Manchester City and Manchester United will be in the spotlight of the final day of the 2011-2012 Premiership season, both teams tied with 86 points, City holding the goal difference advantage. But it’s not all about the title on the last day – Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle fight for the Champions League; QPR and Bolton fight for survival.
As simple as you can ask for. Both Manchester City and Manchester United have 86 points with one match left to play. City host QPR, who need a point to secure another year in the premiership while Manchester United travel to Sunderland, who have nothing to play for.
If both teams finish with the same amount of points, City’s superior goal difference seals their first league title since 1968. They have a +63 to United’s +55, and it’s hard to believe United can score 8 goals than City will, if both teams win. If one team gets the better result than their rival, obviously, that teams clinches the title.
This is the current situation – Arsenal are third with 67 points with +24. Tottenham are fourth with 66 points and +23. Newcaslte are fifth with 65 points and a +7 while Chelsea are at sixth, with a game in hand, with 61 points and a +21. Chelsea have to play Liverpool away and then host Blackburn at home. Rovers have already been relegated. Arsenal have an away match against West Brom. Tottenham host Fulham while Newcastle play away against Everton.
The third place leads to automatic qualification into the group stage, while fourth leads to the qualifying rounds. Fifth is for the Europa League. However, if Chelsea win fifth, the sixth positioned team goes to the Europa League. Chelsea need to win both matches and that still won’t be enough for a spot in the Champions League if the other three win theirs. Arsenal need a draw to finish among the top 4. Newcastle must win to stay in contention for the Champions League, needing others to drop points.
Blackburn will return to the Championship after losing at home to Wigan, putting Wigan in the clear and leaving only two teams to fight for their lives. Bolton, with 35 points, playing in Stoke. Stoke aren’t exactly an easy away fixture, but they have lost interest in what happens this season.
QPR, above the relegation zone, with 37 points and a better goal difference (-22) need to play away against Manchester City. On paper, that seems like a 100% defeat. Still, QPR can afford to lose if Bolton don’t come up with the 3 points. Aston Villa, with 38 points, are safe because of their goal difference (-14).