With three weeks remaining in the Premier League it’s all to play for in the title chase, race to qualify for Europe, and bid to avoid relegation.
Below is your primer for the major scenarios to be aware of going into Matchweek 35.
The Premier League title chase is down to three clubs: Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Below are the scenarios for all three clubs.
I. Liverpool are the only club in control of their title opportunity
- If Liverpool win their remaining 3 matches (including win v. Chelsea on Sunday), they win the title.
- If Liverpool earn 7 points (2 wins, 1 draw) in their remaining 3 matches, they win the title.
- The earliest Liverpool can clinch the title is May 5 at Crystal Palace. If Liverpool win v. Chelsea and City drop points v. Palace on Sunday, Liverpool can clinch the title with a win at Palace next Monday, regardless off City’s result at Everton next Saturday. If Liverpool win v. Chelsea and City lose v. Palace on Sunday, Liverpool can clinch the title with a win or draw at Palace next Monday, regardless off City’s result at Everton next Saturday.
- If City continue winning, Liverpool cannot clinch the title until the final day of the season (May 11).
- NOTE: If Liverpool lose v. Chelsea and City lose or draw v. Palace, Liverpool still control their title chances.
II. If Liverpool lose v. Chelsea and City win at Palace, no club would be in full control of their title opportunity. Both City and Liverpool could reach a maximum of 86 points, in which case the title would be decided by the goal difference tie-breaker
- The above is the only scenario this weekend in which Liverpool lose control of winning the title outright on points.
- City (+56) currently have a better goal difference than Liverpool (+52).
III. There is no scenario in which Chelsea can finish the weekend in control of their title chances
- If Chelsea lose v. Liverpool on Sunday, they are mathematically eliminated from title contention.
- If Chelsea draw or win v. Liverpool on Sunday, they would still need “help” from BOTH City and Liverpool to win the title.
I. Thus far only Liverpool have qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Chelsea and City could each qualify this weekend, under the following scenarios
- Chelsea can guarantee a Champions League berth with: a) a win or draw v. Liverpool and Everton loss, or b) a win v. Liverpool and Everton loss or draw, or c) a win v. Liverpool and Arsenal loss or draw.
- Manchester City can guarantee a Champions League berth with: a) a win and Arsenal loss, or, b) a win and Everton loss or draw.
II. Tottenham will be eliminated from Champions League contention under the following scenarios
- A loss v. Stoke City or an Arsenal win v. Newcastle.
- NOTE: A loss or an Arsenal win also guarantees that Tottenham will finish below Arsenal for the 19th straight season.
III. Europa League Qualification
- Both 5th and 6th place finishers will earn a Europa League spot for next season.
- Everton are guaranteed at least a Europa League spot with a win or draw v. Southampton or a Manchester United draw or loss v. Norwich City.
I. No club can be guaranteed relegation this weekend
II. Mathematical safety entering Saturday is 42 points
- If West Ham win and Norwich or Sunderland drop points then West Ham are guaranteed safety.
- Bottom-3 clubs’ finishing points if they all win their remaining matches: Cardiff City (39 pts), Fulham (39 pts), Sunderland (41 pts).
- NOTE: Sunderland host Cardiff on Sunday, so both cannot win remainder of their matches.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.