There’s just one game left to decide which teams will leave the English Premier League (EPL) next season. Southampton, already confirmed in last place with 24 points, are the first to be relegated to the English Championship, the second tier of football, for the 2023-2024 season. However, in a system where three teams, including Southampton, can be relegated next season, two are still to be confirmed.
Everton manager Sean Dyche. AP News
The teams in danger of relegation are Leeds United (19th), Leicester City (18th) and Everton (17th). Leeds United and Leicester City are on 31 points and Everton on 33. Sixteenth-placed Nottingham Forest have already secured their place with 37 points. Depending on the outcome of the final game, only one of the three teams can smile.
The ‘humiliation’ of the oldest club in the top flight
Everton’s descent into the relegation zone is a huge shock to the club itself. Founded in 1878, Everton are in their 117th season in the top flight, including this season. The Toffees are second only to Arsenal (97) in terms of consecutive seasons in the top flight, but Everton are the longest-serving club in terms of seasons in the top flight.
It’s not just about staying in the top flight either. Everton have won the EPL nine times and the FA Cup five times. They’ve also won the FA Community Shield, which pits the winner of the EPL against the winner of the FA Cup, nine times, so they’ve had a long and steady presence in the top flight of English football.
Everton’s records. Photo credit: Everton website
However, the Toffees are in the bottom half of the table this season after finishing 16th last season and are in danger of relegation. Their final opponents aren’t any easier. The Toffees face Bournemouth, who are 15th in the EPL this season, and the Toffees lost 0-3 last November. The Toffees also met Bournemouth twice in the league in the 2019-2020 season, losing both times. Everton have lost all three of their most recent meetings with Bournemouth.
Leicester City play West Ham in the final round, having won their first meeting this season 2-0. Leeds United also play Tottenham, who they lost 3-4 in their first meeting this season, but it is doubtful that Spurs, who have already missed 스포츠토토out on qualification for next season’s UEFA Europa League, will make the final a competitive affair. If both teams win and Everton lose, Everton’s relegation will be confirmed.
What did Jeonbuk look like after 37 games?
There is another team in the Korean Football League (K League 1) that could have a similar story to Everton’s this season. While defending champions Ulsan are leading the way this season, Jeonbuk hasn’t been quite the same.
Founded in 1994 by Hyundai Motor Company, Jeonbuk holds the record for the most K League 1 titles (9). In particular, the club lifted the K League 1 trophy for five consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2021, and finished runners-up to Ulsan last season. Last year, however, the club won the Korean Football Association (FA) Cup, giving them the most FA Cup wins with five.
Jeonbuk players. Courtesy of the Korean Football Association
This season, however, they have already lost six games in 14 matches. In 2021, when they won their fifth consecutive title, Jeonbuk lost six out of 38 games, and last season, when they finished runners-up, they lost seven out of 38 games. We’re not even halfway through this season, and they’re already on pace for a similar number of losses to their last two years. This led to the resignation of Jeonbuk’s head coach Kim Sang-sik, who had been with the club since December 2020, on 4 May.
Coincidentally, Kim Doo-hyun has since taken over as acting head coach, and the club has now amassed eight points from two league wins and two draws. Jeonbuk has turned things around since Kim’s resignation, as the club had only accumulated 10 points in their previous 10 matches. However, there is still a long way to go before the end of the season, so it remains to be seen if this is a temporary turnaround or if the team can sustain this momentum. There’s also no telling what direction the team will take when a new coach is appointed.
Both the EPL and K League 1 are 38-game leagues with 38 matches a season. With Everton facing the prospect of relegation based on the outcome of just one game, it will be interesting to see how Jeonbuk fares this season.