LONDON. – The English Premiership season will go down to the wire on Sunday and a Zimbabwean footballer could play a huge role in the outcome of the riveting contest.
Marvelous Nakamba and his Aston Villa teammates have a trip to favourites Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium where a shock result could tilt the race in Liverpool’s favour.
Ironically, Nakamba is under the guidance of Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard who, even though he won’t say it publicly, would love the Reds to win only their second league title in the past three decades.
The Warriors midfielder returns to the stadium which, for some time, was home to another Zimbabwe international footballer, Benjani Mwaruwari.
But, it’s not just the battle for the crown on Super Sunday.
As it stands, EIGHT of the 10 final day matches will have something riding on them.
And while the main interest, rightly, will be on the fight for supremacy between City and Liverpool, millions of pounds will also be resting on matters through the rest of the table.
A simple equation for Pep Guardiola’s City – beat Villa at The Etihad and it does not matter what Liverpool do at home to Wolves.
Liverpool trail the champions by a point and with a vastly inferior goal difference.
In simple terms, the Merseysiders HAVE to win and hope that City do not.
Even a draw for Liverpool would not be enough if City were to lose, although, mathematically, a 6-0 City defeat coupled with a 5-5 draw at Anfield would mean a PLAY-OFF for the crown.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOTS
Chelsea are confirmed in the top four after Arsenal’s shocker at Newcastle but still need a point to be sure of third place.
Tottenham are in the box seat for fourth following their end of season run and Arsenal’s implosion.
They are two points ahead and with a goal difference of +24, compared to Arsenal’s +9.
Theoretically, Arsenal could win by 16 against Everton.
A point at already-relegated Norwich and Spurs have a lock on fourth and that Champions League bounty.
But plenty of Tottenham fans are already recalling the last day of the 2015-16 season when they needed a point at doomed Newcastle to take second and finish above the Gunners for the first time in 20 years.
They lost 5-1.
Manchester United and West Ham are assured of European football but not certain yet which competition they are playing in.
A United victory against Crystal Palace would confirm them in sixth and a place in the final play-off round to join Arsenal or Spurs in the Europa League.
That would mean the Hammers finishing seventh and taking the Conference League place.
But, a West Ham win at Brighton would be enough for sixth if United fail to beat Palace, consigning the Old Trafford outfit to the third-tier competition.
Norwich and Watford began preparing for life back in the Championship weeks ago but the final place in the down elevator is still uncertain.
Everton had the chance to extend their top flight stay to 69 seasons with a win over Crystal Palace last night.
That would make it a last day battle between Leeds and Burnley. – The Sun/Sports Reporter