Premier League: Ferguson, Carragher to retire today
The Premier League will bid farewell to a host of high-profile characters when the 2012-13 season concludes today, with legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher among the figures taking their leave of the sport.
Ferguson will take charge of United for the 1,500th and final time at West Bromwich Albion, where veteran midfielder Paul Scholes could also make his last appearance for the champions after simultaneously announcing his retirement last week.
Ferguson’s successor-in-waiting, David Moyes, will end his 11-year association with Everton at Chelsea, who on Wednesday claimed a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Benfica in the final of the Europa League. The game will also mark Everton captain Phil Neville’s last game for the club, although he will not play due to injury.
Another United old boy, Michael Owen, will hope to feature in Stoke City’s game at Southampton after announcing that he, too, will retire at the end of the season.
Liverpool’s fans, meanwhile, are preparing to say goodbye to long-serving defender Carragher, who is set to make his 737th and final appearance at home to Queens Park Rangers before taking up a position as a television pundit next season.
Battle for fourth spot
With the title race and relegation battle having already concluded, the only source of real suspense today will be the tussle for Champions League qualification.
Tottenham Hotspur hope to pip Arsenal to the fourth and final qualifying place, but to do that they must win at home to Sunderland and hope their north London rivals drop points at Newcastle United.
There is also a possibility that Chelsea and Arsenal will end the season level on points, goal difference and goals scored, necessitating a play-off to decide who finishes third and qualifies automatically for the Champions League. For that to happen, Chelsea would need to draw 0-0 at home to Everton and Arsenal would need to win 2-1.