Premier League will provide last day drama

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As the 2011-12 Premier League campaign reaches its climax on Sunday, there are still plenty of issues that need to be sorted. Rarely has there been a final day scenario with so many questions that remain unanswered.

From the top of the table title tilt, to the scrap at the bottom to avoid the drop, and everything that comes in between - this weekend promises to be an exhilarating end to a thoroughly entertaining season in England's top flight.

In preparation for the swings and roundabouts that the last day drama promises to provide, GiveMeFootball looks ahead to the games that matter...

Title challenge...

1st Manchester City         P37 GD +63 PTS 86

2nd Manchester United   P37 GD +55 PTS 86

Roberto Mancini's side are in pole position to claim their first top-flight title for 44 years at the expense of bitter rivals and reigning Premier League champions Manchester United.

City host relegation-threatened QPR at the Etihad Stadium, knowing that victory will almost certainly guarantee them the title, due to their superior goal difference (8 goals).

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson's men travel to the Stadium of Light in search of three points against Sunderland, and will hope that former United favourite Mark Hughes, will do his old side a favour by earning at least a draw against the Citizens.


United travel to Wearside in hope rather than expectation - I predict both sides to win on Sunday, meaning City take the title on goal difference.

The race for Champions League qualification...

3rd Arsenal        P37 GD +24 PTS 67

4th Tottenham   P37 GD +23 PTS 66

5th Newcastle    P37  GD +7  PTS 65

Arsenal are favourites to secure third spot, and with it the final automatic Champions League qualification place.

They travel to The Hawthorns looking for victory against a West Brom side that will be looking to bid a fond farewell to Roy Hodgson, before the Baggies boss takes up his full-time position with England ahead of Euro 2012.

Tottenham host Fulham and Newcastle travel to Everton with both clubs realistically needing victory to improve their chances.

As it stands all three teams could still finish in any combination in third, fourth and fifth - but will have to wait for the outcome of Chelsea's European final against Bayern Munich, before establishing whether fourth will qualify for the Champions League or Europa League.


Hodgson's England distraction will play into the hands of Arsene Wenger - expect the Gunners (3rd) and Spurs (4th) to finish the season with wins, while Newcastle (5th) will take a point from fortress Goodison Park.

The battle for survival....

16th Aston Villa   P37 GD -14 PTS 38

17th QPR             P37 GD -22 PTS 37

18th Bolton          P37 GD -31 PTS 35

With Wolves and Blackburn already relegated, there remains just one spot left in the dreaded drop zone. Villa are almost certainly safe due to their far superior goal difference, leaving QPR and Bolton to battle it out in their fight for survival.

Owen Coyle's side travel to the Britannia Stadium knowing that anything less than a victory will mean they will be playing in the Championship next season.

Even if they claim all three points, their top-flight status will hinge on QPR not getting anything from title hopefuls Manchester City.


After everything that has gone on at the Reebok Stadium this season, I am predicting a happy ending to 2011-12, with Bolton beating Stoke on their own patch, and successfully surpassing QPR who will lose at the Etihad, meaning an immediate return to the second tier for the west London club.

Top dog on Merseyside...

7th Everton        P37 GD +8 PTS 53

8th Liverpool     P37 GD +8 PTS 52

Everton could finish above Liverpool in the Premier League for the first time since 2004-05, as long as they match or better the Reds' result.

David Moyes' side host Champions League chasing Newcastle, while Kenny Dalglish's charges make the trip to south Wales to play Swansea - who have been impressive at the Liberty Stadium this season.


A draw for Everton will be enough to secure seventh spot, while Liverpool end a disappointing domestic campaign with a loss against the Swans and finish eighth.


Best placed promoted side...

12th Swansea   P37 GD -8   PTS 44

13th Norwich   P37 GD -16 PTS 44

Both Norwich and Swansea will look back on 2011-12 as very successful campaigns, the Canaries on their return to the top-flight following back-to-back promotions the previous two seasons, with this achievement perhaps usurping everything Paul Lambert has done so far.

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has got the Swans playing an attractive brand of football that has drawn plaudits from all corners of the football world in their debut season in the Premier League.

With the two teams locked together on points, its the side from south Wales that boast a better goal difference, which could prove decisive in their final standing.


Norwich will beat Aston Villa at Carrow Road but still finish behind Swansea on goal difference after they see off the challenge of Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium.


And finally.....


Robin van Persie already looks to have the Golden Boot sewn up with 30 goals to his name (unless Wayne Rooney scores four against Sunderland), but the Arsenal captain will be looking to cap his most prolific season in English football by beating the 38-game Premier League record (31) currently jointly held by Alan Shearer (1995-96) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08).

The final day could also be the platform for another record breaker, with last season's best ever haul of 1,063 goals at risk of being breached again in 2011-12. With this year's tally standing at 1,034, Sunday's ten games need to produce 30 goals or more to make it the most prolific campaign in Premier League history.

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