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How every Premier League season would have finished after gameweek 29: 1997-98

Given the current uncertainty over the resumption of the Premier League, Sports Mole looks at how the 1997-98 season would have ended after gameweek 29.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the Premier League season to a standstill and it remains to be seen whether the campaign will conclude.

Top-flight clubs met last Friday to discuss the next steps, six weeks after the last ball was kicked, but a restart date was not on the agenda.

Many teams face an anxious wait over their own positions, from Liverpool in top spot down to Norwich City at the foot of the table, with an early end to the campaign a possibility.

As talks between the powers-that-be continue behind the scenes, we look at what would have happened in years gone by had the Premier League season ended after 29 games.

Arsene Wenger and Emmanuel Petit pictured in May 1998© Reuters

The 1997-98 campaign ended with Arsenal top of the pile, the Gunners just about holding off Manchester United to secure their first Premier League crown.

It was a tense and thrilling title race that went all the way to the wire, with the Gunners finding themselves six points adrift of United after gameweek 29.

However, Arsene Wenger's side had three games in hand to play and won each of those to move into top spot, eventually finishing a point better off than their arch rivals.

That was a bitter pill for Sir Alex Ferguson to swallow, particularly having seen Arsenal go on to win that season's FA Cup, becoming only the second team to win the double more than once.

Liverpool finished in third, remaining in the same position that they found themselves in after the 29th round of fixtures, while Chelsea's position of fourth was also unchanged.

At the opposite end of the division, there was also little change in the final couple of months of the season as Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers and Barnsley - the bottom three at the end of March - were the trio of clubs to face the drop.

Arsenal winning their games in hand to pip United aside, the only other major change in the remaining nine gameweeks involved Derby County and Aston Villa in the battle for European football.

Villa won seven of their last eight league matches to climb four places into seventh, earning a spot in the following season's UEFA Cup at expense of their Midlands rivals.

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