Myriad scenarios are in play on Premier League's final day

The title is decided, and so are the relegation places, so what’s up for grabs Sunday when the Premier League season ends?

Money. Lots of it. The Champions League and Europa League competitions can be worth millions, and as many as six teams could be in contention for the slots not yet claimed.

Sunday won’t necessarily decide everything, because how Liverpool fares in the Europa League final Wednesday and whether Manchester United or Crystal Palace lift the FA Cup trophy a week from Saturday can still have a bearing on where teams wind up. But with every game to be played simultaneously and broadcast on the NBC system, the possibilities are many.

Either Liverpool or Sevilla will claim a place in the Champions League by winning the Europa League final. The FA Cup winner qualifies for the Europa League.

All that is assured is champion Leicester City and Tottenham, currently second, go straight into the Champions League group phase next season. Spurs could still finish third, but since the top three advance automatically to the group stage, White Hart Lane is assured of at least three Champions League home matches next season. (There’s a difference of about $1.4 million for each rung on the Premier League ladder as well.)

Here’s a rundown of the teams for which European competition is already in place or still in play heading into the final day. (The final determination of places is still subject to review by UEFA prior to finalizing its European club schedules for the 2016-17 season.)

1. LEICESTER CITY (at Chelsea). The seemingly impossible Premier League champion will be a top seed in the Champions League.

2. TOTTENHAM (at Newcastle United). Spurs could slip to third with a loss, but a spot in the Champions League group phase is assured. A victory assures a finish ahead of bitter rival Arsenal for the first time in more than two decades.

3. ARSENAL (Aston Villa). A tie nails down third place and a spot in the group phase. A victory and Spurs loss yield second place.

4. MANCHESTER CITY (at Swansea City). Now things get murky. City can finish as high as third or as low as sixth, and thus could wind up in the Champions League or Europa League.

A victory and Gunners’ defeat earns the third-place spot in the group stage. A tie would most likely be enough to take fourth place and a Champions League playoff spot because of City’s superior goal difference compared to its challengers.

A loss and victory by Manchester United (currently fifth) drops City into fifth and the Europa League group stage. City has already clinched a place in the Europa league final qualifying round by winning the League Cup.

5. MANCHESTER UNITED (Bournemouth). More murkiness. United can finish fourth or seventh or in-between. Its only chance to reach the Champions League playoff round is to beat Bournemouth and for Manchester City to lose.

If Manchester United finishes fifth and beats Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final, thus qualifying for the Europa League on two fronts, the FA Cup/Euro spot goes to the team finishing sixth.

6. WEST HAM UNITED (at Stoke City). The Hammers kept alive their European hopes by beating Man United, 3-2, Tuesday in the final match at Upton Park. If they get a better result Sunday than does Man United, they finish fifth and claim a Europa League group slot. They could squeeze into the Europa League qualifying playoffs as a sixth-place team if United wins the FA Cup, as they would take the League Cup winner slot earned by Man City.

7. SOUTHAMPTON (at Crystal Palace). It can take fifth by beating Palace if Man United loses and West Ham doesn’t win. Seventh place would be good enough for a Europa League qualifying spot only if Man United wins the FA Cup and finishes sixth.

8. LIVERPOOL (at West Bromwich Albion). As Sevilla did a year ago, Liverpool can qualify for the Champions League group phase by beating the defending Europa League champion on Wednesday. It can finish as high as sixth in the league, which would be enough for a Europa League qualifying spot if other results go its way.

14. CRYSTAL PALACE (at Southampton). It qualifies for the Europa League group stage if it beats Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
3 comments about "Myriad scenarios are in play on Premier League's final day ".
  1. Kenneth Barr, May 14, 2016 at 2:18 a.m.

    You can take this to the bank. The mighty CPFC will lift the FA Cup! Fear the CPFC FA Cup Beard!

  2. Dan Eckert, May 14, 2016 at 7:18 a.m.

    How long did it take for you to figure this all out? I'm still on the Jamie Vardy goin' to a party wagon - and here you spent all this time figuring out who their competition will be next year. I really love the EPL - and thanks for doing this extra work.

  3. David Warren, May 14, 2016 at 9:57 a.m.

    Wow, not everything correct in this article. I can supply full actual scenarios. There can even be a late May playoff between West Ham & Liverpool if West Ham lose, Liverpool win, United beat Palace and Seville beat Liverpool (and liverpool & West Ham scores go a certain way)!

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