thumbnail Hello,

Be it boosting their international chances, saying goodbye or earning that big-money summer transfer, Goal.com looks at the players who need a good showing on Sunday

ANALYSIS
By George Ankers

It is not every year that there remains something to play for at both ends of the table on the final day of the Premier League season, but there is something for everyone this time around.

Though Manchester City are favourites, United could still win the title. Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle will all be going for what could potentially slim down to just one more available Champions League place, whilst Bolton and QPR are set to duke it out for the last unwanted relegation slot.

So, as the top flight's 20 teams line up against each other at 15:00 on Sunday, there will inevitably be individuals who stand up and make a difference, and some will need to more than others.

Goal.com runs down the men who, for various reasons, must make an impression on the final day...

ANDY CARROLL - LIVERPOOL

The Motivation: Getting on the plane

The question of whether or not he will ever be worth the £35 million spent on him is one that will not get a definitive answer for some time but, perhaps, the first page has been turned in Andy Carroll's rehabilitation.

A storming cameo in FA Cup final defeat was followed up by another brilliant performance in Liverpool's 4-1 midweek clattering of Chelsea, leading some to speculate that, against all the odds, the big striker might be worth a place in England's Euro 2012 squad after all.

New national side boss Roy Hodgson must surely be sceptical after Carroll's often hideous season but there is no doubt that, on his day, the Geordie forward has plenty to offer. Another barnstormer against Swansea City could maybe enough to put him ahead of the likes of Grant Holt for an outside call-up.

DIMITAR BERBATOV - MANCHESTER UNITED

The Motivation: A final farewell?

Speculation has surrounded Dimitar Berbatov's potential Manchester United departure for what seems like forever but this summer seems the time when it may finally happen.

Restricted to just 12 Premier League appearances this season as the partnership between Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck flourishes, the lanky Bulgarian clearly has still got the ability required and it would be no surprise to see him come on to make a difference if an unlikely last-minute title revival is on the cards.

The trip to Sunderland could be Berbatov's 150th and final game for the Red Devils, and he will be hoping to say goodbye to the club in style.

DANIEL STURRIDGE - CHELSEA

The Motivation: "Pick me in Munich!"

It has been very much a season of two halves for Daniel Sturridge. The youngster was flying before the turn of the year, cutting in from the right wing to blitz 10 goals and make a serious case for a go through the middle in a struggling Chelsea side.

Since January 1, though, the forward has only found the net three times in 21 games - and his inclusion in the under-strength Blues team that took a beating at Anfield on Tuesday said plenty about his drop in status under Roberto Di Matteo.

However, the current first-choice right winger, Ramires, will be suspended for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, which leaves an opening if Sturridge can impress. With nothing left to play for in the Premier League, Di Matteo should test his options against Blackburn, and the England man will need to be on song.

DJIBRIL CISSE - QPR

The Motivation: Glory or bust

Goal, red card, goal, goal, red card, goal, goal - Djibril Cisse's been a busy man in his first seven games as a QPR player.

Statistically, then, the Frenchman looks odds-on to have some kind of impact in his side's final-day test against title favourites Manchester City, and boss Mark Hughes may well need him to have one of his good days.

If Bolton get a result against a Stoke City team with little to play for, then the onus will be on the Rs to take points off the apparent champions-elect to avoid relegation. No easy task - but the former Liverpool man's pace will be their weapon of choice.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR - TOTTENHAM

The Motivation: The summer shop window

Ever since a typically flying start to his Tottenham career, the question has been whether or not Emmanuel Adebayor will stay longer than his season-long loan.

The Togolese has been instrumental to Spurs' attacking play, providing a pivot for their build-up as well as keen finishing, but most of his exorbitant wages are still being paid by Manchester City, and manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that the salary is a stumbling block towards a permanent move to White Hart Lane.

So, despite his success, this could be the last hurrah for Adebayor in a Tottenham shirt. He certainly has no future with City, which means that he could do with a big game against Fulham to convince somebody - anybody - to fork out for his signature.

PHIL JAGIELKA - EVERTON

The Motivation: Merseyside bragging rights

Everton can not finish any higher than their current seventh place even if they beat Newcastle - but three points (potentially less) would guarantee that they end the Premier League season above local rivals Liverpool for the first time since 2005.

So there is plenty at stake for the Toffees - but to ensure that they can take the Merseyside bragging rights, they will have to put down the Magpies, who will be giving it everything in the final push for an unlikely top-four position.

Papiss Cisse will be the visitors' main man, and it will fall to Phil Jagielka to keep the Senegalese from adding to his 13 goals since joining in January. A strong showing will be vital - and it could not hurt his Euro 2012 chances, either.

HATEM BEN ARFA - NEWCASTLE

The Motivation: Convincing Laurent Blanc

Injuries have held Hatem Ben Arfa back for some time - but maturity has been something of a problem for his chances with the France national team, too. He has not featured internationally since August 2010 and played no part in qualification for the tournament - but he may finally be on the verge of a comeback.

The midfielder was included in Laurent Blanc's 12-man shortlist of foreign-based players for Les Bleus' Euro 2012 squad but there may yet be lingering misgivings and the former Marseille man would do himself no harm by making Blanc's mind up for him. What better way than by capping off an impressive season by inspiring the Magpies to Champions League qualification?

DEMBA BA - NEWCASTLE

The Motivation: "I'm still here!"

So explosive earlier in the season, Demba Ba has scored just one goal since Papiss Cisse's arrival on Tyneside, moving out to the left wing in order to accommodate his compatriot.

His effort has certainly been appreciated and you can not argue that it has failed to pay off for Alan Pardew's men, but from a personal perspective Ba may not fancy sticking around if these are to be his long-term prospects.

With his contract's notoriously cheap release clause still very much a factor, Ba will be desperate to get among the goals against Everton - be it to force Pardew to reconsider his position next season, or to convince another club to swoop for him in the summer.

DAVID NGOG - BOLTON

The Motivation: Do or die

Bolton have not had a lot of goals anywhere in their side this season - hence their precarious position going into the final day - but they will have to find some in order to beat Stoke City and maintain any chance of survival.

David Ngog has not been prolific even by the Trotters' standards but his winner against Aston Villa in a crucial relegation scrap on April 24 was evidence of a man ready to step up when his side needed him.

He may have failed to make the grade at Liverpool but Bolton will be looking to the young striker to make himself a hero if they are to pull off a great escape.

THE ENTIRE ARSENAL SQUAD

The Motivation: Making the case to RVP

It has been a long, topsy-turvy season for Arsenal. The Gunners had made an excellent recovery to put themselves in a commanding lead for third place not so long ago, but another end-of-season slip in form means that missing out on the Champions League is a real possibility.

Depending on Chelsea's result in the final on May 19, Arsene Wenger's men may need to finish third if they are to maintain their participation in Europe's top competition - and they will have to show that they have some backbone after all to do it.

Talismanic captain Robin van Persie will be weighing up the pros and cons of staying or leaving as his contract runs down. His love for the club may convince him to stay if he sees enough evidence that his team-mates have got the strength to build a better challenge next year, but a weak surrender at the crucial moment and his mind may be made up.

Follow George Ankers on 

Related

From the web