Leicester manager Dean Smith acknowledged the need for assistance, expressing anxiety among the three teams involved in the relegation battle. He emphasized the tough task of winning against West Ham and the importance of the supporters’ backing. Smith acknowledged that the situation is out of their hands, and if Everton wins their match against Bournemouth, it could condemn Leicester to the Championship for the first time since 2014.
However, if Leicester secures a victory while Everton fails to win, the Foxes may survive, potentially on goal difference. With Leicester on -18 and Everton on -24, the point and clean sheet against Newcastle could prove vital when the final whistle blows on the weekend. Leeds United is the other team fighting to avoid relegation, level on points with Leicester but with a significantly worse goal difference.
Gary Neville, former Manchester United defender, described Leicester’s situation as requiring a “mad final day” and suggested that Everton holds the key to their fate.
Smith’s team selection raised eyebrows as he left England internationals James Maddison and Harvey Barnes on the bench. Although they were unable to make an impact when introduced in the second half, Smith defended his choices, stating that it was not a gamble but a calculated decision to keep a clean sheet, which they achieved. He highlighted the difficulty of the game against a Newcastle side that has qualified for the Champions League.
Leicester’s relegation battle has shocked many, considering their title-winning campaign in 2016 and FA Cup triumph just two years ago. Former Leicester goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer expressed surprise at the team’s rapid decline and questioned the decisions that led to their current predicament. Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool defender, commended Leicester’s point against Newcastle, which has intensified the pressure on Everton.
With Manchester City already crowned champions, the focus will shift to the bottom of the table on the final day of the season. Southampton has already been relegated, and two out of Leeds, Leicester, and Everton will join them in the Championship next season. The pressure is now on Everton to deliver a result under the watchful eyes of football fans eagerly anticipating a nail-biting finale.