EPL relegation battle goes down to wire on final day

·3-min read

One way or the other, the Premier League will lose two teams with rich histories when the fight for survival reaches its conclusion on Sunday.

Everton, Leicester and Leeds all face a nervous final day of the season when their places in English soccer's top division will be at stake.

Everton have spent 69 years in the top-flight and are hoping for another dramatic rescue act, having narrowly avoided relegation last season.

Leicester were the architects of arguably the most unlikely title triumph - winning the Premier League as a 5000-1 underdog in 2016 - but have to hope Everton drop points at home against Bournemouth to stand any chance of climbing out of the relegation zone.

Leeds, meanwhile, have only been back among England's elite for the past three years, but have a storied past with their team of the late 1960s and 70s winning multiple trophies during that era. At the turn of the century they were a Champions League semi-finalist.

Two of the three will join last-place Southampton in relegation to the second-tier Championship.

Everton go into the last day in the strongest position largely due to their shock 5-1 win against high-flying Brighton this month, the only victory from their last 10 games in the league.

The Merseyside club sits one place above the relegation zone with 33 points - two points ahead of both Leicester and Leeds.

Everton had turned to Sean Dyche in January in a bid to climb the table after dispensing with Frank Lampard but he has won only four of his 17 games in charge.

The cost of relegation could be more significant for Everton than any of their rivals, with the club planning to move into a new waterfront stadium in 2024.

Their slump has come despite majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri spending around $780 million in a bid to transform the fortunes of a club that was one of the most successful in English soccer in the 1980s when they won the league title twice, the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup.

Leicester, who won the title under Claudio Ranieri in 2016, are at home and must beat West Ham and hope Everton fail to win. Even if Everton draw, a win for Leicester would see them survive by virtue of a superior goal difference.

Leeds need to win at home against Tottenham and hope both Everton and Leicester drop points to stand any chance of staying up.

If Everton draw, Leeds would then have to rely on goal difference or even goals scored to move above their rival.

The Yorkshire club is on its third manager of a chaotic season after the departures of Jesse Marsch and Javi Gracia.

Former England coach Sam Allardyce was hired at the start of the month in a desperate attempt to see the club pull off a rescue mission, but two losses and a draw in his three games in charge have left Leeds on the brink of relegation.