JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, May 17, 2013
The Premier League season ends this weekend as Clint Dempsey's Tottenham look for a Champions League spot, while Tim Howard and Everton hope to end the David Moyes era on a high note.
Chelsea - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton look for a season ending win for their departing boss David Moyes against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Howard is expected to start as he has all season for the Toffees.
Everton is clear of any relegation danger, and came close to a shot at a European spot. The Toffees trail Tottenham by six points for the Europa League position with just this last game left in the season.
Despite not having those motivations, Everton will still want to end the season on a high note. The Toffees manager Moyes is leaving to coach Manchester United next season, and the Everton players and faithful will want to send their coach off with the team's first win at Chelsea since 1994.
The Blues are in third place in the standings and lead Arsenal by two points for the last automatic Champions League spot. Thus, a win on Saturday is critical for Chelsea's European aspirations.
Eden Hazard, John Terry and Ryan Bertrand all look to miss for the Blues, while Phil Neville is sidelined for Everton.
Southampton - Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City hope to finish the season in the Premier League's top half with a victory over Southampton.
Cameron is expected to feature for the Potters, while Brek Shea is not likely to see time.
Stokes's second half of the season has been disappointing, as the team plummeted down the standings after impressing at the start. So much so, that the Potters found themselves in the relegation bubble for some weeks, however two straight wins a couple weeks ago cemented their safety.
Southampton is winless in five games, but their three ties in that span were enough to keep them in next season's Premier League season.
Danny Fox and Gaston Ramírez are suspended and will not feature for Southampton.
Tottenham Hotspur - Sunderland
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham take on Sunderland for a chance at Champions
Dempsey, who notched a goal and an assist in Tottenham's win over Stoke last week, is likely to see time once again on Saturday.
Spurs currently trail Arsenal by a point for the fourth spot in the Premier League. A win coupled with an Arsenal draw or loss against Newcastle United would give Spurs the last Champions League spot.
Because of Wigan Athletic's loss in the midweek, Sunderland is assured of safety and has little to play for this weekend. However, Paolo di Canio and company will want to finish their season on a high note before the long summer break.
Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner are suspended for Sunderland.
Wigan Athletic - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa take the road to play relegated Wigan Athletic.
Guzan is expected to start for Villa, while Lichaj is likely to see time.
Because of Wigan's loss to Arsenal in the midweek, the Latics were officially relegated and assured Aston Villa of safety.
Despite not having anything to play for, Villa will look to finish the campaign with a win. Villa has won two out of their last three games and has performed admirably this season considering the team's youth.
Wigan's season has been largely frustrating, as they won the FA Cup last week with a breathtaking win over Manchester City, but ended up relegated after their Tuesday defeat. The Latics will look to treat their fans to a Premier League victory on Saturday before they make their way to the Championship next season.