Three teams, one match to avoid drop — who needs what? (2023)

The Premier League title and Champions League places have been sealed with games to spare, but the battle to stay in the top flight is going down to a final, nerve-jangling day.

Southampton have already been relegated to the Championship but two from three clubs — three-time league winners Leeds United, 2015-16 champions Leicester City and Premier League ever-presents Everton — will also be condemned to the second tier when the final whistle blows on Sunday, May 28.


The Athletic explains who needs what to stay up and checks in on all three imperilled camps.

  • Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani offered Elland Road as security in deal to buy Sampdoria
















20 (R)





Leeds United (19th)

Final day fixture: Tottenham (H) — kick-off 4.30pm BST, 11.30am EDT, 8.30am PDT

What do they need to stay up?

Leeds remain second-bottom and two points from safety after a damaging 3-1 defeat to West Ham on the penultimate weekend on the season.

Sam Allardyce’s side must beat Tottenham at Elland Road to have a chance — but must also hope Everton lose and Leicester fail to win. If Everton draw, Leicester drop points and Leeds win, goal difference would come into play. Leeds would only need to win by a three-goal margin to draw level on goal difference with Everton because Leeds’ superior goals scored would then be decisive. They have scored 14 more goals than Everton.

Premier League rules state: “If any clubs finish with the same number of points, their position in the Premier League table is determined by goal difference, then the number of goals scored, then the team who collected the most points in the head-to-head matches, then who scored most away goals in the head-to-head.”

  • Podcast: The Phil Hay Show — A few not-so-fond farewells

Is everyone fit?

Leeds are waiting on the fitness of forwards Patrick Bamford (hamstring) and Rodrigo (foot), after both players were forced off at West Ham.

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Rodrigo trained on Friday to boost hopes that he will be involved, while Bamford will be given as long as possible ahead of kick-off, with a decision set to be made on Saturday.

What’s the manager saying?

Three teams, one match to avoid drop — who needs what? (5)

Leeds took the lead at West Ham but fell to defeat. Photo: Getty Images

Allardyce, who had previously admitted he might have to play a “completely different system” if those players missed out, said ahead of the finale: “I’ll gamble on anyone’s fitness if they want to play, if I think they can make a contribution to help us win.

“If the medical staff tell me it’s too risky, I wouldn’t put a player’s career or future at risk. It would need to be 100 per cent supported by the player.”


The 68-year-old signed a four-game deal to try and keep Leeds up, but reckons the squad’s shortcomings have finally caught up with them.

“We have to look at ourselves and say if we do win next week and miraculously stay in the league, we have a long way to go in terms of quality for the squad.”

Asked whether he wanted to stay in the job, he said: “That’s to be decided after the end. It’s always been a case of we will discuss whatever we needed to discuss at the end of the season based on where we are, based on what I think the club needs to go forward, based on what the club thinks.

“If that’s aligned with each other, we’ll wait and see. That discussion happens over a period of time. I just hope we’re talking in a very positive nature on Monday morning and I have a hangover.”

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Opta’s match omens

  • Leeds have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games against Spurs (D1 L8) — a 3-1 home win in May 2021.
  • Tottenham have won two of their last three Premier League away games against Leeds, as many as they had in their previous 15 top-flight visits to Elland Road (D6 L7). They’ve not won consecutive away league games against Leeds since October 1979.
  • Leeds have lost their final league match in just one of the last 10 seasons, winning each of the last three in a row. As a top-flight side, Leeds have lost their final league match in just one of their last 15 campaigns (W7 D7), going down 1-0 at Chelsea in their 2003-04 relegation campaign.

Leicester City (18th)

Final day fixture: West Ham (H) — kick-off 4.30pm BST, 11.30am EDT, 8.30am PDT

What do they need to stay up?

Dean’s Smith’s switch to a back five against Newcastle United paid off; a goalless draw and first clean sheet since the World Cup moved Leicester above Leeds United into 18th ahead of the final day.

To stay up, the former Premier League champions need to beat West Ham at home on the final day — but also hope Everton drop points against Bournemouth.

If those results occur, even a Leeds win would not likely scupper Leicester given their superior goal difference against both the West Yorkshire side and Everton.

Is everyone fit?

Caglar Soyuncu, who is out of contract this summer, will miss out after feeling a recurrence of a hamstring injury. Wilfred Ndidi is doubtful with a hamstring injury of his own and has not trained in the run-up to the game.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall missed the trip to Newcastle but is available again, while Jonny Evans has shaken off cramp and Ricardo Pereira has been cleared to play after a scan on a hamstring issue.


