Brighton & Hove Albion will be out to confirm their first-ever Premier League top-half finish when they welcome West Ham United to the AMEX Stadium on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the visitors will be targeting sixth spot on the final day of the season, having confirmed continental qualification of some kind last weekend.
An excellent finish to the season from Brighton has them on course to finish in the top half of the Premier League for the first time ever, but regardless of what happens on Sunday, Graham Potter has overseen a record-breaking 2021-22 campaign from his side.
The Seagulls had only ever managed to finish as high as 15th since earning promotion to the top flight in 2017-18, which arrived under Chris Hughton in their debut campaign in the Premier League, as well as under Potter in the 2019-20 season too.
Despite Sunday’s hosts being able to fall as low as 14th on the final day depending on results elsewhere, Brighton have guaranteed a record finish in the Premier League table.
On the contrary, picking up all three points at the AMEX Stadium on the weekend could lift Brighton as high as eighth, depending on how Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers fare themselves, but irrespective of the outcome, it has been another successful top-flight campaign for the Seagulls.
Following a run of six straight defeats during February and March, and a run of just one win in 12 games across all competitions between January and April, such a successful conclusion to the campaign looked hugely unlikely several weeks back.
However, a run of four wins and just one defeat from their last seven outings, with the only setback coming at leaders Manchester City, has been the reason for their late climb up the table, with such success likely to see speculation circle around Potter’s future at the club this summer once again.
Were it not for Pascal Struijk’s late equaliser at Leeds United last weekend, their record over the last seven games will have been even more impressive, but the Dutch defender earned his side a priceless point in their fight against the drop, and resulted in Brighton having to settle for a 1-1 draw.
West Ham United’s Craig Dawson celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 14, 2022© Reuters
Meanwhile, West Ham head into the final day with their sights firmly fixed on Manchester United’s sixth spot.
Occupying seventh place, and finding themselves just two points behind the Red Devils, the Hammers will be targeting all three points at the AMEX Stadium to provide them with a chance of qualifying for next season’s Europa League.
Given the form of Ralf Rangnick’s side in recent months, particularly on their travels, West Ham will certainly have plenty of confidence that Crystal Palace can take points off their visitors in their meeting at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Hammers boss David Moyes will have his side concentrating on their own game though, which has dramatically improved over their last two outings following a disappointing run of form.
A run of just one win in eight fixtures across all competitions concluded with the heartbreaking semi-final exit to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, but with full focus being able to return to the Premier League, West Ham responded by hammering already-relegated Norwich City 4-0 at Carrow Road.
League leaders Man City were then the visitors to the London Stadium last weekend, and a hugely impressive counter-attacking performance in the opening 45 saw Moyes’s side take a 2-0 lead into half time following Jarrod Bowen’s brace.
City fought back to earn a 2-2 draw however, but it was another sign of Moyes’ men returning to their best domestically after struggling in recent weeks, and with a rare full week of preparation ahead of Sunday’s trip to Brighton, they will be confident of continuing their revival on the south coast.