Premier League – Premier League permutations


As the title race and the relegation battle head to the wire, we take a look at all the mathematical permutations on the final day of the Premier League season.

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Title race

Leaders Manchester United need only to equal second-placed Chelsea‘s result at home to Bolton to retain the title, due to their vastly superior goal difference.

A 1-0 win for United at Wigan would mean Chelsea could only finish above them if they beat Bolton by a margin of 19 goals or more.

The Blues can only realistically win the league by bettering United’s result.

Champions League qualification

United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have already qualified for next season’s Champions League.

United and Chelsea will qualify automatically, but Liverpool and Arsenal will enter the competition in the qualifying knockout rounds.

UEFA Cup qualification

Tottenham have already secured a UEFA Cup place by winning the Carling Cup, while the winners of the FA Cup final (Portsmouth or Championship side Cardiff) will also earn entry to the competition.

A draw for fifth-placed Everton at home to Newcastle will secure them the only UEFA Cup slot secured by league position, but they can be pipped by Aston Villa if Newcastle win at Goodison Park and Villa win their last game at West Ham.

England have also been granted an extra UEFA Cup place for topping UEFA’s Fair Play league, meaning the team that tops the Premier League’s Fair Play standings will qualify for next season’s tournament.

Manchester City are currently the highest placed side in that league who have not already qualified for Europe, followed by Everton and Fulham.

Intertoto Cup qualification

An extra place in the UEFA Cup is up for grabs for the winners of the Intertoto Cup.

Aston Villa and Blackburn have applied for a place in the tournament, so whoever finishes highest in the table (and does not qualify for European football by any other means) will qualify for the Intertoto.

Blackburn can only overtake Villa if they win at Birmingham and Villa fail to win at West Ham.

Relegation battle

Derby were relegated at the end of March, and second-bottom Birmingham will definitely join them in the Championship next season if they lose their home game against Blackburn.

A draw for Birmingham will keep them up only if either Fulham or Reading lose, as Birmingham would move level on points with them and have a superior goal difference.

A 1-0 win for fourth-bottom Fulham at Portsmouth will keep them in the top-flight, unless Reading defeat Derby by eight goals or more.

If Reading draw at Derby they will only be safe if Fulham and Birmingham both lose.

A draw for Fulham at Portsmouth will be enough if Reading and Birmingham both fail to win.

Bolton are all but mathematically safe after their win against Sunderland last weekend.

Tom Williams / Eurosport