Premier League Permutations for Relegation and European Qualification
Here’s what each side needs to do going into the final day of the season, plus our supercomputer’s predictions.
We’ve come to the final weekend of the 2022-23 Premier League season and there is
all a little bit to play for. It’s not going to be the most exciting climax to a campaign we’ve ever seen, but there are still a few major issues to be sorted out on the final day on Sunday.
Here, we run through what’s left to be decided, and the permutations involved. We also use our supercomputer, which has been predicting results and final positions all season, to predict what the final table will look like.
Jump to Permutations For:
Europa Conference League
What We Know Already
Manchester City were crowned champions last weekend, with Arsenal sure to finish in second place after their defeat at Nottingham Forest. Newcastle and Manchester United are now both mathematically certain of UEFA Champions League football after their midweek results against Leicester City and Chelsea respectively, while Liverpool and Brighton cannot finish outside the Europa League places. At the bottom of the table Southampton have long since been relegated. Fulham are the only team other than Man City, Arsenal, Southampton, Liverpool and Brighton that are 100% certain to stay in their current position – in a very respectable 10th.
The Relegation Battle
Southampton, bottom of the table, are down, and Nottingham Forest, currently 16th, are safe. That leaves Everton in 17th, Leicester in 18th and Leeds in 19th all still in trouble.
Leicester picked up what could prove an invaluable point at Newcastle on Monday night, both because it significantly boosts their chances of overtaking Everton on Sunday, but also because of the confidence boost their defence will have been given. Monday was their first clean sheet in 22 Premier League games – a run stretching back to their 2-0 win at West Ham in early November.
It is Everton, though, who have their fate in their own hands. If Sean Dyche’s team beat Bournemouth – who have lost their last three games – they will guarantee safety. Leicester are relying on Everton slipping up, while Sam Allardyce’s Leeds need both Everton and Leicester to drop points. The supercomputer gives Leeds just a 3% chance of survival going into the weekend. It’s not looking good for Leicester, and it’s looking even worse for Leeds.
Permutations in the Relegation Battle
Everton will be safe if:
- they beat Bournemouth, or
- they draw with Bournemouth and Leicester fail to win and Leeds fail to win by three goals, or
- they lose and both Leicester and Leeds fail to win.
Leicester will only be safe if:
- they win and Everton fail to win.
Leeds will be safe if:
- they win and Everton lose and Leicester fail to win, or
- they win by three or more goals and Everton draw and Leicester fail to win.
(there is the mathematical possibility of Leeds and Leicester both winning, and Leeds overturning a nine-goal deficit to Leicester, but I’m not even going to entertain the idea here.)
UEFA Champions League Qualification
Job done, nothing to see here. Manchester United’s emphatic midweek victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford sealed their spot in the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League, as they join Manchester City, Arsenal and Newcastle United in the group stage of the competition next season.
UEFA Europa League Qualification
Liverpool will certainly be playing UEFA Europa League football for the first time since Jürgen Klopp’s first season at the club in 2015-16, when they made it all the way to the final. Consequently, this is the first time Klopp has ever qualified for the Europa League with Liverpool.
Brighton are also certain to be playing Europa League football after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City capped an astonishing end to the season for Roberto De Zerbi’s men, and secured sixth place.
UEFA Europa Conference League Qualification
This is where things start to get really exciting (who ever said there was anything wrong with a bit of hyperbole in journalism?). Aston Villa in seventh and Brentford in ninth are separated by just two points (58 to 56), with Tottenham sandwiched in between on 57. There is only one spot in the UECL up for grabs.
Villa, under the leadership of Europa League expert Unai Emery, would love to be back in Europe next season, and will guarantee seventh place with a win over Brighton.
Tottenham were playing in the Champions League only a couple of months ago, so for many fans the prospect of another season of Thursday-night trips in the Europa Conference League doesn’t appeal at all. To others, European competition is European competition, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. To qualify, they’ll need a win at Leeds on Sunday and will also require Villa to slip up.
Brentford, meanwhile, are still in with a chance of sneaking into Europe after their impressive comeback win at Spurs. Their chances of finishing seventh went from 1.3% before they beat Spurs to 8.2% this week. It’s not impossible, but still very unlikely indeed, largely because they need to win at home to champions Manchester City this weekend, and also hope both Villa and Spurs drop points.
Permutations in the Race for the Europa Conference League
Aston Villa will finish seventh and qualify for the Europa Conference League if:
- they beat Brighton, or
- they draw with Brighton and Tottenham and Brentford both fail to win, or
- they lose to Brighton and Tottenham lose and Brentford fail to win.
Tottenham will finish seventh and qualify for the Europa Conference League if:
- they beat Leeds and Aston Villa fail to win, or…
- they draw with Leeds and Aston Villa lose and Brentford fail to win.
Brentford will finish seventh and qualify for the Europa Conference League if:
- they beat Manchester City and both Aston Villa and Tottenham fail to win.
So, there you have it. By Sunday evening we’ll know who’ll be playing where next season. And then a few months later we’ll do it all over again. Enjoy!
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