The finish line is in sight. Two hundred and eighty-two days after Brentford stunned Arsenal on the opening day, the Premier League reaches its conclusion with so much still undecided. For just the ninth time in its history the title is up for grabs on the final day while further down the table there are still matters to be decided in the race to avoid relegation and maybe just maybe in the fight for top four. Here are 10 things to keep an eye out for:
1. A title showdown short on drama
After 37 games of hitting lumps out of each other, whether from afar or on the same pitch together, there is still merely the cigarette paper that is a solitary point between Manchester City and Liverpool. Ten years on from Sergio Aguero's dramatic late winner at the Etihad Stadium, we could be in for similar drama on the final day.
Could, however, is very much the operative word here. This should be relatively serene for Manchester City. It has been 15 years since Aston Villa won away at City and 22 years since they travelled to a side that was top of the Premier League and returned with three points. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has never lost on the final day of the English season.
Liverpool will almost certainly keep their end of the bargain up against a Wolverhampton Wanderers side whose season petered out so long ago that they may as well be playing in flip flops. Realistically though, City may well have their game against Villa wrapped up rather swiftly, allowing England's attention to drift elsewhere.
2. Stakes are high for Burnley
The disappointment that one of Liverpool and Manchester City will be feeling by the time the sun sets on Sunday will pale into insignificance compared to the catastrophe that awaits one of Leeds and Burnley. The former head into the final weekend well aware that their fate is out of their hands. Leeds may be level on points with the Clarets, but their atrocious goal difference means that top-flight survival will be dependent on achieving a better result against Brentford than Burnley get at home to Newcastle.
Whether Mike Jackson's side, who drew against Aston Villa on Thursday to claim control of the final day dogfight, will be weighed down by the sheer pressure on them remains to be seen. Relegation from the Premier League is rarely a pleasant experience for a club's balance sheet; for Burnley, it could be all the more severe. "You wouldn't get out of bed in a morning if you thought about that," said Jackson. "I try not to. I try to keep it level and keep it real."
Relegation to the Championship would force owners ALK Capital, who secured the club in a leveraged buyout in February 2021, to pay back the majority of the $81 million loan that financed their purchase. That would be hard enough at any time, but when their finances have already taken a battering from the pandemic, there would be serious cause for concern at Turf Moor. No pressure then.