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Premier League final-day: Title race, European qualification and Klopp’s farewell

As well as the title race, there are other things to be decided on the final day of the Premier League season.

BBC SPORT

It’s advantage Manchester City as another compelling Premier League season comes to an end on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s leaders will clinch a historic fourth successive league title if they defeat ninth-placed West Ham at Etihad Stadium.

But Arsenal, who trail City by two points, will be champions for the first time since 2004 if they beat Everton at Emirates Stadium and City fail to win on the final day.

If Guardiola’s men draw and Arsenal win, both teams will finish on 89 points with the Gunners starting the final day with a slender goal difference advantage (+61) over City (+60).

Guardiola said: “The destiny is in our hands, but if you are thinking that they are going to drop, you are wrong. If you are thinking that Everton are going to do something, forget about it. I have seen Arsenal all season.

“We just focus on what we have to do against West Ham. There is not any contamination in my brain about anything other than what we have to do to beat West Ham.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta added: “The magic is already happening because this is what every football supporter wants and lives that it goes to the last game.

“The last minute of the Premier League at this level, the most beautiful league in the world by far where you have two teams. This is what you want, this is why it’s the most competitive league in the world.

“The unpredictability is like a drug. You are still there, you still have to earn it and it’s uncertain. There are a lot of factors which can change things around very quickly but when you manage to do it, it’s phenomenal.”

In addition, there are places in the Europa League and Europa Conference League to be decided.

There will be tears at Anfield, where Jurgen Klopp takes charge of Liverpool for the 491st and final time with Wolves the visitors, while Roberto de Zerbi will take charge of his last match as Brighton boss.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland is closing in on another Premier League Golden Boot award, but who will finish the season king of the assists?

BBC Sport takes a look at what can change on the final day when all 10 games kick-off at 16:00 BST.

Two trophies, one winner

This weekend will be the 10th time the Premier League title has been decided on the final day of the season.

Liverpool’s challenge faded, ending their fans’ dreams of a triumphant farewell for German Klopp, who is leaving after nine years in charge.

But Manchester City or Arsenal will be crowned champions in the final act of what has been a classic duel.

Will it be Kyle Walker or Martin Odegaard who get to lift the ultimate prize that teams battle for over 38 matches?

There are 200 miles between Etihad Stadium and Emirates Stadium, so what happens to the trophy when things can still go either way on the last day?

Well, it will not be be helicoptered from one stadium to the other when the final whistle blows.

There are in fact two identical trophies, external – one that has stayed with the holders over the season and one that is kept for use by the Premier League – with these being located at both stadiums on the final matchday.

There will also be identical podiums and pyrotechnics in place at each ground and the trophy will not be engraved until after it has been lifted by the champions.

Players will not have to worry about waiting around on medals either, with a set of 40 being available at both Manchester City and Arsenal for the winners.

Race for Europe

Fourth-placed Aston Villa will join Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool in next season’s Champions League, which will be played under a new expanded format., external

Tottenham, Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester United are in contention for Europa League and Europa Conference League places.

The team that finishes fifth will play in the Europa League.

Spurs, who are at relegated Sheffield United, start in fifth on 63 points but have faded badly, losing five of their past six games to miss out on the Champions League.

Chelsea, sixth on 60 points, are at home to mid-table Bournemouth.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side start the day in a Conference League play-off round spot but can still snatch a place in the Europa League. Not only do they have a superior goal difference over Spurs, Chelsea go into the final day on the back of four straight wins.

Finishing sixth will also be enough to qualify for the Europa League if Manchester City defeat Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 25 May.

“For it to be in our hands to get sixth place is a big thing for us,” Chelsea’s 22-goal leading scorer Cole Palmer told BBC Sport.

Chelsea did not play in Europe in 2023-24 and Palmer added: “Chelsea are a big club and everyone wants to finish higher than sixth.

“But you have to look at where we were at the start of the season. To get back into Europe would be a step in the right direction.”

Luton on brink & Golden Boot

Luton Town are not officially down but it will take an unlikely set of circumstances to save them from joining already relegated Sheffield United and Burnley in the Championship next season.

The Hatters, who occupy 18th spot, go into the final day three points behind 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

But even if Forest lose at Burnley and Luton beat Fulham at home, it will require a 12-goal swing to save the Hatters whose goal difference is -31 compared to Forest’s -19.

What else will be decided?

Well, Erling Haaland is five goals clear of nearest rival Cole Palmer in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, awarded to the leading scorer.

Haaland, who has 27 goals, will become the first player to win the award outright in back-to-back seasons since England captain Harry Kane achieved the feat in 2015-16 and 2016-17 while at Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins (13) is three ahead of his nearest rivals for assists.

The 2023-24 Golden Glove, awarded to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets, has already been claimed by Arsenal’s David Raya.

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