While the European football leagues are slowly grinding to a halt, the world of motorsports is gearing up for an exciting driving season. In the English Premier League, the battle to stay up is still very much on. One of Watford, Aston Villa and West Ham could be relegated this weekend. Here is a look at some of the top sports stories.
Premier League Relegation Battle Goes Down To the Wire
Three teams separated by three points, with almost identical goal difference and only one Premier League place available. Sunday’s Premier League season climax is set to be a nerve-shredding one for teams battling to avoid relegation.
Norwich is certain to finish bottom of the table – and two from Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth will join them in the Championship next season. Aston Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 to climb out of the bottom three – for the first time since 28 February – on goal difference, helped by Watford’s 4-0 thrashing at home by Manchester City.
An incredibly tight situation sees Villa and Watford three points clear of Bournemouth, setting up an intriguing battle. Though West Ham are not mathematically safe, they have a vastly superior goal difference than the three teams in trouble below them, as well as a game in hand – Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The battle for the last Champions’ League spot goes down to the wire
There is still much to be decided with regards to qualification for the two European club competitions as we head towards the Premier League’s final round of fixtures. Manchester City’s successful appeal against their European ban means the top four in the Premier League will (probably) qualify for next season’s Champions League, with the next two (or possibly three) going into the Europa League.
So who plays who on Sunday’s final day, which clubs are likely to qualify and who could meet in what would effectively be a Champions League play-off? Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester United are battling it out for the final two Champions’ League group-stage spots.
No trophy parade for Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said waiting to receive the Premier League trophy is “a bit like Christmas”. The Reds were presented with the long-awaited silverware after Wednesday’s match with Chelsea at Anfield, when Klopp also urged fans to “stay at home”.
Police have moved to dispel rumours that Liverpool footballers would appear outside the club’s stadium after the team lifts the Premier League trophy. However, fans were urged not to repeat the widespread gatherings that greeted the team’s title victory.
Hamilton lead Drivers’ Championship
Lewis Hamilton moved into the world championship lead for the first time this season with a dominant victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver pulled out an eight-second lead in three wet laps at the start of the race before switching to dry tyres, and controlled the race from there.
It was Hamilton’s second consecutive victory in the third race of the season, and it came after another anti-racism protest from the drivers before the race. It ended up slightly chaotic, as it had in the Styrian Grand Prix a week ago, with the drivers rushing to take part. But as in the first two races, most of the drivers ‘took the knee’ alongside Hamilton, while a few chose to remain standing for their own reasons.
Hamilton’s win was never in doubt once he shot away from the field at the start, while Bottas may be considered lucky to get away with an apparent jumped start.