England’s Champions League showdown

Aneesh Chandoke Roar Rookie

By Aneesh Chandoke, Aneesh Chandoke is a Roar Rookie

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    In just a few days another Premier League season will come to an end.

    Notable in recent seasons is that the only things that come to a conclusion in the final game week are not the title or relegation spots by rather the Champions League qualification berths.

    This season three teams are vying for two remaining spots. Manchester City and Liverpool look to be the favourites, but Arsenal also have an outside chance.

    3rd – Manchester City, 75 points
    Pep Guardiola’s men sit third in the table and in good form – three wins in last three games, including ten goals. Manchester City need only one point in their final game at Watford to cement a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. Watford have lost their last five games and have nothing to play for, so this should be an easy ride for City.

    4th – Liverpool, 73 points
    That top-six table-toppers Liverpool have still not sealed their Champions League berth is quite surprising, if not worthy of criticism. The Reds need to win and hope that Manchester City draw or lose to have any chance of finishing in top 3. The Reds need only to match the result of Arsenal’s game to end the top-four race, but a defeat would make things interesting. Relegated Middlesbrough visit Anfield on the final day, and Calum Chambers, on loan from Arsenal, should be pumped up.

    5th – Arsenal, 72 points
    Arsenal are playing their best football, which is not surprising given the race for the top four is on. That this team starts performing for this sole objective but not for anything else is a mystery to many, but my guess is that failing to reach the top four makes Arsene Wenger accountable – I hope – to his boss. If there were a boss, that is.

    The Gunners need to beat Everton on the final day and hope Middlesbrough get something out of the Liverpool game in order to qualify for Champions League. Arsenal can leapfrog Manchester City in the unlikely event that Watford beats City and Arsenal beats Everton with a goal difference swing of 5.

    This weekend will provide an exciting conclusion to Premier League 2016/17, and with all the games kicking off at the same time, this round will be a test manager and player nerves. I can’t wait.

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