Man City on the brink and Newcastle nearly there – Premier League talking points
The penultimate weekend of the Premier League season could see a number of issues decided at the top and bottom of the table.
Here the PA news agency looks at some of the potentially key moments.
Champagne on ice for City
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have two chances to clinch a fifth title in six seasons. Should Arsenal fail to beat Nottingham Forest, who are still not safe from relegation, then the party will start at the Etihad. Defeat for the Gunners on Saturday evening would confirm the first leg of City’s potential treble and even a draw for Mikel Arteta’s side, who have a vastly inferior (-20) goal difference, would essentially be enough. But City can make sure regardless by beating Chelsea at home on Sunday.
Forest head into the weekend three points clear of the drop zone and signing off at the City Ground with a victory would put them on 37 points and virtually, if not mathematically, safe. Everton head to Wolves, who are safe, knowing victory keeps them out of the bottom three heading into the final weekend and ramps up the pressure on Leeds, who head to Europa Conference League finalists West Ham on Sunday.
It will be an emotional afternoon as Champions League-chasing Liverpool wave goodbye to two of their greats at Anfield. Roberto Firmino and James Milner, two major figures in their recent success, will say their farewells to home fans. If Monday’s game at Leicester, where travelling supporters sang the name of the much-loved Brazilian for 15 minutes even though he was not even in the squad is anything to go by, then it promises to be a Firmino-inspired carnival – providing they win. Midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will also bid goodbye with their contracts expiring next month.
Newcastle on verge of return to the big time
Monday’s game at the King Power is straightforward for both sides. Leicester, depending on results at the weekend, could be relegated if they do not win. In contrast, Newcastle will have a chance to secure a return to the Champions League after a 20-year absence with a victory of their own, although if Liverpool lose to Aston Villa on Saturday then their place will already be guaranteed.
Kane eyes another record
The Golden Boot may have gone to City’s Erling Haaland a long time ago in a remarkable debut season but Harry Kane’s consistency looks set to be rewarded in other ways. If he scores against Brentford in Saturday’s early kick-off he will become the first player to score in 25 matches in a 38-game Premier League season.