What's at stake on final day of 2023/24 Premier League season?

By Adrian Kajumba 19 May 2024

Title race. European places. Relegation battle. Individual awards. Adrian Kajumba looks at what could happen

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A number of matters are still to be resolved going into the final round of 2023/24 Premier League fixtures.

In fact, virtually every match has significance for one of the teams involved, be it the title race, battle for European qualification or fight against relegation. 

There are also only FOUR teams - Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Sheffield United - who are guaranteed to stay in their position, meaning the other 16 clubs can target a final-day move up the table. 

Furthermore, with plenty of players targeting an individual award, it means in every match there is something at stake.

Here, Adrian Kajumba looks at the issues that remain to be settled, and some records that could be set on the final day.

Title race

The battle to be crowned Premier League champions is down to the last two contenders and will be settled on the final day. 

Manchester City have their destiny in their own hands as they look to secure a record fourth successive title. 

They go into their home match against West Ham United with a two-point lead following their midweek win at Tottenham Hotspur, which sent them top.

Title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
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If Man City match or better Arsenal’s result against Everton the title will be theirs again. 

On the nine previous occasions when the title race has gone to the wire, the team in first position at the start of the final day have ultimately finished there - a positive omen for Pep Guardiola’s men. 

But second-placed Arsenal will be waiting to pounce if Man City slip up. 

However, City haven't slipped up since the end of March. Guardiola's side have won their last eight matches on the bounce since being held to a goalless draw by the Gunners at the end of March. 

Man City have also won their last seven home league meetings with West Ham.

But if City do drop points, an Arsenal win at home to Everton would see the Premier League Trophy return to the red half of north London for the first time since the Invincibles won it in 2004.

European places

Places for next season's UEFA Champions League (UCL) have already been finalised, with Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa finishing in the top four, although not necessarily in that order with the title-winners still to be decided. Who will fill the three other European spots is still to be resolved. 

UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League

Spurs and Chelsea are the two teams vying for fifth place and a guaranteed spot in the UEFA Europa League (UEL). 

Spurs have seen their Champions League hopes undone by a late-season run of five defeats in their last six encounters.

After Chelsea’s 5-0 defeat at Arsenal on 23 April the Blues were 13 points behind Spurs.

But their resurgence since - four wins and a draw - coupled with Spurs’ loss of form means the gap between the two clubs is down to just three points.

Race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
5 Spurs TOT 38 +13 66
6 Chelsea CHE 38 +14 63
7 Newcastle NEW 38 +23 60
8 Man Utd MUN 38 -1 60
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Spurs still have the advantage, and one more point at 20th-placed Sheffield United, or Chelsea failing to beat AFC Bournemouth, will be enough to get them over the line and into the UEL.

But a defeat for Spurs and a Chelsea win over Bournemouth would see Mauricio Pochettino’s side finish above the north Londoners.

Whoever finishes sixth will also qualify for a European tournament. Which competition they go into will not be confirmed until after the FA Cup final. 

If Man City win the FA Cup, the Europa League place they would get for triumphing at Wembley Stadium will be transferred to sixth place as Guardiola’s side already have a spot in next season's Champions League. 

Seventh would then result in qualification for the UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL).

If Manchester United win the FA Cup they would take the second Europa League spot, and whoever ends up in sixth will drop into the UECL.

One of Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle United, who are away at Brentford, are most likely to finish in sixth. 

A Newcastle win at Brentford and a defeat for Chelsea would see seventh-placed Newcastle leapfrog the Blues into sixth spot. 

Eighth-placed Man Utd can match current occupiers Chelsea’s current 60-point tally if they win at Brighton & Hove Albion and Pochettino’s side lose.

But Man Utd have a significantly worse goal difference (-3 compared with Chelsea’s +13) so they would also need a remarkable swing in that respect to finish above Chelsea, along with dropped points for Newcastle.

A more attainable target for Man Utd would be a seventh-placed finish, if they can better Newcastle's result.

Relegation battle

Only the identity of the third side to be relegated is left to be decided, and it will require an incredible final-day turnaround for it to not be Luton Town.

