Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Five Aside [Print without images]

Friday, May 11, 2012
Odds and scenarios for EPL's final day


After 37 games in this Premier League season, drama remains in the races for the title, for Champions League berths and to avoid relegation. For the final time this season, Five Aside looks at the odds and scenarios that will shape the Premier League weekend.

• League leader Manchester City hosts relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers, needing to match or better Manchester United's result at Sunderland to win its first title since 1968. The 44-year drought would be the fourth-longest stretch between championships in English top-flight history. The lengthiest was Blackburn's 81-season drought that ended in 1995.

• In the Premier League era, this is the sixth time the title race has been decided on the final day. The team that led entering the day won all five previous championships. The last time first place changed hands on the English league's final day was also the last time the league was decided via tiebreaker. In the famed 1989-90 season, Arsenal won 2-0 at Anfield to tie Liverpool on points and win the title on goals scored.

• ESPN's Soccer Power Index gives Manchester City an 89.2 percent chance to win the title. City's title odds have been a roller coaster over the last three months. City was a 2-1 favorite in February before going winless in four of five games. That dropped City's chances to 9.9 percent, before Manchester United drew 4-4 at home to Everton and City won the Manchester derby.

• Despite three draws and a loss in its last four games, Arsenal remains in third place, one point ahead of Tottenham and two clear of Newcastle. Arsenal (94.0 percent) and Tottenham (90.4 percent) remain heavy favorites to finish in the top four, with Newcastle holding 15.6 percent hopes. But the third-place spot is crucial, since Chelsea could swipe the fourth berth by winning the Champions League final May 19. In that race, Arsenal is a 62.1 percent favorite, with a win at West Brom the simplest path to third place.

• At the bottom of the table, Queens Park Rangers and Bolton attempt to avoid the final relegation spot. To do so, Bolton needs a win at Stoke City and a QPR loss to Man City, or a win by at least eight goals and a QPR draw. Bolton is an 83.1 percent favorite to be sent down, with QPR relegated in the other 16.9 percent of scenarios. (Note that Aston Villa could technically still be relegated, but that would involve Bolton making up a goal difference of 17 on Aston Villa. Not likely.)