Top Soccer Weekly Highlights (7/20-7/26)

The 2019/20 season is wrapping up and English football had its final matches this week, determining which Premier League clubs qualified for European football and which clubs were relegated. The regular season in the EFL Championship also concluded with lots of drama regarding automatic promotion and relegation. Meanwhile in Italy, the champions of Serie A were crowned. Here are all the best highlights of the past week in world football.

EPL Champions League

EPL Champions League Race

Manchester United vs. West Ham United

Manchester United can clinch a spot in next year’s Champions League with a win. A draw or a loss would require them to get a result on Sunday at Leicester City to make the top 4. As for West Ham, David Moyes’ side can secure safety with a result at Old Trafford.

Match Rating: 6

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Chelsea need just one point to qualify for next year’s Champions League. However, they will have to get a result against the champions Liverpool, who are aiming to win their last match of the season at Anfield before they celebrate lifting the Premier League trophy.

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Match Rating: 8.5

Chelsea vs. Wolves

Chelsea need a win or draw to secure their spot in the top 4. They could also qualify with a loss if Manchester United defeat Leicester City. Wolves want a win to give them 6th place, which would guarantee them Europa League football next season. If Tottenham leapfrog them in the table, Arsenal can take the last Europa League spot over Wolves if they win the FA Cup against Chelsea on August 1.

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Match Rating: 7

Leicester City vs. Manchester United

Leicester City need a win to get Champions League football for the second time in the club’s history. The club has been in the top 4 for the majority of the year, but poor form since the season restart has seen both Chelsea and Manchester United jump ahead of them in the table. Manchester United need a draw or a win to qualify for the Champions League.

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Match Rating: 8

EPL Relegation

EPL Relegation Battle

Watford vs. Manchester City

Watford holds 17th place entering the match, 3 points above Bournemouth and Aston Villa (Villa have a game in hand). The Hornets recently sacked their manager Nigel Pearson. A result against Manchester City would be massive, yet it will be challenging against one of the best sides in the league.

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Match Rating: 5

Aston Villa vs. Arsenal

Aston Villa have an opportunity to jump out of the relegation zone with a win, being level on points with Watford but ahead on goal differential. However, this will be difficult as they go up against an in-form Arsenal side that beat Liverpool and Manchester City the past week.

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Match Rating: 7

Everton vs. Bournemouth

Bournemouth enter the day with a 5% chance of not being relegated. They need to win and have both Aston Villa and Watford lose.

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Match Rating: 7.5

Arsenal vs. Watford

Watford are in 18th and behind Aston Villa by a single goal on goal differential. While a win would most likely help them remain in the EPL, if Aston Villa also wins, the Hornets will want to have a greater margin of victory. Ultimately, getting a better result than Aston Villa will guarantee them safety.

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Match Rating: 9

West Ham United vs. Aston Villa

Aston Villa enter the day in 17th place but have little margin for error. They need a better performance than Watford to remain in the Premier League. If both Villa and Watford lose while Bournemouth win against Everton, Bournemouth will play in the EPL next season.

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Match Rating: 9

English Championship

EFL Promotion/Relegation

Leeds United vs. Charlton Athletic

Leeds United have already secured their promotion to the Premier League. It will be the once-dominant club’s first season in the EPL since 2003/04. Charlton are just outside the drop-zone but can secure safety with a win, while a draw or loss could put them in jeopardy of relegation.

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Match Rating: 8

Brentford vs. Barnsley

Brentford had a run of terrific form, winning 8 straight matches, but they fumbled an opportunity to control their destiny on the final matchday because of a loss to Stoke City on Saturday. They are 1 point behind West Brom entering their final match. This match is significant for Barnsley as well, who are 2 points from safety. They need a win, a Charlton loss, and a better result than Wigan to stay in the Championship.

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Match Rating: 9

Wigan Athletic vs. Fulham

Fulham enter the day 2 points back from 2nd place West Brom and 1 point behind Brentford. They need a win to have a chance to guarantee promotion to the Premier League. Wigan entered administration this season, which resulted in the EFL deducting the club 12 points, putting them in the relegation zone. However, a win and a Carlton loss would keep Wigan in the Championship.

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Match Rating: 7.5

West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers

West Brom can guarantee promotion with a win. A loss or draw though would give Brentford or Fulham the opportunity to leapfrog them in the table, as Brentford is 1 point behind West Brom and Fulham is 2 points behind.

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Match Rating: 8.5

English Championship

EFL Playoff Qualification

Nottingham Forest vs. Stoke City

Nottingham Forest can secure a spot in the 4-team EFL playoff with a win or draw. The playoff will determine the third team to be promoted to the Premier League. Even a loss will likely see them make the playoff, as 7th-place Swansea need a win to be level on points with Nottingham Forest. Nottingham Forest enters the match with a 5 goal cushion in terms of goal difference on Swansea.

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Match Rating: 6.5

Reading vs. Swansea City

Swansea City need to win by multiple goals and have Nottingham Forest lose by multiple goals to reach the EFL playoff.

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Match Rating: 8.5

English Championship

EFL Playoff

Swansea City vs. Brentford

This is the 1st of a 2-legged EFL Championship playoff. The other semifinal has Fulham facing off against Cardiff City.

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Match Rating: 8

Serie A Top Matches

Juventus vs. Lazio

Juventus can move one step closer to the title with a win over Lazio. Lazio started the season restart as Juventus’ biggest threat but have suffered a horrible run of form recently that has given Juventus a cushion at the top.

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Match Rating: 8

Sassuolo vs. AC Milan

AC Milan enter the match in fantastic form and want to continue to move up the table. They face a high-scoring Sassuolo side that has cooled down in recent matches.

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Match Rating: 7

Parma vs. Napoli

Napoli have already qualified for the Europa League having won the Coppa Italia, but they still look to finish their season strong. Parma is coming off a 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria, a match in which they held a 2-goal lead.

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Match Rating: 6

Udinese vs. Juventus

Juventus could clinch the Serie A title against Udinese with a win.

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Match Rating: 8.5

Lazio vs. Cagliari

Lazio are desperate to get back on track against a bottom-half of the table Cagliari side. 4th-place Lazio have not won in 5 matches.

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Match Rating: 7

AC Milan vs. Atalanta

A battle between two of the most entertaining sides in Serie A. Atalanta will see Champions League football next season, while AC Milan will play in the Europa League. Both teams have played well since the season restart.

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Match Rating: 7

Roma vs. Fiorentina

Roma have been in 5th place for a while and cannot reach Champions League qualification. They look to finish strong. Fiorentina is a mid-table side that can be a bit inconsistent at times.

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Match Rating: 6.5

Hellas Verona vs. Lazio

Verona have struggled since the season restart and any hope of European football has vanished for them. Lazio aim to grab back-to-back wins.

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Match Rating: 6

Juventus vs. Sampdoria

Juventus can again clinch the Serie A title. They botched their opportunity the other day, losing 2-1 against Udinese.

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Match Rating: 7

Serie A Relegation Battle

Lecce vs. Brescia

Lecce enter the match in the drop-zone 4 points behind 17th-place Genoa, who also play Wednesday.

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Match Rating: 7

Sampdoria vs. Genoa

Genoa are only 1 point ahead of 18th-place Lecce, but can extend their lead to 4 points with a win.

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Match Rating: 8

Genoa vs. Inter Milan

Genoa comes into the match in good form, while Inter Milan was held to a goalless draw in their last match against Fiorentina.

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Match Rating: 5

Bologna vs. Lecce

Lecce want a result to help close the 4 point gap on 17th-place Genoa. Every point matters at this stage in the season.

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Match Rating: 7.5

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