A stubborn defensive display prompted by a formation switch last time out will have given Smith plenty to ponder.

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes dropped to the bench as Leicester successfully prioritised stability, but his side mustered just one shot on Tyneside, and on Sunday they will need to find the net to have any hope of survival.

Three teams, one match to avoid drop — who needs what? (6)

Will James Maddison return to the starting XI for Leicester’s final game? Photo: Getty Images

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What’s the manager saying?

“I make no apologies for the way we played — I felt we had to stay in the game,” Smith said after the Newcastle game. “Only time will tell (if it is a good point).

“We’re going to need help. I think there’s going to be a lot of anxiety everywhere between the three teams that are in it.

“First and foremost we have a really tough job against West Ham, to try and win that game. But I’m sure with our supporters behind us (we can do that). And then it is out of our hands. We will give it our best shot and as long as we can say that we have fought tooth and nail, all we can do is put pressure on them (Everton).”

Opta’s match omens

  • Leicester have won their final league game in just one of the last seven seasons (D3 L3), though it was a 4-1 victory at home to Southampton last season.
  • Failure to win will see Leicester City relegated from the Premier League, just seven years after winning the league title under Claudio Ranieri. They would be the second side to be relegated from the division after winning it, following Blackburn Rovers (champions 1994-95, relegated 1998-99 and 2011-12).
  • Leicester have won just two of their last 12 Premier League home games (D2 L8), failing to keep a single clean sheet in those 12 matches.

Everton (17th)

Final day fixture: Bournemouth (H) — kick-off 4.30pm BST, 11.30am EDT, 8.30am PDT

What do they need to stay up?

Everton are bidding to stave off a first relegation in 72 years — butYerry Mina’s equaliser in the ninth minute of stoppage time against Wolves last time out edged them a point further away from the drop zone.

Their fate is in their own hands, but they need to beat 15th-placed Bournemouth to make sure of survival. If Leicester and Leeds fail to win, they will not need another point.

If Everton draw but Leeds and Leicester both win, goal difference will come into play. Everton’s goal difference is superior to Leeds’ but worse than Leicester’s; they would need to hope that Allardyce’s side do not win by four goals.

Three teams, one match to avoid drop — who needs what? (7)

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin will miss Everton’s final game. Photo: Getty Images

Is everyone fit?

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and defender Nathan Patterson have been ruled out of the game after suffering hamstring injuries at Molineux.


Vitalii Mykolenko will be assessed.

“We’ve not had Dom for two thirds of my time here and we have still won games, still put points on the board and still performed,” Dyche said. “When Dom got injured in the first game (vs Arsenal) we knew it wasn’t going to be a 10-day injury and we knew we would have to find a way of working with that and we have found that. Now it’s important we do it again.”

Asked about the full-back situation, he added: “I’ve become used to that since I got here. There was an imbalance to the squad, everyone knows that, and it’s just unfortunate it’s been tested to the limit by injuries but that’s part and parcel of the game.”

What’s the manager saying?

“Mentality” is Sean Dyche’s buzzword heading into the finale.

“The main thing for me is the mentality — I can’t enhance that enough,” Dyche said. “We changed the shape three or four times in the second half (at Wolves) and we’re asking a lot of the players to keep changing. They were clear-minded, and they just kept going and going.

“We got what could be a big point, but we’ve got to reinforce that by going again this week. It’s within us to take care of ourselves and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Opta’s match omens

  • Everton have lost their final league match in five of the last six seasons (D1), conceding at least three goals in each defeat. Their last two have seen them lose 5-0 at Man City and 5-1 at Arsenal.
  • Having won their first four Premier League home games against Bournemouth, Everton lost their last such meeting, going down 3-1 on the final day of the 2019-20 season.
  • Bournemouth have won their last three Premier League games against Everton, netting three goals each time. They had only won two of their first eight against them in the competition (D2 L4).

How to follow the Premier League finale

The Athletic’s live blog will guide you through the twists and turns on the final day of the Premier League.

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Everton vs Bournemouth and Leicester vs West Ham are will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK, while Leeds’ game vs Tottenham will be broadcast on BT Sport.

In the USA, Leeds’ game will be shown live on CNBC and Peacock Premium, Everton’s clash will be broadcast on USA Network and Peacock Premium, and Leicester’s final fixture can be seen on Syfy and Peacock Premium.

