Weekend Wanderings: Premier League and League One conclusions

The Premier League concludes with Manchester City and Liverpool fighting for first place as the League One playoffs get underway with Sunderland facing Portsmouth and Doncaster hosting Charlton. 

Fans are still trying to fully recover from the heart palpitations that came with watching the Champions League semi-finals earlier this week.

It’s a reminder for everyone that football creates drama like nothing else.

This weekend we will have to keep an eye on the heart monitors again because it is the crucial stage of the season where titles will be won and lost.

Alasdair Hooper has all the games, and what is at stake, in this edition of weekend wanderings.

1. Can Manchester City get the job done at Brighton?

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Sunday is the final day of the Premier League and will be the moment we finally discover who gets their hands on the trophy.

After Vincent Kompany’s thumping long-range winner on Monday night against Leicester you get the sense that the ball is very much in their court.

A win against Saturday’s opponents Brighton at the Amex will see Pep Guardiola’s side retain the Premier League title.

But anything less than that and that leaves the door open for Liverpool to pounce.

Brighton aren’t exactly the most fearsome of opponents but, as we all remember, QPR certainly made City work for it back in 2012.

Could the Seagulls help Jurgen Klopp’s men out?

2. Will Liverpool stage another remarkable comeback?

The Reds need a favour from Brighton to stand any chance of winning their first ever Premier League title but if the midweek taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible.

With Liverpool just a point behind City what Jurgen Klopp’s side have to do is focus on themselves and concentrate on beating Wolves at Anfield.

Nuno’s team represent a far tougher task on paper than the assignment awaiting City, but this is a Liverpool side that has just managed to beat Barcelona 4-0.

We could be set for another blockbuster weekend.

3. Can Dortmund regain some hope in the Bundesliga title race?

Dortmund boss Lucien Favre may have said the title race was over following their defeat to Schalke but the side in second are just four points behind Bayern with two games remaining.

This Saturday presents a major test for Bayern who will be travelling to the division’s in-form team in RB Leipzig.

Despite the hostile and fractious relationship fans of Dortmund have with RB Leipzig fans, they will need a favour in order to close that points gap.

Meanwhile Dortmund also have to make sure they beat Fortuna Dusseldorf to ensure the title does not go straight to Bayern this weekend.

4. Who can gain the advantage in the race for the Premier League?

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This Saturday we also see the kick-off of the Championship play-off first legs as Aston Villa take on West Brom and Derby face Leeds.

The day’s early kick off sees in-form Villa face near neighbours West Brom who are looking for an instant return to the top tier.

Dean Smith’s side had been in tremendous form lately despite ending the campaign with a draw and a defeat.

Elsewhere Frank Lampard will try to steer Derby to the Premier League in his first managerial season against Leeds who have performed so well all season, only to fall away at the very end.

Who can gain an early foothold in the first legs as they try to battle their way to Wembley?

5. Who will make the jump to the Championship from League One?

As with the Championship, the League One play-offs also get underway this weekend with Sunderland facing Portsmouth and Doncaster hosting Charlton.

All these sides have been here before and all are desperate for promotion.

Naturally the play-offs also see Sunderland and Portsmouth do battle once again, after the two teams made it to the Checkatrade Trophy final earlier this season – Portsmouth won on penalties after a 2-2 draw that day.

Saturday night sees Jack Ross’ Sunderland tackle Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth with Sunday afternoon’s game seeing Doncaster at home to Charlton.

It is set to be another tense affair for all the fans involved.

Follow Alasdair on Twitter at @adjhooper1992


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