Premier League scenarios: The title race, top 4, relegation watch


Heading into the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season, not too much has been decided.

That’s right. 20 teams have been slogging it out since August 17 and we still don’t know who has won the title, who will finish in the final Champions League place, who will occupy the Europa league spots and which three teams will be relegated.

It all leads to what should be an incredible Championship Sunday on May 11, when the curtain comes down on a pulsating, exhilarating and remarkable campaign.

MORE: Latest Premier League standings

However, what are the scenarios facing each teams and what do they need to do in the final two weekends of the season?

All the answers to your questions are below, as all of the key scenarios in the Premier League are explained with a whole list of permutations still in place as this dramatic season could take many more twists before the end.

Below is everything you need to know about the fate which faces teams at both ends of the standings.


There is no team in full control of their title opportunity.

  • If Liverpool win their final 2 matches and Man City win their final 3 matches, the two clubs would finish tied for first with 86 points, and the title would be decided by the ‘goal difference’ tie-breaker

o    MC (+58) currently have a better goal difference than Liverpool (+50)

source: Getty Images
Liverpool must win their final two games and hope City slip up.

o    NOTE: the next tie-breaker after goal difference is goals scored. (Currently, LIV: 96, MC: 93)

  • If Manchester City win their final 3 matches AND maintain a better goal difference than Liverpool, they will win the title (their 2nd PL title in the last 3 seasons)
  • Even if Liverpool win their final 2 matches, they need to either make up their current goal difference deficit or Man City need to drop points in at least 1 of their final 3 matches.

o    NOTE: Liverpool have never won the Premier League title. Last top-division title: 1989-90

  • Chelsea need both Liverpool and Man City to drop points in at least 1 of their remaining matches to have a chance at winning the title.

If Chelsea lose or draw and Liverpool win, Chelsea will be eliminated from title contention


  • Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City have clinched Champions League berths
  • Arsenal can clinch the final CL spot by equaling or bettering Everton’s result this weekend.

o    If Everton lose v. Man City on Saturday, they will be eliminated from CL contention and ARS will clinch a CL berth (for the 17th straight season)

o    If ARS win on Sunday, they will clinch the final CL berth (regardless of EVE’s result on Saturday)


  • Both 5th and 6th place finishers will earn a Europa League spot for next season
  • Arsenal clinched a top-5 finish, will play in either the Champions League or Europa League next season
  • Everton can clinch a Europa League berth with a win or draw OR a Manchester United draw or loss.        In other words, Everton will clinch a Europa League berth unless they lose v. MC and MU win v. SUN.

o     NOTE: Everton have not qualified for European football since 2009.

  • Tottenham can clinch a Europa League berth by bettering Manchester United’s result this weekend.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If Arsenal clinch a top-4 finish, Hull City will automatically clinch a Europa League spot (either as FA Cup winners or runners-up).   ARS v. HUL in FA Cup Final on May 17

o    The winners of the FA Cup qualify for the Europa League. However, if the winners have already clinched a Champions League spot, their Europa League spot is awarded to the FA Cup runners-up.


Can Norwich clinch a shock win at Chelsea?


  • Clubs that can be ‘guaranteed’ relegation this weekend: Cardiff City, Fulham

o    Cardiff City will be relegated if…

  • they lose, and either Fulham, Norwich or Sunderland win
  • they draw, and Norwich or Sunderland win

o    Fulham will be relegated if…

  • they lose and Norwich or Sunderland win

NOTE: if Fulham draw and Norwich or Sunderland win, Fulham will likely be relegated due to a far inferior goal difference, but relegation will not be technically guaranteed yet

  • Safety entering weekend:  39 points (likely to decrease throughout weekend)
  • Clubs that can guarantee safety this weekend: Hull City, West Ham, West Brom, Aston Villa

o    Hull City can clinch safety with…

  • A win or losses or draws from Norwich, Fulham, and Cardiff

o    West Ham can clinch safety with..

  • A win or losses or draws from Norwich, Fulham, and Cardiff

o    West Brom can clinch safety with…

  • A win or
  • A Norwich loss and losses or draws from Fulham and Cardiff

o    Aston Villa can clinch safety by equaling or bettering the results of Fulham and Cardiff and bettering the result of Norwich

  • Bottom-4 clubs’ finishing points if they all win their remaining matches (3 will be relegated):

o    Sunderland: 41

o    Norwich City: 38

o    Fulham: 37

o    Cardiff City: 36