Title, relegation and European spots in the balance as Premier League heads for exciting finale

The Premier League season is down to its final two weeks and there’s still plenty at stake from top to bottom

The title race is down to two teams.

The relegation tussle still involves three.

And the contest for the remaining European qualification positions contains as many as five.

The Premier League season is down to its last two weeks and there's still plenty at stake from top to bottom.

Meanwhile, the second-tier Championship's regular season finishes on Saturday, with a second automatic promotion spot set to be secured.

Here's a look at what's still to be decided:

TITLE

This time, Arsenal vs. Manchester City for the Premier League title looks like going down to the wire.

City took advantage of a late-season collapse by the Gunners to win the league with three matches to spare in the 2022-23 campaign, but an improved Arsenal might last the course this time round.

Arsenal leads by one point with three games to go — against Bournemouth at home on Saturday, Manchester United away and Everton at home. City has four games remaining — at home to Wolverhampton, away to Fulham and Tottenham, and at home to West Ham — and would capture an unprecedented fourth straight title by winning all of them.

The pressure is on the defending champions to do that because even just one draw could be fatal. Arsenal has a superior goal difference and, as it stands, would win on that tiebreaker if the teams are equal on points.

Away to Tottenham looks to be the toughest match for City, which has yet to win — or even score — in four league games at Tottenham's new stadium that opened in 2019. Spurs fans will have mixed feelings about the May 14 game, because a win for their team could hand Arsenal, Tottenham's fierce north London rival, the title.

A trip to Old Trafford is likely Arsenal's hardest remaining fixture. After all, Liverpool — until recently the other title contender — saw its season turned upside down after a loss at United in the FA Cup quarterfinals on March 17 was followed by a costly draw at Old Trafford in the league on April 7.

The Premier League is the only one of Europe's top five leagues where the title race is still bubbling. Germany's Bundesliga (champions Bayer Leverkusen), Italy's Serie A (Inter Milan) and France's Ligue 1 (Paris Saint-Germain) have been decided, while Real Madrid leads Barcelona by 11 points in Spain's La Liga.

EUROPEAN PLACES

Arsenal, City and Liverpool are locks for Champions League qualification, with fourth-place Aston Villa likely to join them. Tottenham is isolated in fifth, the reward for which is Europa League qualification.

The remaining intrigue, then, revolves around which teams finishes in sixth and seventh to likely earn a berth in the Europa Conference League. Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea are the teams occupying sixth to eighth places and three points separate them with four games left for each. West Ham and Bournemouth have outside shots in ninth and 10th, respectively.

Chelsea is in the best form, having lost just one of its last 11 games — though that was 5-0 at Arsenal.

If United drops to eighth, the team has a last chance to get into Europe by winning the FA Cup final against Man City a week after the Premier League finishes.

RELEGATION

The relegation battle looks like it will go to the final day of the season — and won't just be determined by what happens on the field.

With last-place Sheffield United already down, there are three teams fighting to avoid the two remaining relegation places: Nottingham Forest (26 points), Luton (25 points) and Burnley (24 points).

Each team has three games left and, significantly, two of them meet in the final round when Burnley hosts Forest.

Forest's current points total is subject to change, however, because the club has appealed against a four-point deduction for breaching the league's financial rules. The result of that appeal should be known before the end of the season, meaning Forest could recover some points based on the views of an independent panel.

If Burnley and Luton are also relegated, it means the three teams that came up last year lasted just one season before going back down to the Championship.

PROMOTION

There's one automatic promotion spot up for grabs heading into the final round of games in the second-tier Championship on Saturday.

Leicester has already clinched promotion and an immediate return to the Premier League. The team will go up as champions.

Ipswich or Leeds will join them.

Ipswich, which last played in the top flight in 2002, is currently in second place and three points ahead of third-place Leeds, whose American ownership group includes major-winning golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

Ipswich hosts next-to-last Huddersfield, and Leeds is at home to fourth-place Southampton.

The teams placed third to sixth will compete in the playoffs for the third promotion spot. The playoff final is at Wembley Stadium on May 26.

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Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his side's 2nd goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Manchester City at the City Ground stadium in Nottingham, England, Sunday, April 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta celebrates at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, Sunday, April 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice celebrate at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, Sunday, April 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Nottingham Forest's head coach Nuno Espirito Santo waves fans prior to the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Manchester City at the City Ground stadium in Nottingham, England, Sunday, April 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Luton Town's Tom Lockyer, centre, and team-mate Elijah Adebayo applaud the fans following the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Luton Town at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, England, Saturday April 27, 2024. Tom Lockyer, the Premier League player who suffered an onfield cardiac arrest earlier this season, says he is “at peace” if he is forced to retired from the sport. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

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