Premier League Preview: Can Brentford or Aston Villa Stop Spurs Playing European Football? (Gameweek 38 Preview)

Published on 27 May 2023 at 20:00

Even if the title race and much of the European places have already been decided heading into the final set of games of this season, there's still much to decide on what will be a fascinating afternoon of football in Gameweek 38 of the 2022/23 Premier League. 

Aston Villa vs Brighton: Can Emery Finally Condemn Spurs To The Midtable?


During his one full season as manager of Arsenal, Unai Emery was pipped to 4th position by North London rivals Tottenham by only a single point. The Spaniard now has the perfect opportunity to enact his revenge on the Lilywhites with his Aston Villa side.


All Aston Villa need to do is match or surpass Spurs’ result on Sunday, thanks to their one point advantage. Coming against a Brighton side with nothing to play for (having already secured Europa League football following their draw against Manchester City midweek), one would favour Emery and co to not only take all three points, but also that coveted last spot in Europe.

Everton vs Bournemouth: Everton’s Status As Stalwarts Hangs In The Balance


Jamie Carragher recently noted how special Liverpool stood as a footballing city: for as long as the Premier League has existed, Liverpool and Everton have remained in the division and never been relegated. This could all change come Sunday afternoon however…


Sean Dyche’s side sit in the most favourable position out of the three potential relegation candidates, somewhat comfortably on 33 points and with a superior goal difference to 19th place Leeds. With a point likely being enough to see the Toffees retain their top flight status for another season,


However, with no Dominic Calvert-Lewin and no natural fullback at their disposal, Everton’s squad is showing signs of collapsing right at the very end of the campaign. Bournemouth have already humbled Everton twice this season (a 4-0 win in the Carabao Cup followed up by a 3-1 win at the Vitality Stadium), with the Cherries having nothing to play for but pride, will Everton avoid lightning striking them thrice?

Leeds United vs Tottenham: Must Win Game At Opposite Ends Of The Table


Potentially the game with the highest stakes out of all Sunday’s action, the ramifications a win could have for either team are monumental.


For Leeds, they must win to even have a chance of survival, and then hope Leicester fail to win and the aforementioned Everton lose to Bournemouth. Spurs meanwhile have to do as best they can and hope they produce a better result than Aston Villa: matching Unai Emery’s men will not be enough!


Could this be the last time we see Harry Kane play in a Spurs shirt? With no European football being a very real possibility, and with Bayern Munich, Man Utd and Real Madrid linked with the 29-year-old in recent weeks, anything other than a win for Spurs at Elland Road could spell disaster for their immediate and long-term future.

Brentford vs Man City: Bees Look To Sting Cityzens (And Spurs In The Process)


There is one more contender for the spot in the UEFA Conference League: Thomas Frank has done a stellar job in West London so far, and getting Brentford into Europe in only their second ever Premier League season on a shoestring budget would be a truly astounding achievement. 


Any worries about Brentford struggling without star man Ivan Toney were quickly dismissed as the Bees blew Spurs away last weekend. 


Man City meanwhile have already rested key players in previous games against Chelsea and Brighton, and with their two crunch finals getting closer and closer, it’s likely we see a true City 3rd team fielded at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday. 


Brentford can only qualify for the Conference League with a win, and then they must hope the two teams above them both fail to win. In this Premier League season full of twists and turns, Brentford wowing us all one final time might not seem too surprising…

Man Utd vs Fulham: Chance At Revenge For Cottagers


Having already secured Champions League football with their dominant 4-1 win over Chelsea on Thursday night, Man Utd will be looking to cap off this successful campaign on a high. 


Fulham meanwhile, having already secured their Premier League survival weeks ago, will be looking to get a measure of payback against the hosts following the drama-filled FA Cup clash between the two sides which saw Marco Silva sent off, Aleksandr Mitrovic receive a lengthy ban, and Fulham crash out entirely. 


Man Utd haven’t lost at Old Trafford since August, and have defeated the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City there this season. As much as Fulham will be wanting to upset the odds yet again this season, it’s hard to look past a comfortable home win for the Red Devils. 

Chelsea vs Newcastle United: Magpies Look To Pile More Misery On Blues


To say this season has been one Chelsea fans will want to forget is a gross understatement. Having tasted defeat 16 times in this Premier League campaign, they have the unenviable task of hosting a Newcastle United team who’ve enjoyed some brilliant results when travelling to London this season. 


After the two teams’ heated affair back in November, expect tempers to start rising from the very beginning, with Eddie Howe’s high-flying Magpies wanting to show that they truly deserve the Champions League spot they secured just this past Monday night. 


