How Newcastle United, Manchester United and Chelsea can secure European football next season

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The Premier League has just one game to go - and there is still plenty to play for in the European places.

Newcastle United suffered a disappointing defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night - a result that means the race for European qualification will head into the final day of the season. That result was also compounded by the fact Chelsea defeated Brighton in the night’s other game to put themselves three points above the Magpies.

All of this means that it is Mauricio Pochettino’s side that hold the advantage heading into Sunday’s games. A point for them at home to Bournemouth will be enough to finish above both Newcastle and Manchester United.

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A win for the Blues could also see them challenge Spurs for 5th place. Tottenham need just a point against already relegated Sheffield United to secure that spot.

Newcastle United, meanwhile, face Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium knowing they have to match or better Manchester United’s result away at Brighton in order to finish above the Red Devils for the first time in Premier League history. If they are able to do that, then a 7th place finish is a guarantee.

A win for Newcastle, coupled with a Chelsea defeat against the Cherries would see them finish in 6th place - unless Erik ten Hag’s side defeat Brighton and are able to complete a highly unlikely 24-goal swing. Failure to win on Sunday against Brentford opens the door for Manchester United to swoop and finish in 7th place if they can better Newcastle’s result.

An 8th place finish would mean the Magpies do not play in Europe next season. A 7th place finish means they are reliant on Manchester City winning the FA Cup to play Conference League football. A 6th place finish guarantees European football of some form - whatever the result of the FA Cup final.

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One slice of hope for Newcastle is that they have enjoyed a good recent record away at Brentford - winning on both of their previous Premier League visits. An own goal by Ben Mee and a fabulous Alexander Isak strike earned them a 2-1 win in that fixture last season.

After 37 games of blood, sweat and tears, it all comes down to one match. Well, three if they’re reliant on results elsewhere.

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