Top PL storylines: Manchester clubs battling for Champions League spot


It’s hard to believe, but the 2015-16 Premier League season comes to a close this Sunday.

Ten matches simultaneously kick off at 10 a.m. ET and can be seen live across the networks of NBC and online via Live Extra.

[ WATCH: TV schedule, stream links ]

The title may already be decided, but there’s still plenty to play for on the final matchday of the season. Below, we take a look at the top five storylines of Week 38 in the Premier League.

Final Champions League spot between Manchester City, Manchester United

The fourth and final Champions League spot has come down to two clubs, rivals Manchester City and Manchester United. City controls their own destiny, needing only a draw at Swansea City to clinch a spot in the UCL. For United, the Red Devils must win against Bournemouth and hope City lose in Wales. Louis Van Gaal‘s future at Old Trafford could hinge on United’s finish this season, making Sunday’s match that much more important.

Leicester look to close things out in style

The 2015 Premier League champions meet the 2016 champions on Sunday when Chelsea host Leciester City. With the Foxes having already celebrated the title at the King Power Stadium, Sunday’s match at Chelsea is simply a formality. However, with Claudio Ranieri returning to his old club, Leicester will surely want to take all three points for their beloved manager. The Foxes have only lost three matches all season long, and proved with their 3-1 win over Everton last weekend that they haven’t stop playing yet.

Tight race for Europa League places

Fifth and sixth place will earn a spot in the Europa League next season, with Manchester United and West Ham currently occupying those positions. A point for United and a win for the Hammers would lock up those spots, but the race isn’t over though. Southampton and Liverpool could still sneak into Europe with wins and if other results go their way.

Don’t forget, a loss for Man City could also see the Citizens fall into fifth place.

Logjam in the middle of the table

From spots 12-16, five teams are separated by just two points. Everton and Watford are tied on 44 points while Crystal Palace, West Brom, and Bournemouth are all tied on 42. While none of these teams can crack the top half of the table and all are safe from relegation, club owners and supporters are looking to finish as high as possible.

Stoke in search of a third consecutive ninth-place finish

After finishing ninth on the table the past two seasons, Stoke City have a chance to make it three in a row on Sunday. Currently sitting tenth, the Potters are a point behind Chelsea and could finish ninth with a win over West Ham. Although Stoke are unable to match their point total from last season, Mark Hughes will not want to fall lower down the table.