7.30pm, Saturday April 30th. That’s nearly it now for this season’s Premiership. There’s new champions – Chelsea have become holders of the title for the first time in fifty years after beating Bolton 2-0. The good news about that result was that it meant Bolton picked up no points from the day. In fact only Liverpool picked up any points out of those teams in positions 4 to 6. Everton lost at Fulham 2-0, Liverpool only managed a draw at home to Middlesborough.
Everton are on 58 points and can get a maximum of 67. Liverpool are on 55 and can get at most 61 points and Bolton stay on 54 points, with a maximum of 60 available to them.
One more win for Everton means that Liverpool could then only overtake them on goal difference – currently Liverpool’s is superior at +12 to Everton’s +5.
Bolton are now relying on slip-ups to get higher in the league than Liverpool. Bolton and Everton meet on the last day of the season.
The other impact of Chelsea taking the title tonight is that Arsenal’s priorities may now change. Arsenal are still playing for an automatic qualifying place in the Champions League – second place guarantees that – but they now have lost that slim chance of winning the league. Arsenal play West Brom tomorrow, then they have two home games in succession – against Liverpool and Everton.
Next weekend’s games see Everton and Bolton both playing on Saturday. Bolton play against Portsmouth – now safe from relegation. If Everton win – at home to Graham Souness’s Newcastle – they’ll be in a position where one more point out of their last two games guarantees them fourth place. That might be enough psychologically for Liverpool to consider it’s all over when they travel to Highbury on Sunday. Of course by then Liverpool will know if they’ve made it to this year’s Champions League final.
Everton v Newcastle, Portsmouth v Bolton
Arsenal v Liverpool
Arsenal v Everton
Bolton v Everton, Liverpool v Aston Villa