High Stakes for Everton, Leicester City, and Leeds United on Premier League’s Survival Sunday
Sunday’s final day of the Premier League season will have Everton, Leicester, and Leeds finding themselves in a nerve-wracking scrap.
Everton holds the power to determine their own destiny, as a win against Bournemouth in their home game will secure their position in the top flight for an impressive 70 consecutive years.
Financial stakes rise in relegation battle
Sunday’s final day of the Premier League season will feature a high-stakes battle for survival as Everton, Leicester, and Leeds find themselves in a nerve-wracking scrap to avoid relegation. The financial implications of relegation are significant, with the two clubs that drop down to the second tier joining already-relegated Southampton in facing financial challenges.
According to sports business experts Deloitte, a season of Premier League football can be worth up to £70 million ($210 million). Everton, in particular, cannot afford such a blow as they are already seeking external investment to complete their new stadium project.
Pressure on Everton
With a victory at home against Bournemouth, Everton has the opportunity to secure their place in the top flight for an impressive 70 years, showcasing their control over their own destiny. However, Burnley, under the management of Sean Dyche, has struggled in recent matches, having won only once in their last 10 games.
Additionally, Everton will have to face Bournemouth without the services of their influential striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, which could potentially offer hope to both Leicester and Leeds in their own battles for survival.
“We want the players to focus on the game,” said Dyche on Friday. “It’s not as easy as it sounds but that’s the idea: focus on what’s going on the pitch and don’t worry about all the noise.
“Don’t worry about all the rumours, don’t worry about anything that’s going on off the pitch.”
Leicester City’s battle for survival
If Everton, who currently sit fourth from bottom, fail to secure a victory, third from bottom Leicester City can avoid relegation by defeating West Ham at home, thanks to their better goal difference. Leicester City’s recent history has been marked by remarkable achievements, including their unexpected title triumph seven years ago. They continued their success by finishing fifth in consecutive seasons and winning the FA Cup under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.
With a squad featuring talented players such as James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, and Harvey Barnes, many believed they were too strong to face relegation. However, this season has been a nightmare as Rodgers expressed his frustration over a lack of investment to rejuvenate the squad before his dismissal in April. Dean Smith took over as the manager but has struggled to turn their fortunes around, with just one victory in his seven games in charge.
“We have to win the game and not look at the Everton result until after the game,” said Smith. “We have to do our job and see where it takes us.”
Leeds United’s last-ditch effort
Leeds United, currently in second-to-last place, face an uphill battle to avoid relegation and extend their three-season tenure in the Premier League.
To achieve the great escape, Leeds boss Sam Allardyce needs his team to secure a victory against Tottenham at Elland Road, but that alone will not be sufficient if Everton win or if Leicester City secure a victory. In the scenario where Everton manage at least a draw, Leeds would need to defeat Tottenham by a margin of three goals or more to surpass Everton in terms of goal difference.
“I just hope that we’re talking on a very positive nature on Monday morning and I have a hangover!” Allardyce said on the possibility he could remain at the club beyond his caretaker role till the end of the season.
Aston Villa and Tottenham battle for Europa conference league spot in final matchday
The outcome of Tottenham’s match also holds significance for the qualification to next season’s Europa Conference League, which is the only remaining unresolved issue. Aston Villa currently holds the advantage and will secure a return to European competition for the first time in 13 years if they defeat Brighton. However, Tottenham has an opportunity to claim the seventh spot if they achieve a better result than Villa.
In the event that neither Villa nor Tottenham win their matches, Brentford could potentially secure a historic qualification for European competition by pulling off a surprising victory against champions Manchester City. Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle have already secured their places in the Champions League for next season, while Liverpool and Brighton are set to compete in the Europa League.