The 2022/23 Premier League season comes to a close this Sunday and there is still so much on the line.
A dramatic final day is in store as three teams battle for one qualification space in the UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) with Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford all in contention.
On the flip side, three teams are fighting for their lives as they are all threatened with relegation to the Championship. Leeds United, Leicester City and Everton head into the final day scrapping to survive.
With only one team able to remain in the topflight for next season, it is set to be day full of rollercoaster emotions.
The fight for Europe
It has been a season to forget for Spurs who could possibly finish with their lowest points tally since 2009.
They have had three managers throughout the season and seem to be rueing the decision to let Antonio Conte go. Since Conte left, they have won three out of 14 games whilst under the helm of both Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason.
Despite this, they are still within a shout of European football next season, and it is largely down to their talisman, Harry Kane who once again has carried Spurs on his back.
It has been another incredible season for the England captain as he has scored 42% of Spurs’ league goals with 28. Any other season he would have taken home the Golden Boot if it wasn’t for a certain Norwegian monster.
They face off against Leeds United who are another team in desperate need for three points.
Another team who have a slither of hope of gaining European football for the first time in their 134 year history is Brentford. However, they need both Spurs and Villa to drop points on the final day, as well as beat the champions and treble chasers Manchester City.
A near impossible task for Brentford but they will certainly go into Sunday with optimism and confidence that anything can happen.
If they were to pull off the impossible, they will have to do it without their leading goal scorer, Ivan Toney who has been suspended for 8 months due to breaching the FA betting rules.
The striker has had an incredible season in front of goal as he has netted 20 goals and is an integral part to why Brentford are in this position.
However, it is Aston Villa who hold the aces going into the final day. They are currently occupying the qualification spot meaning it is in their hands.
It has been an incredible second half of the season for Villa who since the turn of the year would sit third in the league.
It looked like a mediocre season was in store for Villa fans with them sitting 14th under manager Steven Gerrard in late October. But then, in stepped Unai Emery.
Emery is a man who has been ridiculed during his time in England, but there is no doubt in his talent as a coach.
Incredibly, he has won four Europe League titles during his managerial career and will unquestionably be looking to add another piece of European silverware to his mantlepiece with Villa.
It’s theirs to lose. There is no doubt that under the European mastermind and serial winner that is Unai Emery, Villa would be dangerous in Europe.
They welcome Brighton to Villa Park on Sunday and they will be looking for their home ground to pull them over the line.
The escape plan
The 2015/16 Premier League champions, Leicester City are now staring relegation in the face. Since their miracle season, Leicester have lost nearly all of the key men who provided it.
Stars such as Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante have gone on to win numerous Premier League titles since leaving the East Midlands. But despite losing these catalysts, Leicester managed to achieve five top ten finishes in seven seasons.
However, this season is one Leicester fans haven’t experienced since 2002, as they have only just managed to reach the 30 point mark.
They host West Ham at the King Power stadium, who have a European final to be looking towards. But Leicester are going to have to find a way to get all three points to be within a chance of securing topflight football next season.
Since winning the Championship in 2020, Leeds United enjoyed their first two years back in the Premier League. They haven’t played at this level in since 2004 and revelled under Marcelo Bielsa in their first season as they achieved a top ten finish.
The following season, Leeds diced with danger as they only managed to survive on the final day thanks to a win away at Brentford.
This season has been much of the same, they find themselves once again going down to the wire as they look to stay up by the skin of their teeth.
They welcome Tottenham to Elland Road which will be an incredibly hostile and intimidating atmosphere for the visitors.
But it’s Everton who have put themselves in the best position possible heading into the final day.
An unbelievable 5-1 away win at Brighton and a dramatic last-minute equaliser at Wolves helped them to gain four points out of a possible nine in the last three games. Four points that could be the essential to their survival.
They sit two points clear of the chasing pack but will be looking to win their final game as a point might not be enough due to their inferior goal difference.
They welcome Bournemouth to Goodison Park which will undeniably provide a phenomenal atmosphere. The club haven’t played second tier football since 1952 and will be praying to keep up that amazing record.