This season’s Premier League football has been a rollercoaster ride for all fans involved, and it is going to go right to the wire. This Sunday at 4 o’clock every team in the league will kick off for the final time this season and with much still to play for.
City and Liverpool will face Aston Villa and Wolves respectively in the fight for top spot, with just one point separating them on the final day. Tottenham will go to Carrow Road with the hopes of clinching 4th spot from Arsenal following their recent defeats to their beloved North London rivals and Newcastle: a defeat for Tottenham against Norwich and victory for Arsenal against Everton on the final day would mean they would claim forth place with 69 points. The relegation fight between Burnley, Everton and Leeds will go to the bitter end and one side will have to face Championship football next season. Mr Hodson and I have some contrasting views regarding how the table will look by the end of Sunday, and that is what I am going to address in this article.
It goes without saying that both Liverpool and Manchester City are immense sides equally deserving of winning the title this season. Manchester City are the side with more wins (28 to Liverpool’s 27) but only one point separates them on the final day, and it really could go either way. Whilst Manchester City did slip up this Sunday against West Ham ceding their 3 point advantage to a mere 1 point lead, I feel they are still they absolute favourites to win the title this season. Following their brutal lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, I believe that they going to go into the game against Aston Villa more determined than ever. They will not only want to lift a trophy this season, but they will want to prevent Liverpool from potentially pulling the quadruple this season. I predict that they will trump Aston Villa 2-0.
Mr Hodson’s prediction
Mr Hodson predicts that Liverpool will win the title this season. In all honesty, I could very much see Liverpool lifting the Premier League title for a second time on Sunday, following their 2-1 victory over Southampton this Tuesday. Jurgen Klopp is a phenomenal manager who can’t stop winning trophies. Special mentions to Mané, Salah and Jota who have shown their class once again this season. Whilst I don’t think they will win the Premier league, I have no doubts they will comfortably beat Wolves on Sunday and hey, it is certainly not outside the realms of possibility that Steven Gerrard’s Villa could stun City on Sunday with a sneaky draw or even a victory.
It is with the upmost satisfaction, following Arsenal’s shocking defeat to Newcastle on Monday, that I can say I am fairly confident Spurs will get 4th place and secure Champions League football for next season (no prizes for guessing I am a Spurs fan). On Sunday they face already relegated Norwich, and just a draw away from home would mean Arsenal would need to beat Everton 15-0 to level with us on goal difference. Of course, Tottenham are renown for bottling big games and I can picture them losing to Norwich on the final day and handing forth place to their rivals for a second time already this season. But, after a truly convincing 3-0 victory against Arsenal last Thursday and a 1-0 win against Burnley this Sunday, I feel they have the momentum to pull-through against Norwich and get the win. Antonio Conte has done so much with Spurs in such a short period of time, and Heung-Min Son has had the season of his life with 21 goals in the Premier League (not one from the penalty spot) , and just one goal behind lead talisman Mohammed Salah. They can only hope Conte stays next season and builds on what he has already founded.
Mr Hodson’s prediction
To be fair to Mr Hodson, when he predicted Arsenal would finish in 4th on Monday they had yet to play Newcastle, and had they won they would have gone one point ahead of Tottenham. Arsenal could still get 4th spot, but they would need a motivated Spurs to lose and would need to beat a motivated, relegation-battling Everton. Arsenal fans have every reason to be in despair, I watched the game on Monday against Newcastle, and they were truly rubbish. No motivation, no passion, you wouldn’t think they were in a position to be fighting for Champions League football next season. Mikel Arteta needs to reinforce the squad with some experienced players. Their team are far too young, and it shows. This something that they should have fixed in the January transfer window, but their incompetent board didn’t address it. Bitterly disappointing and embarrassing for Arsenal to have seemingly given up top four in such a humiliating fashion.
I predicted that Burnley would finish in 18th and get relegated to the Championship, but in actuality, they probably aren’t going to get relegated, it’s just that I want them to be. I despise Burnley’s negative, park the bus, boring football. Every time I watch Burnley, regardless of who they face, I almost always end up falling asleep. Every season they end up near the relegation zone, but somehow find a way to finish 17th. Another reason why I want them to go down: why sack your manager, who is a genius at just avoiding relegation every season, right before the end of his tenth year in charge? Utter stupidity from their board and I would love nothing more than to see them pay for their decision. However, they do have a game in hand over Leeds who are only point ahead of them and could beat Aston Villa or Newcastle to avoid relegation once again.
Mr Hodson’s prediction:
Mr Hodson predicted that Leeds would finish 18th. I see this as far more probable as Leeds have really struggled this season and haven’t had much luck with their very attacking football and constant high press. As a fan of football this is upsetting as this is the kind of football is enjoyable to watch. If they lose to Brentford on Sunday, who have had a good first season in the Premier League, then they would need Burnley to lose both their last two games which I feel is unlikely. If they get 3 points from Brentford then they could be okay, but I am not confident for them and I feel Mr Hodson has probably got this one right.
Regardless of the results on Sunday, we can only hope that the 22/23 season offers the same amount of excitement and drama that this season has offered us.