Liverpool’s win at Burnley on Wednesday night means that Leicester City’s Champions League fate on the final day of this season is not in their own hands.
The Reds, having beaten West Brom in dramatic circumstances on Sunday, followed that success up with a comparatively routine victory at Turf Moor. Goals from Nat Phillips, Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain secured their fourth straight league win and means that Leicester head into the final game in fifth place on goal difference.
That follows the Foxes’ narrow defeat at Chelsea, the other side in the top four fight, on Tuesday evening. Now all attentions turn to the final day of the season, which commences at 4pm this Sunday.
LEICESTER CITY v Tottenham Hotspur
Aston Villa v CHELSEA
LIVERPOOL v Crystal Palace
The table as it lies
The three clubs will enter Sunday’s finale knowing they can all finish third, fourth, or fifth.
While City host Spurs, Liverpool welcome Crystal Palace for Roy Hodgson’s final game, while Chelsea go to Aston Villa.
Here is every single different scenario and what it would mean for City.
If Chelsea win or draw, Liverpool win or draw, and City draw or lose
With any of these combinations of results, City will finish fifth for the second straight season, and will be in the Europa League next term.
If Chelsea lose, Liverpool win or draw, and City lose
A Chelsea defeat doesn’t help City if they don’t get something against Spurs. In the scenario, they would be fifth.
If Chelsea draw or lose, and City win
Irrespective of what Liverpool do, in this scenario City will leapfrog Chelsea and book their place in the top four.
If Liverpool draw or lose, and City win
Again, it won’t matter what Chelsea have done because this would see City back into the top four on the final day.
If Liverpool lose, and City draw
City would pip the Reds to a top-four spot by one point in this scenario.
If Chelsea lose, and City draw
This is where we have to go to goal difference, as it would depend on the heaviness of Chelsea’s defeat as to whether City make it into the top four.
In this scenario, Chelsea would have to lose by at least three goals for City to move above them and into the top four with a point against Spurs.
If Liverpool lose, and City lose
Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Turf Moor was key. It means that they go into the final day with the best goal difference of all three sides. Liverpool and Leicester have now scored the same number of goals, but the Reds are four ahead of City on goal difference and have a better head to head record.
That means that, in this such event, Brendan Rodgers would need another former Liverpool boss, Roy Hodgson, to mastermind a substantial win of four goals or more at Anfield in his final game in charge.
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If Chelsea win, Liverpool win, and City win
If all three teams win, goal difference is a factor once more. Chelsea would be out of the picture in third, but as to who qualifies between City and Liverpool, it would come down to the size of City’s win against Spurs.
They’ll need to beat Spurs by five or more, if Liverpool win by one on the final day. That required total will go up the more Liverpool win by.
In short, Leicester need a favour from Palace – or Aston Villa.