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Tuesday 29 April 2014

Premier League prepares for three-way final-day drama

Close title race means preparations are being made for trophy presentations at three matches

  • The BPL trophy lifted by Man Utd last year will head to the match involving the league leaders

  • Man City snatched the trophy from United's grasp in 2011/12 with a last-gasp victory

  • Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (right) is still hoping to win the one major trophy that eludes him

  • Chelsea still hope to clinch the title they last won in 2009/10 on the final day in Cardiff

The race for the Barclays Premier League title this season is arguably the most exciting in the history of the competition with three teams in contention to be crowned champions with only two matchweeks remaining.

Only Chelsea can be eliminated from the title race at the weekend should they lose at home to Norwich City and Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Monday night. Three points from Manchester City's trip to Everton on Saturday and their home match against Aston Villa on Wednesday would guarantee they will have a chance on 11 May.

For the Premier League, the unprecedented scenario of having three clubs able to be crowned champions on the final matchweek also presents challenges. The Premier League is having to prepare three presentation ceremonies on 11 May for the Barclays Premier League trophy and winners medals at three different stadiums: Anfield, where Liverpool face Newcastle United; Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, where West Ham United are the visitors; and Cardiff City Stadium, where Chelsea will face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

For this reason, three trophies, three sets of winners' medals, three presentation sets (the podium, photo sets, etc) and three presentation parties from the Premier League and its title sponsor, Barclays, will have to be readied for each venue.

The Barclays Premier League trophy that was lifted by Manchester United last season will head towards the match in which the club leading the table will play. A second trophy that is owned by the Premier League will go to the match involving the club in second place. A third replica of the trophy will be in place at the stadium where the club who are third going into the 11 May fixture will be in action.

The last time the Barclays Premier League trophy was up for grabs on the final day was in the 2011/12 season, when a stoppage-time goal by Sergio Aguero claimed the title for Manchester City and ended plans for a trophy presentation to Manchester United at Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

Who would rule out a similarly dramatic denouement this season?

How things stand

Title run-in
    P GD Pts Run-in
1 Liverpool 36 +50 80 CRY (a), NEW (h)
2 Chelsea 36 +43 78 NOR (a), CAR (a)
3 Man City 35 +58 77 EVE (a), AVL (h), WHU (h)

 

RELEGATION RUN-IN
    P GD Pts Run-in
13 Hull City 35 -9 37 AVL (a), MUN (a), EVE (h)
14 West Ham 36 -11 37 TOT (h), MCI (a)
15 West Brom 35 -12 36 ARS (a), SUN (a), STK (h)
16 Aston Villa 35 -17 35 HUL (h), MCI (a), TOT (a)
17 Sunderland 35 -20 32 MUN (a), WBA (h), SWA (h)
18 Norwich 36 -32 32 CHE (a), ARS (h)
19 Fulham 36 -42 31 STK (a), CRY (h)
20 Cardiff 36 -38 30 NEW (a), CHE (h)

 

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Key Points

  • Premier League preparing for three Barclays Premier League trophy ceremonies
  • With title race going down to the wire the Barclays Premier League champions will be decided on final day
  • As it stands the trophy could be lifted at any one of three destinations on 11 May