference, however, Everton are in the best position on 33 points and have their fate in their own hands.
Everton vs AFC Bournemouth: One last home hurrah?
Bournemouth do have the upper hand when this fixture is viewed historically, with the most recent meeting between the two sides finishing 3-0 to the Cherries. Having said that, the 2020 memory of relegation may still be fresh for the visiting side for whom Goodison Park holds forgettable results.
To add to that, ever since Bournemouth secured their extra year in the Premier League, their form hasn’t been good with three back-to-back defeats. Everton will be hoping for that and any other miracles to work their way as they pray to avoid not being sent down to the Championship, a feat that hasn’t occurred for over seventy years.
But personnel drama may emerge against Everton as Calvert Lewin’s absence may make for a nail-biting fixture.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Nathan Patterson will not be available for #EVEBOU, but Vitalii Mykolenko will be assessed tomorrow.
— Everton (@Everton) May 26, 2023
Having said that, the side has the most favourable permutation when it comes to staying a Premier League side, with a win guaranteeing their safety thanks in large to their surprise win at Brighton a few weeks ago. Likewise, a draw would also suffice provided that Leicester City loses and Leeds United do not win by more than three goals. In the event all three teams lose their relegation fixtures, Everton remains safe.
Leicester City vs West Ham United: Never tell me the odds
The Foxes are the very picture of woe as hardly a decade has passed since they did the unthinkable with their Premier League glory and the resulting European trysts. In sharp contrast, this season has been a disaster.
On Sunday, they take on West Ham which could be just what the doctor ordered considering recent results between the two sides. In their previous meeting, Leicester won 2-0 thanks to James Maddison who has been in blistering form even in recent games, evidenced by his three assists and a goal in the last five league games.
Leicester City are potentially a week away from being relegated from the Premier League🦊
We speak of teams and fans living the dream, but they actually did it
A rise like theirs will never happen again
— 𝙇𝙞𝙖𝙢🇧🇪 (@OfficialVizeh) May 21, 2023
The mentality of the two sides could also play a big part on Sunday afternoon. With West Ham likely focused on their Europa Conference League final, Dean Smith’s side may have a golden opportunity to catch them cold.
Leicester may have the most nail-biting permutation as they will taste safety only if they secure a win and Everton falter in their game.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Leeds United: Is the great escape on?
Spurs may not be the clear favourites here, despite their head-to-head form and especially if their 4-3 meeting in November is any indication, which means goals will be scored aplenty. Incidentally, the leaky defence of both the teams, with Leeds’ League topping 74 not much higher than Spurs’ 62, should mean plenty of opportunities for the forwards on both sides.
In that respect, Harry Kane, who is incessantly linked to the exit door, could wish to convert his present tally of 28 goals to a neat 30. A befitting end to his career at Spurs? Incidentally, this will be a fixture where both sides will have something to fight for as the North London outfit will look to edge out Aston Villa in their hunt for the Europa Conference League spot.
Unreal to think Harry Kane may finish the premier league season with 30+ goals and not win the golden boot, special player pic.twitter.com/cSsQGUSVyF
— connor🗿 (@ConnorWhiten) May 20, 2023
The writing certainly appears to be on the wall for Leeds and their Herculean road to safety. In addition to beating Spurs, they must also hope for both Leicester City and Everton to taste defeats, or at least for Everton to muster out a draw in the face of a Foxes loss, but only if they win by more than three goals.
An exciting relegation face-off could arguably be a fitting end to a dramatic Premier League season where the end goal has not always appeared clear-cut and lucid.
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