All to play for as Man City and Arsenal gear up for dramatic Premier League finale

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta expect a fight to the finish with title on the line on Sunday

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be aiming for the Premier League title on Sunday. Reuters
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola foresees another nail-biting finish to the Premier League season, just like in the 2021-22 campaign where his club nearly lost the title on the final day before late goals secured title glory.

City are two points ahead of Arsenal heading into Sunday's final round of fixtures and can secure a fourth title in as many seasons if they beat West Ham United at home.

City beat Liverpool to the title by one point in 2022 after Guardiola's side made things difficult for themselves when they went 2-0 down to Aston Villa at home before winning 3-2 to deny the Merseyside club.

"I have a feeling it will be [like the] Aston Villa [game] again. We would like to be 3-0 up after 10 minutes but it's not going to happen. I've seen enough [of West Ham's matches]," Guardiola said on Friday.

"I'm ready for it to be a tough, tough game. I want to put in the minds of my players, 'Look at Tottenham, how they fight for every ball, the aggression they had.' I didn't have any doubts about that.

"The 11 players of West Ham will be ready to beat us. Like Aston Villa, two seasons ago, they didn't play for anything but I know what happened. Ourselves and our people have to be ready from the first minute, to be with us and do it together."

Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, is hopeful "something beautiful is going to happen" as he prepares for the final game of the season against Everton with the title still on the line.

The Gunners are chasing their first English top-flight crown for 20 years and will be hoping for some luck going their way.

If City lose or draw against West Ham at the Etihad, an Arsenal win would make the Gunners champions.

"The only thing that we discussed [with his players] is that we have to give ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday, where the dream is still alive and is possible," Arteta said.

"It's football and once we are there we just have to live the moment."

Arteta, whose team finished second behind City last season, said there was optimism in the camp.

"We are in the last day of the season playing for the Premier League," said the Spaniard.

"The Premier League trophy hasn't been yet at the Emirates Stadium - the stadium was built almost 20 years ago so that's a long, long time so yes, we have to be very optimistic. We have to do our duties and then wait and see what happens."

The spotlight will also be on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who ends his stellar tenure at the Anfield club against Wolves.

While it is not the dream farewell for Klopp, Liverpool's supporters are sure to give a fitting sendoff to a manager who led the club to eight trophies and helped raise their stature on the European stage.

While the four Champions League qualifiers – City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa – have been confirmed, the fight is on for the other European competitions.

Tottenham need a point at last-placed Sheffield United to guarantee fifth place and a berth in the Europa League.

Sixth-placed Chelsea (60), seventh-placed Newcastle (57) and eighth-placed Manchester United (57) are separated by three points ahead of games against Bournemouth, Brentford and Brighton, respectively. The sixth-place finisher will likely get into the Europa League and seventh place a Europa Conference League spot.

United will have a second opportunity for European qualification when they play the FA Cup final against City on May 25.

Updated: May 19, 2024, 1:59 PM