It’s likely both sides will field younger, less experienced XIs due to player fatigue and injuries: for Chelsea, this is just a precursor game to a Summer where internal chemistry and quality must be developed. For some Newcastle players, this could be their last opportunity to stake their claim to being a part of this UCL-bound side. 

Leicester City vs West Ham: Avoid a Hammering, And The Foxes Might Just Survive…


Their fierce defensive display (and toothless attacking display) at St James’ Park may have been sensible then, but for Leicester, there’s no better time than now for this talented team  to finally show it up when it matters. 


Maddison and Barnes were notably benched by Dean Smith for the game against Newcastle, and it’s likely the case that they’re two players who are set to play their final game at the King Power Stadium, even if they manage to survive the drop. 


With one eye on their UEFA Conference League final against Fiorentina, it wouldn’t be surprising to see David Moyes opt for a weaker, younger squad in order to rest the likes of Rice and Paqueta ahead of one of the biggest games in West Ham’s history.


For Leicester to survive, they must win and hope Everton fail to win: Leicester’s superior goal difference will give them some confidence in survival, but their poor home form this season may cost them just one more time in the Premier League.

Arsenal vs Wolves: Someone’s Paid £25,000+ For This, Remember…


Just over a month ago, Arsenal fans were still optimistic of their title hopes. Fans were paying exorbitant amounts of money to be at the Emirates Stadium on the final day just for the chance to see their team hoist the Premier League trophy high.


Things didn’t quite go Arsenal’s way, and they now find themselves in a dead rubber game against Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves. With confirmed injuries to the likes of Martinelli and Saliba, and rumoured injuries concerning Saka and Trossard, Sunday’s game may not have any stakes, but will be a good opportunity for some of the fringe players to shine.


Between Sunday and the first day of the next Premier League season, Wolves could be a completely different side: are we looking at the last game for modern club heroes like Neves and Jimenez? There’s also doubt surrounding the future of Julen Lopetegui, with the club reportedly unable to guarantee him the financial backing needed to enact his vision for Wolves.


Who knows what the atmosphere will be like at the Emirates on Sunday, but this young Arsenal squad will be wanting to end this breakout season on a high, at the expense of a Wolves team facing an uncertain future.

Southampton vs Liverpool: End Of An Era For Both Sides?


The first casualty of this season’s relegation dogfight, Southampton face a similar exodus of talent expected to befall Leicester ahead of their unfortunate return to the Championship. 


Ward-Prowse has been silent about his future at St Mary’s, with many clubs hoping to pick up his signature and add to their midfield for next season. And considering the quality of players like Bella-Kotchap, Walker-Peters and Lavia, it feels like another week of asking just how a side with such high-quality players finished rock bottom of the Premier League.


Liverpool, having seen their hopes of Champions League football dealt its two final blows by Newcastle and Man Utd’s midweek efforts, will look back on this season as one of calamitous defending and frustrating performances mixed with surprisingly stellar displays, such as their 9-0 win over Bournemouth, 7-0 win against Man Utd, and 1-0 triumph over Man City.


It’s the first time the Reds have failed to make the Champions League under Jurgen Klopp, as well as the last time Roberto Firmino and James Milner will play for this Liverpool side. When just a year ago they were chasing a quadruple, will we officially be seeing the end of Liverpool’s era as the no.2 team in the country on Sunday?

Crystal Palace vs Nottingham Forest: A Final Farewell For A True Palace Royal


When Roy Hodgson returned to Crystal Palace on an interim basis following the sacking of Patrick Vieira, few could have predicted how entertaining and consistent his Palace side would play until the end of the season. 


Having revitalised the club and guided them safely out of yet another potential relegation battle, 75-year-old Hodgson is set to end his second spell at Selhurst Park on a high: the likes of Zaha, Ward, Tomkins and Clyne may also be making their final appearances in the red and blue of Palace as each player approaches the end of their contract and have not officially confirmed their departure. 


Nottingham Forest confirmed their safety last weekend with a monumental win over Arsenal, officially ending the title race in the process at the City Ground. Similar to the game at the Emirates, it’s merely pride and bragging rights on the line in this one, with both sides rather optimistic about their club’s future heading into next season.

What are your predictions for the final day of the 2022/23 Premier League season? Do you think any surprises will happen? If so, let us know your thoughts today! And as always, be sure to check out the rest of our content here on HL Division Sport, and keep up-to-date with us by following us on Twitter.



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