Premier League permutations: What each teams needs as Liverpool can take control of top four fight and Chelsea or Leicester could miss out

There are just two gameweeks left in the 2020/21 Premier League season and there is still lots to be decided at the top of the table.

Manchester City have been crowned champions while Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham are already relegated.

The Premier League race for European football is heating up ahead of the last few games
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But the race for the European places is heating up nicely as we head into the final few games and it is set to go right down to the wire. 

Here’s what is on the line this weekend and what could get resolved…

Premier League permutations 

Man City have been crowned champions and so have secured their place in the Champions League next season. They will face Chelsea in the final of this year’s elite European competition on May 29.

Likewise, Manchester United have already confirmed a top-four finish this season but they still need at least one more win to be sure of finishing second. The Red Devils will then face Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26.

The top four teams in the Premier League will qualify for the group stages of the Champions League while winning either of Europe’s tournaments will also secure a place in the group phase.

A maximum of five English teams can play in the Champions League.

While City and United are already in, Chelsea winning the Champions League but finishing fifth would see England’s five team quota fulfilled.

Premier League fixtures on talkSPORT

Saturday, May 15, 12:30 – Burnley v Leeds – talkSPORT EXCLUSIVE

Saturday, May 15, 20:00 – Brighton v West Ham – talkSPORT 2 EXCLUSIVE

Sunday, May 16, 12:00 – Crystal Palace v Aston Villa – talkSPORT 2 EXCLUSIVE

Tuesday, May 18, 19:00 – Brighton v Manchester City – talkSPORT EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 18:00 – Tottenham v Aston Villa – talkSPORT 2 EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 18:00 – Newcastle v Sheffield United – talkSPORT APP EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 19:00 – Crystal Palace v Arsenal – talkSPORT APP EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 20:15 – Burnley v Liverpool – talkSPORT EXCLUSIVE

The Blues, Leicester, Liverpool and West Ham are in the mix to finish in the top four while Tottenham and Everton are not mathematically out of it yet either.

There is then the matter of the Europa League qualification and for the new Europa Conference League.

The fifth-placed team and winners of the FA Cup will qualify for the group stage proper of the Europa League.

Chelsea face Leicester in the FA Cup final this weekend and if both finish in the top four, the Europa League spot will go to the next highest-ranked side which has not qualified for a UEFA competition.

The Europa Conference League spot will go to the EFL Cup winners. As Man City won that trophy, their spot will again go to the next highest-ranked team which has not qualified for a UEFA competition.

That means the top seven clubs in the Premier League are set to secure European football next season. Here’s what could happen…

The Premier League table as it stands

Leicester 

66 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Chelsea (away), Tottenham (home)

Leicester are in the driving seat to finish third and know four points from their remaining two games will secure Champions League football.

The Foxes are guaranteed a place in the Europa League should they slip out of the top four.

Arsenal’s exit from the Europa League means the nightmare scenario of finishing fourth but not getting Champions League football can no longer happen.

Chelsea 

64 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Leicester (home), Aston Villa (away)

Chelsea need to win their remaining two league games to be sure of a top-four finish. Their upcoming league game against Leicester will be crucial.

The Blues would also secure Champions League football if they beat Man City in the final of this season’s tournament last this month.

Should they suffer a complete collapse, Thomas Tuchel’s team are not yet assured of Europa League football but would be highly unlucky to miss out.

Liverpool and West Ham are both still looking to break into the Premier League top four

Liverpool

60 points, 35 games – Remaining games: West Brom (away), Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (home)

Liverpool are right in the mix for a top-four finish and have a game in hand over both Chelsea and Leicester.

They will need to better the results of their rivals but Chelsea v Leicester on Tuesday, May 18 will be key for them as well.

Chelsea and Leicester cannot both finish the season with more than 69 points which is the maximum Liverpool can achieve. The Reds also have an inviting end to the season. 

There is a very real possibility of goal difference deciding who finishes fourth.

If Chelsea win their remaining games they will finish on 70 points and in third. If Leicester loss to Chelsea but beat Tottenham and Liverpool win their remaining three games, they will be on 69 each and goal difference will be used.

Ahead of this weekend’s games, Liverpool’s goal difference is +20 and Leicester is +21. That could mean that even goals scored will have to be used.

Should Liverpool fail to finish in the top-four, a Europa League place beckons but a huge swing of results could see them drop into the Europa Conference League spot.

West Ham

58 points, 35 games – Remaining games: Brighton (away), West Brom (away), Southampton (home)

West Ham remain in contention to finish in the top four but will need a major helping hand.

The Hammers also have a game in hand and can finish on 67 points. They will need to win all their games and then hope Chelsea, Leicester and Liverpool all slip up. 

A Europa League place looks most likely but they could have to settle for the Europa Conference League spot if the teams below them better their results.

Tottenham and Everton

56 points, 35 games – Remaining Spurs games: Wolves (home), Aston Villa (home), Leicester (away), Remaining Everton games: Sheffield United (home), Wolves (home), Man City (away)

Tottenham and Everton are in the same boat. Either could still make the top four but would need a major swing of results to go their way which would be extremely unlikely.

They can still claim a Europa League spot if they better the results of the teams above them.

As it stands, one of these two will be in the Europa Conference League.

Arsenal

55 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Crystal Palace (away), Brighton (home)

Arsenal can not claim a top-four finish.

They will be looking to better the results of the teams above them to get into the Europa League or Europa Conference League spots.

The Gunners have endured a difficult campaign and face the real prospect of being without Euoprean football next season for the first time in 25 years.

Leeds United

50 points, 35 games – Remaining games: Burnley (away), Southampton (away), West Brom (home)

Should the teams above them completely collapse and Leeds win their remaining games, they can still finish sixth and secure European football.

This would need a highly improbable run of results, however.