Everton, Leeds United and Leicester City are the three clubs heading into the final day of the Premier League season uncertain about being there again next year.
Only Southampton have already been confirmed as facing the drop to the Championship, but from only a couple of months ago where at least nine sides were in danger of going down, it’s now just two from three who will end the weekend in despair.
Sean Dyche’s side are in the driving seat after earning a late, late point against Wolves last time out, but while survival remains in their own hands, one win in their last ten matches doesn’t exactly offer much of a guarantee that they’ll get the job done.
Ahead of the final fixtures, it’s Everton in 17th and safety on 33 points, Leicester on 31 and Leeds also on 31 - but with an inferior goal difference to both of those above them. Perhaps importantly, all three sides are at home for their last outing; of the trio, it’s Leeds who have the best record on their own turf this term - but the Foxes have taken most points from the last three on home soil.
Here’s what each of the three clubs need to survive, and what every permutation will mean on the final day of 2022/23.
Everton vs Bournemouth (15th) - live on Sky Sports
Leeds vs Tottenham (8th) - live on BT Sport
Leicester vs West Ham (14th) - live on Sky Sports
We’ll start with the obvious and easy one: a victory for Sean Dyche’s side against the Cherries renders everything else irrelevant.
Everton can’t finish any higher than 17th, but 36 points would make them uncatchable by either of the other two. So an Everton win means they survive, while Leicester and Leeds go down.
Before turning our attention to the potential for finishing level on points, here’s the situation if the Toffees are beaten by Bournemouth.
First and foremost, Leicester and Leeds have to win. If either club fail to take three points from their own matches, they are down and Everton stay up.
If one of them does win and Everton lose, Everton will be relegated and whichever one of Leeds and Leicester claimed victory will stay up, the other goes down.
If both Leeds and Leicester win, Everton are down in 19th and Leeds will be relegated in 18th on goal difference...unless they somehow win by nine goals more than Leicester do. So if the Foxes triumph 1-0, Leeds need to become the first-ever Premier League-era club to secure a 10-0 victory to survive on goals scored. It feels an unlikely combination of events.
Here’s where it gets more tricky.
One point for Dyche’s side leaves them on 34. Again, if either Leeds or Leicester fail to win, they are relegated regardless of anything else, so only victories there will potentially affect matters. Everton survive if neither of the others win.
So, if Everton draw, Leicester win and Leeds do not win: Leeds will be down in 19th, Everton will join them in the Championship finishing 18th. Leicester surive on goal difference.
If Everton draw, Leeds win and Leicester do not win: Leicester are 19th and relegated and the last spot will go to goal difference. Everton are on -24 ahead of the weekend and a draw keeps them on the same, so Leeds (currently -27) need to win by three goals to stay up on goals scored. They are well ahead of Everton in that regard (47-33) so if we exclude ridiculous scenarios such as an Everton 18-18 draw, any three-goal win in this permutation will keep Leeds up.
If Everton draw and both Leeds and Leicester win: It’s Leicester who stay up here and survive from a three-way goal difference fight. Not that it’ll matter much to either of them since they’ll be down regardless, but the order of Leeds and Everton will depend on if Leeds win by three, as in the previous permutation.
What Everton need: To win their own game, or for Leicester and Leeds to both not win.
What Leicester need: To win, and for Everton to not win.
What Leeds need: To win and Everton lose, or to win by three if Everton draw. Leicester must also not win in either scenario.
*Accurate as of 24 May
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