One of the most intriguing issues still left to be resolved is the fight for Premier League survival. With Norwich and Watford already consigned to the Championship for next season, Everton, Leeds and Burnley are all hoping not to join them.
Everton could be safe tonight
The Toffees are in pole position to beat the drop, despite a rather unfortunate 3-2 home defeat by Brentford last time out at Goodison Park. Frank Lampard’s team host Crystal Palace, who have won both beaten the men from Merseyside twice this season. However, historically the Eagles struggle against Everton. Prior to this season, they had failed to win any of the last 13 meetings with the Merseysiders in all competitions.
The scenario for Everton is a simple one. If they win, they preserve their almost eternal presence in the English top-flight for another season. Any other result will mean a nerve-jangling last game of the season, as the Toffees travel Arsenal. The Gunners are certainly not one of Everton’s favoured opponents that’s for sure.
One thing is for sure, the Evertonian’s will certainly do their bit for the team, as they have been right behind Lampard and his team in recent weeks with excellent support.
It’s in Burnley’s hands too
While Burnley may well be in 18th place in the Premier League table at this point in time, the Clarets also have their own destiny in their hands because they have a game in hand on 17th place Leeds. Mike Jackson’s team trail the Yorkshire outfit by a point heading into tonight’s away game at Aston Villa.
The team from Lancashire have suffered back-to-back league defeats by Villa and Tottenham going into tonight’s game. However, before the double defeats, they had recorded three straight victories in the top flight.
There is certainly still hope at the club that they can still escape the drop zone and be playing Premier League football next season. The Clarets face a home game against Newcastle on the last day of the season. If they can pick up four points from their last two games, then they will beat the drop, no matter what Leeds does in their final match of the season at Brentford.
It will all go to the final day
While Everton can secure their spot in next season’s Premier League with a victory on Thursday night, the battle for survival will continue on Sunday. However, there would be only two contenders for the drop in the shape of Leeds and Burnley.
It cannot be ruled out that all three teams could still be fighting it out to avoid that dreaded 18th place on Sunday afternoon. That would certainly add to the drama of what is fast becoming a fascinating fight for Premier League survival.
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Which team will join Norwich and Watford in the Championship next season?