Only one game remains to determine which teams will leave the English Premier League (EPL) next season. Southampton, already in last place with 24 points, is the first team to be confirmed for relegation to the English Championship, the second tier of the league, for the 2023-2024 season. However, in a system where three teams, including Southampton, could be relegated next season, two are still to be determined.
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 have 31 points and Everton has 33. 16th-place Nottingham Forest has already secured their place with 37 points. Depending on the outcome of the final game, only one of the three teams can smile.메이저놀이터
The ‘humiliation’ of the oldest club in the top flight
Everton’s relegation is a huge shock to the club itself. Founded in 1878, Everton is in its 117th season in the top flight, including this season. The club is second only to Arsenal (97) in terms of consecutive seasons in the top flight, but Everton is the longest-running club in terms of seasons in the top flight.
It’s not just about staying in the top flight either. Everton has 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 soccer in England.
Everton’s records. Photo credit: Everton website
However, the Toffees have been 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 Everton lost 0-3 to them 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’s doubtful that Spurs, who have already missed out on qualifying 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 does Jeonbuk look like after 37 games?
There’s 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 the same team for some time.
Founded in 1994 by Hyundai Motor Company, Jeonbuk holds the record for the most K League 1 championships (9). In particular, they won the K League 1 title for five consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2021, and finished runner-up to Ulsan last season. Last year, however, they 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, the team has already lost six games in 14 matches. In 2021, when they won their fifth consecutive title, Jeonbuk lost six of 38 games, and last season, when they were runners-up, they lost seven of 38 games. We’re not even halfway through this season, and they’re already on pace for a similar number of losses to the last two years. This led to the resignation of Jeonbuk’s head coach Kim Sang-sik, who had been with the team since December 2020, on May 4.
Coincidentally, Kim Doo-hyun has since taken over as acting head coach, and the team has two wins and two draws in the league, amassing eight points. After accumulating just 10 points in their previous 10 games, Jeonbuk has turned things around since Kim’s resignation. 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 how the team will fare when a new coach is appointed.
Both the EPL and K League 1 are 38-game leagues with 38 matches per season. With Everton facing relegation based on the outcome of just one game, it will be interesting to see how Jeonbuk will fare this season.