Premier League Preview – May 9
You don’t need to pour over the table.
You don’t need a bunch of fancy statistics, charts or graphs.
You just need to remember this on the last Sunday of the 2009-2010 EPL season:
- If Chelsea beats Wigan at home, the Blues are champions
- If Chelsea loses, and Manchester United beats Stoke City at Old Trafford, United are champions
- If Chelsea draws, and Manchester United beats Stoke City at Old Trafford, United are champions
- If Chelsea loses, and Manchester United draws, Chelsea wins the title (I don’t think they’re going to lose 9-0, which is what it would take to overturn the goal difference)
- If they both lose, win or draw, the title is Chelsea’s
There’s some other stuff to work out, like who’s finishing third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, so let’s dive in.
Chelsea vs. Wigan Athletic
The proposition is a simple one for Chelsea. Win at home, collect the silverware.
The Blues have their eyes on the prize, to be sure.
“We are just training like we train before every game and even if it is the most important game of the season, if we play like we know how to play then should be a nice game to watch,” Salomon Kalou told Sky Sports. “After ten months of hard work, if we don’t capitalise on Sunday all that work will be in vain. Just one game can spoil everything and we have to play like we are champions. Playing for the title in front of your own supporters, we have to enjoy that.”
Manchester United vs. Stoke City
It may be one eye on Stoke City and the other on the out-of-town scoreboard for the Red Devils on Sunday.
Rio Ferdinand is hoping for a little help as his team tries to overtake Chelsea at the top of the table.
“It’s been an exciting season,” he told the Daily Mail. “The number of lesser teams on paper who’ve been taking points off the top four has been higher, when it’s been a case of the big teams beating all the others and then dropping points against each other.
“It’s been a weird season. Hopefully that will bode well for Chelsea’s game on Sunday.”
Arsenal vs. Fulham
Arsenal needs a win at home to solidify its hold on third place while Fulham will certainly be looking past this fixture to the Europa League final in Hamburg on May 12.
After a request to move the game up a day was denied by the league, don’t expect many first-team players on the team sheet for the Cottagers.
Aston Villa vs. Blackburn Rovers
Villa is assured of Europa League football next season, but they can climb as high as fifth with the right set of results on Mother’s Day.
Young Nathan Delouneso wants his team to finish on a high note.
“We want to finish strongly and finish on a high next weekend,” Delfounesotold the Birmingham Mail. “We don’t want to finish on a low, especially in front of our own fans. We want to send them off happy.”
Bolton Wanderers vs. Birmingham
Little more than pride and a place or two one way or the other in the table is on the line as Birmingham visits the Trotters.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish wants his team to end the season with a road win.
“If we could eclipse that, 50 points then, again, it would be another thing for the fans to hang on to in terms of the history books,” McLeish told the Birmingham Mail. “And, of course, we would be proud to do that. We don’t set out to break records, we just set out to try and be successful and if we break records along the way that’s a great bonus.”
Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Thanks to clinching fourth place in its mid-week win at Eastlands over Manchester City, Sunday’s game at Burnley is little more than a victory lap for Tottenham.
Sure, they could finish third with a win and an Arsenal loss, but with Fulham sure to put out a weakened side, that doesn’t seem too likely.
Spurs’ boss Harry Redknapp understands the situation, telling Sky Sports, “I cannot see it happening to be honest, (Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has) got his priorities and quite rightly so, I understand where he’s coming from,” he said. “He’s got a massive game next week, European cup final, it is a great achievement for them so he’s got to do what’s right for his club.”
Everton vs. Portsmouth
Another team with its mind on other silverware plays out the string this weekend as Portsmouth visits Everton.
The FA Cup final is all that’s left this season for relegated Pompey, and while Everton can’t finish any higher than eighth, its fans have sold out the match on Sunday.
Hope they have a nice time.
Hull City vs. Liverpool
Europa League football may be of little solace for Liverpool as its wraps up its season at equally disheartened Hull City.
Hull, it seems, is already planning the fire sale.
West Ham United vs. Manchester City
West Ham could rise three spots with the right results while City could fall to sixth if they lose on Sunday.
I’m not sure either side cares that much one way or the other.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Sunderland
Two teams in the bottom half of the table put a bow on the season as the Black Cats come calling to Wolves.