It’s been over three months since the last English Premier League match was played but now the world’s biggest club competition is back for a frantic finish.
For Liverpool, it’s a matter of when, not if as they are on
the verge of claiming their first Premier League title in 30 years, but the
rest of the league still has plenty to play for.
The highly coveted places in next season’s Champions League
are well and truly up for grabs as are the spots in the slightly less
glamourous Europa League.
At the other end of the table, half a dozen clubs are still
flirting with relegation and another four are well are a couple of bad results
from being back in danger.
We’ve run through every Premier League club here and taken a look at what they have to play for over the next six weeks.
1st Place – 82 Points – GD
We know Liverpool is going to win the Premier League title, it’s just a case of when.
Sitting 25 points clear on top of the Premier League table, it has been a season to remember for the Merseyside Club.
It could be as early as this weekend if Arsenal manages to upset Manchester City on the opening day (stop laughing).
The other big question surrounding this side is whether or
not they will match Manchester City’s centurions of two years ago, which at
least gives them something to play for once the trophy is secured.
To do that, Jurgen Klopp’s men need six wins from their
final nine matches, something that is very much in play given their record thus
Let the Reds enjoy this run to the title… and maybe mute a few of those louder Liverpool mates on Twitter.
2nd Place – 57 Points – GD
It just hasn’t clicked for City this season and while they
are the only side that can catch Liverpool, you’d be foolish to think they
All that is left for them to play for here is ensuring they can hold on to second place for the time being, which may turn out to be all for nought with a Champions League ban hanging over their heads.
3rd Place – 53 Points – GD
Few sides may benefit more from the enforced hiatus of
COVID-19 than Leicester, having recorded just two wins in their eight matches
before that, ending their remote title chances.
With a mostly injury free squad, Leicester is more than
capable of holding onto its top four spot and returning to the Champions League
for the first time since the 2016/2017 season.
It may be worth keeping the powder dry on Leicester’s first
couple of games though, until we see if the good or bad version of the club has
come to play in the run home.
4th Place – 48 Points – GD
Even if you aren’t a Chelsea fan, you have to admit Frank
Lampard has done a pretty good job with this side to have them in their current
Like every side not named Liverpool, Chelsea has battled
inconsistency throughout this Premier League season and hit a major skid just
before the halt.
Since New Year’s Day, the Blues have won just three matches,
drawing four and losing two, but in an indictment of the sides chasing them,
they have stayed steady in fourth place since late November.
While they are far from safe, a top four finish would
actually be a phenomenal job by Lampard getting them back into the Champions
5th Place – 45 Points – GD
No side may benefit more from Manchester City’s looming
Champions League ban than their cross town rivals.
Fifth place would be good enough for United to qualify for
club football’s premiere competition should City be excluded from next season’s
To do that though, they have to ensure they come out of the
gates firing here, needing another 20 or so points to keep the literal Wolves
6th Place – 43 Points – GD +7
We really should not be surprised by Wolves considering the
number of top quality players in their squad.
They actually get a double bite at the Champions League cherry as well as they are still alive in the Europa League and could also qualify through there should they fall short in the Premier League.
With those competitions set to run one after another instead
of simultaneously, it creates a great opportunity for Wolves to really go for
it in the Premier League and have the Europa League as a backup plan.
Squad depth remains a big issue for them, especially with
very frequent matches so staying as injury free as possible remains the
priority for them.
7th Place – 43 Points – GD +5
This is a huge surprise, through sheer determination, grit
and some very well organised defence, the Blades are all but assured of their
highest ever Premier League finish.
They have conceded a mere 25 goals from their 28 matches and
should they win their game in hand against Aston Villa, they would actually
leapfrog Manchester United into fifth place before they could kick a ball in
Conversely, they have only scored 30 goals this season which
does come as a by-product of having such a strong defensive focus but that plan
has worked so far and it makes them one of the stories to watch over the next
8th Place – 41 Points – GD +7
There’s something about North London this season where its
Premier League teams have performed well below expectations.
Seemingly destined to miss out on Europe with several key
players lost due to injury, Tottenham has been able to bring them back into the
fold thanks to the three month layoff.
Jose Mourinho has only been in the job since November and
will have spent his time away fuming over the two losses and a draw in their
final three league matches plus their limp exit from the Champions League.
The return of Harry Kane makes Tottenham a lot more
dangerous going forward and with rumours about a possible end of season
transfer swirling, he will no doubt want to put his best foot forward here.
9th Place – 40 Points – GD +4
If nothing else, the race between Arsenal and Tottenham to
finish ahead of one another will be fun to watch as both sides likely stumble
to the finish line.
You could get excited about the fact Arsenal has a game in
hand on Spurs, until you remember that comes against Manchester City.
This is in all fairness a lost season for Arsenal, with
Mikel Arteta taking over just before Christmas and inheriting a squad that
needs a drastic overhaul, something made even tougher by the current climate.
