Monday, March 20, 2023

By PA Sport Staff

The Premier League pauses this week for the first round of Euro 2024 qualifying matches.

It is the last international break before the season ends on May 28 and everything is still to play for at both ends of the table.

Here, the PA news agency assesses what is at stake for each club when domestic action resumes on April 1.

Gunners have title in sight

A first Premier League crown in 19 years is Arsenal’s to lose as they sit eight points clear of Manchester City in a two-horse title race with 10 games to play. Pep Guardiola’s defending champions have a game in hand and face Mikel Arteta’s young pretenders at the Etihad Stadium on April 26 in what could prove to be a pivotal fixture. City appear to have an easier run-in, but are still fighting on three fronts, while the Gunners have no other distractions.

Champions League slots up for grabs

Newcastle's latest Premier League win at Nottingham Forest kept their top-four hopes alive
Newcastle’s win at Nottingham Forest kept their top-four hopes alive (Nigel French/PA)

Five other clubs are in pursuit of a top-four finish. The third and fourth Champions League places are currently occupied by Manchester United (50 points) and Tottenham (49) respectively. But Newcastle (47) and Liverpool (42) both have two games in hand on the Londoners, while surprise package Brighton cannot be discounted. The high-flying Seagulls are also on 42 points and have played three games fewer than Tottenham.

Chelsea target Europa League consolation

Chelsea appear to have turned a corner under manager Graham Potter
Chelsea appear to have turned a corner under manager Graham Potter (Nigel French/PA)

European football next season remains a realistic target for four other clubs. Impressive Brentford are level on points with Brighton having played two games more, while Chelsea, sitting 10th, will aim to salvage their disappointing season by finishing fifth to snatch the Europa League slot. Fulham and 11th-placed Aston Villa have ground to make up in the race for a top-six finish, while a Europa Conference League play-off place still up for grabs.

Nine-horse race to avoid drop

Nine clubs in a heavily-congested bottom half of the table will resume an unprecedented relegation battle. Just four points separate rock-bottom Southampton and 12th-placed Crystal Palace, who hope to have a new manager in place after sacking Patrick Vieira. Bournemouth and West Ham are in the bottom three, but sit only three points behind 13th-placed Wolves, while Leeds, Everton, Nottingham Forest and Leicester all have their work cut out to avoid the drop.

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