(Top photo: Getty Images)


What happens if 4 players are sent off? ›

When a team has fewer than seven players, the match cannot start or continue. When the number of players in a team falls definitely below seven (e.g. by five players sent off with red cards, or by injured players with no substitutions left, or a combination of both), the match is forfeited.

Who is in the relegation zone? ›

During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, and those at the bottom are in the relegation zone or Reg zone (colloquially the drop zone or facing the drop).

What happens when a club gets relegated? ›

In order for a relegated team to be promoted back up into the top flight, that club must either win its division or win its division playoffs. Those are the only two avenues for club promotion.

Why do you win 3 points? ›

Rationale. "Three points for a win" is supposed to encourage more attacking play than "two points for a win", as teams will not settle for a draw if the prospect of gaining two extra points (by playing for a late winning goal) outweighs the prospect of losing one point by conceding a late goal to lose the match.

Is a straight red a 3 match ban? ›

Straight red cards for dissent will result in a two-match ban, while dangerous tackles or violent conduct will result in a three-match ban which can be raised to four or more games in extreme cases.

Why do teams not play 4 4 2 anymore? ›

Playing with two solid banks of four and two up front is a bold decision and puts a lot of pressure on the midfield, which is why the formation is rarely utilised in modern English and world football.

Do bottom 3 teams get relegated? ›

Premier League (level 1, 20 teams): The bottom three teams are relegated. English Football League Championship (level 2, 24 teams): Top two automatically promoted; next four compete in the play-offs, with the winner gaining the third promotion spot. The bottom three are relegated.

Do the bottom three teams in the Premier League get relegated? ›

The teams who finish in the bottom three of the league table at the end of the campaign, are relegated to the Championship, the second tier of English football.

How many teams can get relegated? ›

In the Premier League, three teams are relegated every season. In the Championship, three teams get relegated, and three get promoted every season, with the top two an automatic place and the winner of the third-sixth place playoff, given the third promotion spot.

Has any club never been relegated? ›

Everton are one of six English clubs who have never been relegated from the Premier League since its creation in 1992. The others are Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea, so they are part of an elite group.

Has a big club ever been relegated? ›

Newcastle United. Like West Ham, Newcastle were promoted after the first Premier League season and have spent just two years outside of it since. And similar to Villa, Newcastle's decline and relegations can solely be attributed to the reviled ownership of Mike Ashley.

Do teams get money for getting relegated? ›

Relegated clubs will receive 55 per cent of the equal share of broadcast revenue paid to Premier League clubs in the first year after relegation, 45 per cent the following year and 20 per cent in year three.

What is the 3 2 1 point system? ›

The 3-2-1 points system -- three points for a regulation win, two points for a win and one point for a loss in the shootout or overtime -- is the methodology championed by standings reformers.

What is the 3 point thing in football? ›

Field Goal: 3 points.

How many games does a manager miss for a red card? ›

The Red Card

For a so-called professional foul, a player will also receive a one-match ban. If the foul in question is dissent, it will normally be a two-match ban. If we are talking about violent conduct, the punishment is normally a three-match ban.

How many yellows before suspension? ›

How many yellow cards lead to a suspension? Any player that picks up five yellow cards in the first half - 19 matches - of the Premier League season is suspended for a match.

How many red cards cancel a match? ›

However, a match must be brought to an end if a team fields less than seven players. This therefore means that a side can receive no more than four red cards, while there can technically be eight red cards in a game (four for each side).

What is the 4-2-3-1 strategy? ›

What is a 4-2-3-1? The 4-2-3-1 formation operates with four lines. In defence, there is a back four consisting of two central defenders and two full-backs. Two deeper central midfielders operate ahead of the back line and are often referred to as a double pivot.

Is 4-3-3 the best formation? ›

What are the benefits of playing with a 4-3-3? The 4-3-3 creates natural triangles, often giving the player in possession several passing options at any given time. This makes implementing a possession-based style of play slightly easier than some other formations.

How to counter 4-4-2? ›

Perhaps the best way to line up against 4-4-2 is by playing a 4-5-1 shape. This allows you to overrun the opposition midfield, while maintaining plenty of width both for attacking purposes and in order to stop wide midfielders from causing problems via counter-attacks.

Has a top six team ever been relegated? ›

Chelsea were last relegated in the 1987-88 campaign after losing a relegation play-off tie against Middlesborough.

