This season is pretty much wrapped up right? We know who’ll win the title, we’re pretty sure who’ll finish in the Champions League places, and there’s just one relegation place left for two teams to try and avoid.
With Leicester guaranteeing a place in the top four we ran through the scenarios for each club to determine where they could finish this season, whether they have five, six or seven games remaining. There are some real surprises to be found and it really drilled home how well the Foxes have done to secure a Champions League place so soon.
So let’s start with the most shocking: the team currently in fifth, Manchester United, could still finish as low as 16th. United fans have had a season to forget but with Champions League football becoming even less likely, and even Crystal Palace in 16th capable of finishing fifth, European football of any kind looks in danger. For this to happen, United would have to lose all of their remaining fixtures, with other results going against them. Every club as far down as Palace can simultaneously match or better the Red Devils’ current haul of 53 points, although the Old Trafford faithful can breathe a bit easier – this combination is obviously very unlikely to occur.
On to the next most shocking: are Chelsea feasibly still in danger of being relegated? It looks like they could be, but it’s all an illusion. Their tally of 44 points is one shy of 18th-placed Sunderland’s maximum possible haul of 45, but they’re already mathematically safe thanks to the fixture schedule. The Black Cats still have to play 17th-placed Norwich, which means there isn’t a scenario in which both clubs reach 44 points – ergo one of them would remain beneath the Blues along with Newcastle and Aston Villa. There’s a reason to smile, Chelsea fans.
And there’s still plenty for teams at the bottom to play for – every club except the current bottom two of Newcastle and Aston Villa can still finish the season in the top half if results go their way. The Magpies could only rise as high as 11th if they were to win all of their remaining matches and other results went their way, while Aston Villa would need maximum points from their remaining five games and for Norwich to lose all of theirs to stand any chance of leaving the bottom three. It doesn’t seem likely.