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Premier League refresher - Who's battling for Europe? Who's facing relegation?

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Arsenal-Chelsea Willian

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ByEurosport
12/06/2020 at 14:07 | Updated 12/06/2020 at 15:07

The Premier League is set to return after a three-month enforced break with Liverpool on the brink of winning the title for the first time. But who’s in contention for the European places? Who’s battling relegation? And who could win the Golden Boot?

Who can win the title?

Liverpool. Two wins needed and it’s all over.

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Jurgen Klopp's side lead by 25 points and the league could even be wrapped up on the first full weekend of the restart if second-placed Manchester City don’t win their game in hand against Arsenal on June 17. Head over here to read all about when Liverpool could be crowned champions. The return of the Premier League comes exactly 100 days since the last match was played, a crushing 4-0 win for Leicester City over Aston Villa, and will feature the first English top-flight matches to be played in June since 1947, when severe winter weather caused numerous postponements.

  • Premier League confirm June 17 return
  • What could the revised fixture list look like?

Along with the title, Liverpool also have several records in their sights. They are on course to break City's record of 100 points, secure the largest winning margin (which currently stands at 19 points) and win the title in the quickest time - currently set at five games remaining.

They can also record the most home wins in a season if they win their last four at Anfield, which would take them to a perfect 19, one more than the record. And there's the chance to get the most wins in a season, with six more taking them past City's record of 32.

Who can make the top four?

With top spot secured and Manchester City and Leicester both well placed in second and third, it looks like it could be a six-team battle for fourth place. However, remember City's Champions League ban?

In February they were banned from the competition for two seasons and fined €30 million by UEFA due to Financial Fair Play breaches. Their appeal has been heard this week but there is no indication yet on whether the ban will be upheld, reduced or even overturned. If they are banned for next season then fifth place in the Premier League should secure a Champions League spot. The decision has far-reaching consequences, with star man Kevin De Bruyne having previously hinted that he could leave the club if no European football is on offer.

Chelsea are the current holders of fourth spot on 48 points but are only three points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, who were on a promising run before the break.

Wolves are in sixth on 43 points, level with Sheffield United, who could move up to fifth if they win their game in hand against Aston Villa on June 17.

Chris Wilder’s side also face Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolves in their remaining fixtures so their fate is very much in their own hands.

Sheffield United are in position to challenge for a top-four finish

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Then there’s the two north London teams. Tottenham, who will be boosted by the return of several injured players, including Harry Kane, are in eighth on 41 points while Arsenal are on 40 points but with a game in hand. The outlook looks bleak for Arsenal in their spare match - a trip to Man City, who have won their last six matches against the Gunners, with an aggregate score of 17-2.

Seventh place is likely to secure a Europa League spot for next season.

Who will be relegated?

This is where the real intrigue seems to be.

Bottom-placed Norwich appear to doomed as they have a six-point gap to safety and a far inferior goal difference to the teams around them.

However, then there are five teams who are in real trouble.

Aston Villa (19th place, 25 points), Bournemouth (18th place, 27 points), Watford (17th place, 27 points), West Ham (16th place, 27 points) and Brighton (15th place, 29 points) are all facing the prospect of dropping into the Championship if their results don’t improve.

Southampton (34 points) and Newcastle (35 points) could get dragged in if things go badly for them and the teams below them pick up some good results.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is currently the front-runner with 19 goals, although he hadn’t scored in 2020 before netting twice in the final game before the league was suspended.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close behind on 17 goals while Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are both on 16.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope leads the Golden Glove race for the most clean sheets with 11, one ahead of Alisson, Dean Henderson and Kasper Schmeichel.

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