Have all 3 promoted teams ever been relegated? ›

The Bad: Bolton, Barnsley, Crystal Palace 1997-98

The 1997-98 season proved historic, as it was the first time that all three promoted teams ended up being relegated in their first EPL season. Both Bolton and Everton finished the schedule with 40 points.

Has a team ever been relegated with 40 points? ›

The mythical 40-point barrier was not enough for West Ham United in 2002/03. The Hammers went down despite accruing 42 points, the highest for a relegated side. Only two other teams have finished in the bottom three with 40 points: Sunderland, in 1996/97, and Bolton Wanderers the following season.

Have the three promoted teams ever stayed up? ›

Yes. In fact, since the FA's restructuring and creation of the Premier League in 1992, three campaigns have seen all newly-promoted teams avoid immediate relegation. First in the 2001/02 season, Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers all secured a second year in the top flight after being promoted in 2000/01.

Which 3 teams get relegated last season? ›

  • Everton.
  • Leicester City.
  • Leeds.
  • Southampton - RELEGATED.
May 26, 2023

When was the last time no promoted teams got relegated? ›

The first of these occurred during the 2001/02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers all survived the dreaded threat of relegation. It also happened exactly 10 years later at the end of the 2011/12 season, when QPR, Norwich City and Swansea all retained their Prem status.

What happens to the bottom 3 teams in the Premier League? ›

The Premier League teams that finish in the bottom three of the standings each season are relegated to the second tier of English soccer, known as the Championship.

What team has been relegated the most? ›

Birmingham City have been promoted to and relegated from the top division more times than any other English club, with 12 promotions and 12 relegations. Birmingham's longest period in one division has been 18 years in the First Division, from 1921 to 1939.

Which team has the most points to get relegated? ›

Most points in a season while being relegated:
  • 42 games: 49, Crystal Palace (1992–93)
  • 38 games: 42, West Ham United (2002–03)

Have Man United ever been relegated? ›

After spending just one season in the Second Division, Manchester United were promoted back to the top flight in 1975 as champions. Manchester United have been relegated on four other occasions prior to the 1970s: 1894, 1922, 1931 and 1937.

What is the earliest a team has been relegated? ›

The earliest a team has been mathematically relegated from EPL is the end of March — Huddersfield Town joining Derby County's abysmal season eleven years ago in 2007/08. Scoring just 11 points in that season, Derby County set the record for the lowest points total and the fewest wins (just 1).

Which club has been in the top flight the longest? ›

Perhaps surprisingly, at least based on current form, Everton holds the record for most seasons played in the top flight. The 2022/23 season is the 124th official season of league play in English soccer. Everton participated in 120 of those.

What is the highest points total to be relegated? ›

The Premier League record for most points won in a 38-game season while still being relegated belongs to West Ham United, who went down with a hefty 42 points in 2002-03.

Who is the most relegated player? ›

This relegation gave Blake the unenviable distinction of the player suffering the most Premier League relegations with five different seasons ending in the drop, a record that has since been matched by Hermann Hreiðarsson.

Is Arsenal ever relegated? ›

Did you know? Arsenal have not been relegated since they last entered the top flight in 1919.

How many years do parachute payments last? ›

What are parachute payments? Parachute payments are a series of solidarity payments the Premier League makes to relegated clubs, for up to three years, to help them adapt to reduced revenues back in the Championship - with significantly less TV revenue.

How much are parachute payments worth? ›

How much are they worth? The parachute payments have been worth around £30million per year to clubs, on average, in recent seasons. Clubs received £233million in parachute payments over the 2020-21 season, an average of £33million per club in question.

Do clubs still get parachute payments? ›

The relegated clubs will receive 55% of the equal share of broadcast revenue paid to Premier League clubs in the first year after relegation; 45% the following year and 20% in year three. The payments stopped if the club was promoted to the Premier League again during the three-year period.

What can you say about the position of the points 1 2 1 3? ›

The correct Answer is All given points lie on a line parallel to Y-axis at a distance of 1 unit.

Is P 3 2 and 2 3 represent the same point? ›

Ans: P(3,2) and Q(2,3) do not represent the same point.

What can you say about the position of the points 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 0 and 1 8? ›

These points form a straight line parallel to y-axis, when a line is drawn passing through these points. Was this answer helpful?

What is scoring 3 goals called? ›

A hat trick as hockey fans know it comes when a player scores three goals in a game, usually earning him a cascade of hats thrown onto the ice by fans (especially if the player is on the home team).

