It might feel it started just yesterday, but the 2021/22 Premier League season has reached its 38th and final round of fixtures to cap off a dramatic and tense campaign.
So much is still to play for. The title race between Manchester City and Liverpool is very much on, as is the battle at the bottom between Leeds and Burnley. The top four battle is raging betweeen Tottenham and Arsenal, with Manchester United and West Ham vying for sixth. Even plenty of mid-table jostling promises to provide continued excitement.
As usual, all 10 matches will be played simultaneously, and on Sunday rather than Saturday.
Arsenal vs Everton
Back to back defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle look to have cost Arsenal their chance of a top four finish and a return to the Champions League next season. But they could still make it as long as they beat Everton and Norwich win against Tottenham, which Mikel Arteta claims is ‘very possible’.
Everton come into this game safe in the knowledge that they will still be a top flight club next season whatever happens. The Toffees secured their status on Thursday night by beating Crystal Palace and are mathematically safe from relegation.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Everton
Brentford vs Leeds
Leeds will only survive into a third consecutive Premier League season if they can better Burnley’s result against Newcastle. They are tasked with doing that against a Brentford side that have won their last two games and scored six goals in the process.
Remember then that Leeds have the Premier League’s second worst defensive record, leaking 2.1 goals per game on average – only Norwich have conceded more – and come into this crunch fixture after taking just two points from the last 15 on offer.
Prediction: Brentford 2-0 Leeds
Brighton vs West Ham
With focus on the Europa League knockout stages, which ended in semi-final heartbreak earlier this month, West Ham’s domestic form understandably fell away. Only one win from their last six games in the Premier League leaves them in a Europa Conference League spot at present, but it could improve.
Brighton, however, still have their own ambitions to achieve. The Seagulls occupy a top half place, which would be a landmark achievement, while anything higher than 13th would represent their highest ever finish. As chance would have it, they could fall to 13th if results go against them.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 West Ham
Burnley vs Newcastle
This game could have had everything riding on it the other way a few months ago, with Newcastle bottom of the table until December and in the relegation zone until January. Now, the Magpies are within touching distance of a top half finish if they win here and get other favourable results.
Burnley start the final day of the season out of the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of Leeds. They have their destiny in their own hands and a win would secure their top flight status come what may, but they would still be safe just matching what Leeds do.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Newcastle
Chelsea vs Watford
Chelsea have already done enough before the final day to ensure they can finish no lower than third, which is actually one place higher than last season and their best since 2018/19. And yet there is an air of disappointment around the club that it could have been more.
Watford will hope to give a good account of themselves in what is also Roy Hodgson’s last game before he walks off into the sunset forever. But the Hornets have lost seven of their eight Premier League fixtures since returning from the March international break.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Watford
Crystal Palace vs Man Utd
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is expected to be at Selhurst Park on Sunday to watch his new players in action for the first time. The Dutchman has already started work on his massive project, but will officially take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick on Monday.
Patrick Vieira will be hoping to spoil the party against his former adversaries. The Crystal Palace boss would be forgiven for being a little shaken up after a pitch invader at Everton goaded and taunted him on Thursday night, sparking a brief physical altercation.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-0 Man Utd
Leicester vs Southampton
This is arguably the Premier League game of least importance this weekend – it always has to be someone – with nothing of note at stake and both clubs guaranteed mid-table obscurity somewhere between eighth and 16th.
Leicester start the final day in ninth place and can move up or down from eighth to 12th depending on results here and elsewhere. Southampton are 15th ahead of Sunday and already cannot go any higher, but they can slip to 16th if Everton better their result.
Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Southampton
Liverpool vs Wolves
Liverpool know their chance of an unprecedented quadruple is not in their hands, with even a final day win over Wolves not guaranteed to deliver the Premier League title as part three ahead of the Champions League final later this month. They need a favour off Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Wolves have had a solid season under Bruno Lage in his first year back in English football. Defensively, only the top three have been better, but a lack of goals compared to other clubs has stopped them from being in European contention.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Wolves
Man City vs Aston Villa
Manchester City will retain the Premier League title – a fourth triumph in the last five seasons for Pep Guardiola’s side – if they beat Aston Villa at home. Any other results opens the door massively for Liverpool, but you would bet on City seeing it through.
Steven Gerrard has double motivation for this one. Villa still have a slim chance of finishing in the top half of the table for what would be the first time since 2011 if they win and others results go in their favour. There is also the small matter of helping Liverpool.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Aston Villa
Norwich vs Tottenham
Tottenham are in the driving seat to finish fourth thanks to their massively important win over Arsenal in the recent north London derby and subsequent victory against Burnley. Rumours of a food poisoning outbreak have also been denied and is limited to Harry Kane feeling unwell.
Spurs need to match Arsenal’s result but would be safer just winning. Norwich shouldn’t pose too much of a threat, having already had their relegation fate sealed some time ago. The Canaries have lost 25 Premier League games this season, including 11 of their last 14.
Prediction: Norwich 0-3 Tottenham