A Premier League high 13 draws is the perfect explanation as
to why this team is out of the top four again and with fixtures still to come
against City, Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool, plus an FA Cup
Quarter Final, the Gunners may be in for a tough stretch here.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is just two goals behind
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in the golden boot race and could be on his way out of
the Emirates at the end of the season, so don’t be surprised if he has a bit of
extra motivation in this transfer audition.
10th Place – 39 Points – GD
Burnley was on a seven match unbeaten run in the Premier
League when things came to a stop, but that run was enough to bring them from
15th to 10th and have then all but safe from relegation
for another season.
Perhaps more impressive about that run was that it featured
wins over Leicester and Manchester United and also featured draws against
Arsenal and Tottenham.
Scoring has been a problem for Burnley, having been held
without a goal nine times this season but there is still a lot to enjoy about
11th Place – 39 Points – GD
When Palace struggles, they REALLY struggle with a couple of
poor runs of form consigning them to another season of mid-table mediocrity.
Working in their favour is the fact they have been able to counter
those winless runs with some good patches of form that has kept them
comfortably above the danger zone.
This season they have been able to take points off
Manchester United, Arsenal twice and Manchester City so on their day they are
more than capable of performing well, but it’s the inconsistency which gets you
from a punting perspective.
12th Place – 37 Points – GD
When Marco Silva departed in December, he paid the price for
Everton massively underachieving this season, at the time the side was in real
danger of relegation.
Since Carlo Ancelotti took over though, he has worked his
magic and turned this team into a much stronger outfit that has been as high as
ninth place, and only lost to Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City
since New Years.
Everton is a side that should be finishing in the top ten at
the very least and assuming they can pick up where they left off there is no
reason why they should not.
13th Place – 35 Points – GD
There are plenty of mea culpas going around when it comes to
Newcastle, backed by many at the start of the season to be relegated, Steve
Bruce and his side have done a good job to be out of the danger zone for the
Even more impressive is the fact Newcastle is where it is
despite scoring the equal fewest number of goals in the entire competition with
2020 has not been kind to them at all however with just two
wins but they should have enough points in the bank to get by here.
14th Place – 34 Points – GD
The Saints are probably the last side to feel somewhat
secure in their Premier League survival, with an eight point buffer on the drop
A second half of the season rally has brought them up from
18th and barring a major collapse they should just be able to keep
their noses out of trouble.
Considering some of the dire performances we have seen from
them this season, it’s a miracle they are even in a position to stay up but
that’s how some clubs operate in the Premier League, just making sure they are
not one of the three worst teams year in, year out.
Another win and a draw should get them over the line and
with Norwich first up that should give them three vital points.
Brighton and Hove Albion
15th Place – 29 Points – GD
Brighton’s form depends on whether you are a glass half full
or glass half empty person.
Just six wins is appalling by any stretch, however picking
up points off several big sides including Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea has
helped keep them afloat.
With no wins and five draws since New Years though, Brighton
is in real danger of falling into the relegation zone unless they have sorted
themselves out in the last three months.
Every Aussie would love to see Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy earn
another season of Premier League football but the Seagulls need a hard reset
over the final nine matches.
16th Place – 27 Points – GD
For a brief period in September, we thought West Ham’s
spending was going to pay off in a big way, up in fifth place and flying.
Just four wins since then has seen them fall all the way down
to the bottom quarter of the table and just barely above safety.
Most Irons fans would just hope the club can do enough to
survive the drop but it was looking very bleak back in March.
This side has enough talent in it to be mid-table at least
and they will need every scrap of it to stay above the drop.
17th Place – 27 Points – GD
For 16 of the 29 matchweeks, Watford finished the weekend at the foot of the Premier League table and did not record their first win until early November.
But as they say in… other fields, it’s not how you start,
it’s how you finish and this side is on the verge of pulling off a great escape
a la West Ham in 2006/2007.
Not to mention they are (to date) the only side to defeat
Liverpool in this Premier League season so something is clearly coming good at
the right time.
18th Place – 27 Points – GD
Another side that would like to forget 2020 existed, this
calendar year has seen them fall into the relegation zone, picking up a meagre
seven points in that time.
The Cherries have a very tough run home and in order to
avoid the drop, they will have little to no margin for error against sides like
19th Place – 25 Points – GD
One positive of Aston Villa at the moment, you know you’re
guaranteed to get goals in their matches.
Having conceded a Premier League high 56 goals to this
point, it’s no surprise they find themselves in the relegation zone but a bit
of a shock they could end up as high as 15th when the weekend is
Villa will do their best to make the run home interesting but
overs in their matches is probably the way to go.
20th Place – 21 Points – GD
Remember last August when everyone was losing their minds
over Teemu Puuki?
That was the highlight of Norwich’s season as it’s gone from
bad to worse, needing a miracle to survive the drop here.
A rally is not out of the question but considering the last time they were outside the relegation zone was Matchweek Seven back on September 29, it’s not something you’d recommend backing in.
Chances are these are the last few matches Norwich will play in the Premier League for a while as they appear set to drop to the Championship next season.