EPL – The Final Stretch

Liam T (Year 12)

Football fans all around the world are biting their nails to see who will be victorious for the 2021/22 EPL Season; who will be relegated, and will Arsenal claim their top 4 trophy?…   

2 big sides will battle it out to become champions: Liverpool, a historic football side known for their clinical finishing and fast-paced attack with the likes of Mohammad Salah and Sadio Mané and areal specialist Diego Jota on the scene. The reigning champions, Manchester City, and their master tactician, Pep Guardiola, are continuing to fire firm and strong against each side as they maintain their consistent form under the Spanian – who, at the time of writing, sit above Liverpool by a, slender, 1 point margin!  

Both squads have a few tough fixtures ahead of them, with Liverpool facing an in-form Wolves side on Matchday 38, and Manchester City facing a flying underdog West Ham on Matchday 37, after recently thrashing newly found oil merchants Newcastle! Alas, it has come to my attention that this season wouldn’t be the fairy-tale season for the Reds without a legendary final matchday story – the stories you don’t forget that bring true meaning to ‘the beautiful game’ and why football is so beloved by all. We’ve seen it countless times with the likes of Agüero’s Goal against Queens Park Rangers to seal the title in 2010 for Manchester City, or in the dying moments of the 2014 World Cup with Mario Götze’s sliding finish against Argentina.  

For me, I envision Matchday 38 of the 2021/22 season being a historic one, with former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side holding onto the ropes against a strong Manchester City Side, yet with one little Brazilian magician by the name of Phillipe Countinho slotting a last-minute screamer to secure a fairytale ending for his former team, the Reds. Whilst over at Anfield, Liverpool will slot in two well-placed goals from new signing Luiz Díaz and a header from the defender of the year, Virgil Van Dijk. 

The relegation battle is the toughest battle known in World football. Each week, teams must fight to scrape out of the bottom 3, or prepare for Championship Football. Whilst Watford and Norwich have lost all hope and prepare to go down, 3 sides still remain holding on to their final ticket in the Premier League. Everton, a side on paper that would be seen to be a dream squad, has struggled all season with 2 managers not performing for the side, whilst Brexit-ballers Burnley must maintain such an amazing form with Hoofing the ball long and taking out players like its World War 2. Then there’s Leeds, who has only just re-emerged from their stint in the championship – will we be saying bye to them so soon?  

Meanwhile, that dearly sought-after 4th position remains in hot contention – currently appearing to be solely a North London contest with the bitter rivals fighting it out. The upcoming North London will be a must-watch, potentially deciding the top 4 race…  

Undoubtedly, the biggest upset of the season… Manchester United, who were tipped to be title contenders, will go into next season without Champions League football. Talk about a fallen giant! The most decorated English club left to play in the Europa League, alongside other footballing giants like FK Crvena Zvezda and Celtic FC (no disrespect to Scott Brown).  

Get strapped in, and heat up some popcorn, its crunch time. Who will be champions? And who will be going down?