Is a 3-pointer called a field goal? ›

A three-point field goal (also 3-pointer, three, or trey) is a field goal in a basketball game made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc surrounding the basket.

What is 3 touch football? ›

Instead of the player not being able to touch the ball after 3 touches, the player is allowed to touch the ball but not allowed to move. This means they can shield, hold of an opponent and manouver the ball away from danger to try and delay till a team mate comes and takes the ball.

What are the rules for the game Threes? ›

In Threes, the player slides numbered tiles on a grid to combine addends and multiples of three. The game ends when there are no moves left on the grid and the tiles are counted for a final score. Threes!

What is the highest number in Threes game? ›

Threes! players have known since shortly after the game's release that there's a 6144 card, which is called “Volleo.” (The two highest cards in Threes!, according to its achievements, are that one and 3072, “Whalend” — they're named after the game's illustrator, Greg Wohlwend, and its writer, Asher Vollmer.)

What is the most Threes by one team in a game? ›

Most 3-Pointers in a Game by a Team: Milwaukee Bucks, 29 (Dec. 29, 2020) It was the first full week of the season and the Miami Heat were coming off an NBA Finals appearance in which the team stomped the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 in the second round.

What happens if a team gets 4 red cards? ›

A team can receive four red cards – thus reducing them to seven on-field players – and still continue the match by the letter of the law. However, the rules state that substitutes do not count in this case, so any number of subs could also receive red cards and the match would continue.

How many games do you miss if you get sent off? ›

For a sending off, after a second yellow in one game, the suspension period is one match. For a so-called professional foul, a player will also receive a one-match ban. If the foul in question is dissent, it will normally be a two-match ban.

What happens if a player gets sent off on the bench? ›

A player who has been sent off may not take any further part in the game nor may he sit on the substitutes' bench, where provided.

Are you allowed to play with 4 players in basketball? ›

There is a maximum of four players on the floor at one time. A minimum of three players may finish a game. You must have at least three players to start a game.

How many red cards do you need to forfeit a team? ›

However, a match must be brought to an end if a team fields less than seven players. This therefore means that a side can receive no more than four red cards, while there can technically be eight red cards in a game (four for each side).

What happens if 3 red cards? ›

The referee will ask the team captain to tell the player to leave the pitch. This suffices in most cases. If the team captain is refusing to do so or not able to, he will be informed that the game will be canceled. If the player still does not leave, the game will be canceled.

What happens after 5 red card in football? ›

Should a team's on-field players receive a total of 5 red cards, it will be unable to field the required minimum of 7 players, resulting in the game being abandoned.

What happens if you play games all day? ›

Excessive video game use can lead to the brain being revved up in a constant state of hyperarousal. Hyperarousal looks different for each person. It can include difficulties with paying attention, managing emotions, controlling impulses, following directions and tolerating frustration.

Is 2 yellow cards a 1 match ban? ›

A one-match ban will also be given to players that are sent off after picking up two yellow cards in one match and to those that accumulate too many yellows in the first half of a league season.

Can you sit on the bench with a red card? ›

Can a player return to the bench after a red card? If a player is sent off in a game of soccer, they must leave the field and are not permitted to sit on the bench.

Can a referee show a red card after the game? ›

The referee can show a red card even after the end of a game, for example if players become violent on their way into the changing room. After a red card, the match may resume only after the referee has blown his whistle.

Can a card be shown to a player on the bench? ›

If a player or a coach receives a card on the bench, it carries over to the field and a player must sit to serve the penalty. For example, if a player or coach on the bench receives a yellow card (see yellow card penalty); a player on the field must come off and serve the timed penalty.

Can a referee get a red card? ›

Legally it's impossible, but it still happened... a referee sent himself off! In football, those in charge of dispensing justice are the referees, the least loved characters in this sport. In the history of this sport, there have been excellent referees, corrupt referees, or simply referees who made many mistakes.

What does C mean in basketball? ›

The center (C)—also known as the five, the pivot or the big man—usually plays near the baseline or close to the basket (the "low post"). They are usually the tallest players on the floor.

What does P mean in basketball? ›

The possession arrow remains off until one team attains possession of the ball after tipoff. Once that happens, it's turned on and points in the direction of the team that lost the opening tip.

How many seconds are you allowed to be in the key? ›

The three seconds rule (also referred to as the three-second rule or three in the key, often termed as lane violation) requires that in basketball, a player shall not remain in their team's foul lane for more than three consecutive seconds while that player's team is in control of a live ball in the frontcourt and the ...


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