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  • Premier League Permutations: Title In Man City'S Hands, Luton Set For Relegation

Premier League permutations: Title in Man City's hands, Luton set for relegation

The Premier League title race will go to the final day of the season after Arsenal’s win over Manchester United.

Manchester City’s game in hand against Tottenham on Tuesday night will shape the picture heading into Sunday’s fixtures and here, we take a close look at how it could all play out.

 

How it stands

Arsenal’s win took them back to the summit, after City hammered Fulham the previous day.

Mikel Arteta’s side have 86 points, one more than City, but with only one game remaining they need their rivals to drop points.

City’s 4-0 win, compared to the Gunners winning only 1-0 at Old Trafford, ate into their goal difference advantage but Arsenal remain three ahead on that front.

 

Remaining fixtures

Tottenham are the first test standing in City’s way in north London on Tuesday, with Arsenal players Kai Havertz and William Saliba both joking after Sunday’s win about becoming Spurs fans for the day.

Ange Postecoglou’s men still have points to chase for their own purposes, needing a point to wrap up fifth place even if Aston Villa end their top-four hopes by beating Liverpool on Monday night.

The final day sees Arsenal and City both at home against Everton and West Ham respectively and by then, Pep Guardiola and his former assistant Arteta will know exactly what is required.

 

Another Hammering?

Should City beat Spurs they will go into the final day with a two-point lead, and with the two teams close on goal difference – at most, City would be two behind on that front.

They would therefore still need another victory to make sure but have favourable opposition – in Guardiola’s time in charge, they have never lost to the Hammers and have won 14 of 17 meetings.

A draw against Tottenham would see the teams go into the final day level on points, with Arsenal still three goals ahead and City therefore needing an emphatic scoreline.

Again, the good news for them is Guardiola’s sides have previously beaten West Ham 5-0, 4-0 (twice), 4-1 and 3-0 in the league with another 5-0 success in the FA Cup. Arsenal’s opponents Everton, meanwhile, have the fourth-best defensive record in this season’s Premier League with 49 goals conceded, bettered only by the title rivals and third-placed Liverpool.

A City defeat at Spurs would leave the outcome completely in Arsenal’s hands, able to clinch the title by beating Everton regardless of events at the Etihad Stadium.

Should Arsenal and City finish the season level on both points and goal difference, the title would be decided by goals scored – City are currently two ahead on that front.

 

Relegation all but set

At the other end, Saturday’s defeats for Luton and Burnley left the relegation battle over barring a spectacular combination of scorelines on the final day.

Luton are three points adrift of Nottingham Forest and will need a win over Fulham, defeat for Forest against the relegated Clarets and an almost unimaginable 12-goal swing to survive.

Burnley joined Sheffield United in heading back to the Championship after they were beaten by Spurs, meaning if Luton’s fate is sealed then all three promoted teams will go straight back down for only the second time in the Premier League era, following Bolton, Barnsley and Crystal Palace in 1997-98.

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