The Hatters lie 18th ahead of hosting Fulham on Sunday, and three points behind Nottingham Forest, who are on the right side of the dotted line.

Relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 38 -18 32
18 Luton LUT 38 -33 26

Not only do Rob Edwards’s Luton side require a win themselves and a Nott’m Forest defeat at Burnley, they also need a 12-goal swing in their favour in order to avoid suffering the same relegation fate as Sheff Utd and Burnley. 

A Nott’m Forest point or Luton failure to win would guarantee safety for Forest. 

Individual awards
Castrol Golden Boot

Erling Haaland’s prolific return from injury has put him on the brink of retaining the Castrol Golden Boot. He has scored seven goals in his last four league matches and sits on 27 goals going into Man City’s encounter with West Ham.

With a five-goal lead at the top of the scoring chart and only one match to go, it will be a major surprise if Haaland does not get his hands on the prize again.

He will also be optimistic about adding further goals to his tally due to his history against West Ham. 

The Norwegian has scored in every Premier League match he has played against them, netting four goals in three appearances. 

It was also against West Ham that Haaland opened his account in the competition, netting both goals in a 2-0 Man City win at the London Stadium at the start of last season.

Haaland’s nearest challenger is Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who has 22 Premier League goals.  

Palmer’s goal tally is all the more impressive given he is not a striker like Haaland and some of those behind him. Newcastle’s Alexander Isak (20 goals), Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke (19) and Villa’s Ollie Watkins (19) make up the rest of the top five. 

Contenders for Castrol Golden Boot 23/24
Player Goals Opponent
Erling Haaland 27 West Ham (H)
Cole Palmer 22 Bournemouth (H)
Alexander Isak 20 Brentford (A)
Ollie Watkins 19 Crystal Palace (A)
Dominic Solanke 19 Chelsea (A)
Castrol Playmaker of the Season

Watkins’ and Villa’s impressive season is underlined by the fact that their No 11 is also leading the way for the Castrol Playmaker of the Season award for the most assists.

Watkins has 13 heading into the last round of fixtures, when Villa travel to Crystal Palace

He is three clear of seven players who have created 10 goals: Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Nott’m Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White, Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon, Brighton’s Pascal Gross, Chelsea’s Palmer, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier

Contenders for Castrol Playmaker 2023/24
Player Assists
Ollie Watkins 13
Kevin De Bruyne  10
Morgan Gibbs-White 10
Anthony Gordon 10
Pascal Gross 10
Cole Palmer 10
Mohamed Salah 10
Kieran Trippier 10
Castrol Golden Glove

Arsenal’s David Raya has already secured the Castrol Golden Glove for the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets.

All-time record for Premier League goals?

There have already been 1,209 goals this season, smashing the record for a 380-match campaign, which was previously 1,084, set in 2022/23.

The all-time record is 1,222 goals, set in 1992/93 when there were 22 clubs and 462 matches. Only 14 more goals are required on Sunday to set a new mark.

Other things to look out for

Arsenal could record their most ever goals in a top-flight season since scoring 90 in 1963/64. They have netted 89 heading into their meeting with Everton. 

If James Milner appears for Brighton against Man Utd he will become the first player in Premier League history to feature in 17 final-day fixtures. 

Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi has received 12 yellow cards and could become the first South American to be shown 13 in a Premier League season if he is booked at Chelsea.

If Villa win or draw at Palace, they will set a Premier League record for points won in away matches against sides from London. They currently have 16 this season, equalling Arsenal’s total last season and Liverpool’s in 2020/21.

Palace, meanwhile, will be hoping to win three matches in a row while scoring three or more goals in each encounter for the first time in top-flight history, following their 4-0 win over Man Utd and 3-1 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta could join Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and become just the second Frenchman to score in seven successive home matches. 

Wolves could set an unwanted record for losing Premier League final-day contests. They have suffered defeat in their last seven such matches, which is the joint-longest run in English top-flight history. 

If Sheff Utd, currently on -66 goal difference, lose by four or more goals against Spurs they will end the season with the worst goal difference in Premier League history, beating Derby County’s record of -69 in 2007/08.

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