The curtain may be falling on the 2011-2012 Premiership season but the final act is far from over.
The destination of the title, while almost certain, is not yet known with both Manchester clubs still able to win it. The fate of Champions League qualification lies in the hands of Chelsea, who could provide a late twist to the script and, with one more team to be relegated from a possible two at the bottom, it’s certainly all to play for.
So here is a look at what needs to happen for all the main dramatis personae:
Premier League Title:
Manchester City–It’s very simple for the players at the Etihad, win and they win their first title since 1968. On balance, they have been the best team this season, with David Silva, YayaToure and Vincent Kompany orchestrating the Sky Blues. Things started to go horribly awry in spring but a similar slip-up by their city neighbours have handed the initiative back to the blue half of Manchester.
Manchester United – After being behind for so long, the Red Devils looked to have reached the magical 20, only to let slip an eight-point lead. If City do not beat QPR, United must better City’s result against Sunderland.
Chelsea’s Champions League Conundrum:
If Chelsea were to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May 19th, then despite their sixth placed finish and regardless of who finishes fourth, Chelsea will join the top three placed clubs in next season’s Champions League, to defend their crown. The fourth placed would go to the group stages of the Europa League.
If Chelsea were to lose the Champions League final, then the top four teams will go to next season’s premier European competition (top three outright, and fourth in the final qualifier). Chelsea will go into the Europa League as FA Cup holders, the fifth placed team enter the play-off round of the Europa League and Liverpool to the third qualifying stage as Carling Cup winners.
Third Place the Charm:
Arsenal will finish third if they win and receive automatic passage to the Champions League. If they draw and Tottenham lose or if they lose and both Tottenham and Newcastle lose, they will still finish third.