Chelsea Wins, Final Week to Decide it All: Premier League Finale Preview

Posted: May 5, 2008 in Barclays Premier League, Soccer

The most exciting Premier League race in its history sees the title still undecided. There is a possibility that this will be the first season in the Premier League (not Division One for those about to correct me), where two teams are deadlocked in points and have to go to goal differential.

Manchester United fans were rooting for Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle side to hold Chelsea, 3 points down coming into today’s game, to at least a draw. A loss would have clinched the title for United unless there is a dramatic turn of events in goal differential.

It was not to be at St. James’ Park, as the Blues pressed and pressed and cruised to a 2-0 win. This means that both United and Chelsea will be scoreboard watchers.

Chelsea face Bolton at Stamford Bridge, and at the same time, Manchester United will go to Wigan on Sunday the 11th. The Chelsea/Bolton game holds much more significance because they are the title chasers while Bolton could still be relegated if Reading can make up an 11 goal difference (they face Derby so….).

Wigan is guaranteed another year of Premier League football, and they have held their own against Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea, drawing all of them. Last week, they stunned Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park. Considering Chelsea’s home record, the Red Devils probably have to win outright to win the title again.

Meanwhile, on the relegation side:

Derby County can play spoiler if they can get win number….2 against Reading. A loss for the Royals and they go from one point shy of the UEFA Cup, to being relegated. The Rams, after a 3-1 loss to Blackburn, are now the worst Premier League team ever, earning just 11 points and have a -65 goal differential.

Fulham travel to Portsmouth, who have fallen off the radar recently. Roy Hodgson’s squad will have to do everything in their power to can 3 points, as they are currently tied with Reading in points, but are out of the drop zone due to GD again. They can pull off a great escape with their 2nd consecutive road win, but anything else that doesn’t garner maximum points, and they will end up rooting for Derby County.

Over to St. Andrews, where Birmingham need a win and either Fulham or Reading to draw, against Blackburn Rovers. Alex McLeish’s side really has struggled and lost a huge relegation game to Fulham at Craven Cottage. They have not found their scoring touch and may end up having a 1 year stay in top flight football. It’s not going to help that Brad Friedel is one of the Premiership’s elite goalkeepers.

Games that has European football implications on it:

Aston Villa really were dealt a blow losing to Wigan at home. A win last Saturday and they would’ve taken control of 5th place and a UEFA Cup spot. Instead, they have to win at Upton Park against West Ham and hope that Everton lose to Newcastle at Goodison Park.

Speaking of which, Everton fell to Arsenal at the Emirates 1-0 on a Nicolas Bendtner header. It was not too long ago they were talking about the Champions League, but that fell apart after losing the Merseyside Derby to Liverpool at Anfield.

Sven Goes Home?

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s tenure lasted just one year, and rather unfairly if you ask me. He accomplished a rare sweep of rivals Manchester United and lifted Man City from nearing relegation to 8th place. His swan song will be at the Riverside, where they will face Middlesbrough.

Enjoy your Premier League finale, by Sunday afternoon, I know I will….because United will have won the title by then!:)

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