Preview and Prediction: End of the road in the English Premier League | Betting tips

Guardiola and Manchester city players celebrates the win

It’s that famous day when all matches are played simultaneously, the intrigues have been taken care of on either side of the table but there is pride to play for. Yaya Toure has played his final home game for the champions in the 3:1 victory over Brighton in midweek, transfer speculations surround a lot of players, but the big story is at the John Smith stadium where Arsene Wenger for the last time would lead Arsenal out. The Gunners are still without a single point on the road in 2018, the last attempt coming in the failed trip to the King Power Stadium, where it could have been different as both sides played football the way it should be played but it was the Foxes that came out tops. Swansea won’t be here next term, Southampton’s triumph in the relegation six-pointer on Tuesday all but relegated them and it was made even worse at Stamford Bridge where Huddersfield held the Blues to a scintillating draw to earn a point that guarantees their topflight status at least for another year, that result also condemned Chelsea to the Europa league of course except they win 10:0 on final day and Liverpool lose by the same margin too. We’re going on break, but before we do, we owe you one final edition of predictions, here you have it.

Sunday 13th May

Burnley vs Bournemouth
Turf Moor
3:00pm

Burnley would finish in 7th, having scored the fewest ever by anyone finishing in that spot, 35 and the 5:0 loss to Arsenal didn’t do their goal difference any good, great team spirit all campaign long and if they didn’t take the foot off the gas in the run it, they’d probably be rivalling the Gunners for the 6th spot. Bournemouth blew hot and cold all through the campaign and can still finish 10th but only if they better Newcastle, Palace and Watford on the final day. Eddie Howe’s team were defensively poor and that explains their goal deficit of -17, they can be exciting to watch, fleet-footed and direct, a trait that saw Eddie Howe being fingered as a likely successor to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Lap of honour at the end of the game means Burnley would want their fans to stay until the end, one way to make them stay is to win; Bournemouth would consider it an achievement if they finish 10th too, but whatever happens, they’ll finish highest of the south coast teams, with Ashley Barnes out, Chris Wood uncertain to start, Bournemouth can dream, would be glad to see Tom Heaton starting ahead of Nick Pope too.
Verdict: Burnley to win or draw

Crystal Palace vs West Brom
Selhurst Park
3:00pm

Crystal Palace are the miracle of the season, first seven games saw them relegated by bookies as early as the first week in October, seven losses, not a single goal scored and already a managerial casualty in Frank De Boer, step forward Roy Hodgson, the Englishman took over, lost his first three and then hosted Chelsea, to many people’s surprise, they beat the Blues and they took it up from there, now they can finish as high as 10th if they better Newcastle, Watford and Bournemouth on the final day. West Brom went on a fiery run of amazing results, Beating Manchester United away, Newcastle away, beat Tottenham on home turf and stopped Liverpool from scoring, one thing even the best of teams couldn’t achieve, but it was too late in the end as the victory of the Saints at the Liberty Stadium saw them relegated, interestingly on a day their manager Darren Moore was voted manager of the month, that was a first. This would be for pride but expect Wilfried Zaha to burst into life, player of the month, mesmerizing and with a lap of honour in line, and West Brom hoping to leave the top flight in style expect the mothers of all games here.
Verdict: Both teams to score

Huddersfield vs ArsenalJohn Smith Stadium3:00pm

This particular fixture has an obvious signature all over it, Arsene Wenger’s final game at the helm at Arsenal, the Frenchman has been there for twenty-two years, week in week out, through successes and failures, he has faced tons of managers, the second longest serving manager is leaving and it must be on a high, but after six attempts, the Gunners are yet to win a single point on the road this year, that explains why they won’t be playing champions league football for the second year running, something that contributes to Wenger’s unexpected depature. Let’s talk Huddersfield, the brave Terriers won their topflight rights for next season after doing the unthinkable, whoever saw their last three fixtures after they lost at home to Everton would wonder where they would get the needed point for safety from with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal lined up, but they went to the Etihad and got a point, stopping City from scoring at home for the first time this season, they took a point from Chelsea which ended the Blues’ champions league hopes, they are safe and can party, this should help Arsene Wenger and his wards who must now step up and give the manager a memorable finish to his reigns at Arsenal.
Verdict: Arsenal to win

Liverpool vs Brighton
Anfield
3:00pm

Liverpool are busy preparing for Real Madrid in the champions league final, but they must keep an eye on the point they need to finish above Chelsea to assure themselves of elite European championship participation next season regardless of what happens in Kiev. Brighton are safe, they’ve been safe since that famous Gross header against Manchester United which completes the new boys' victory over the Red Devils for the first time in history, so this is about pride. Will Liverpool rest players? With just two weeks to the champions league final, legs need to be fresh for the tie but two weeks is enough luxury to afford, Mo Salah is clearly the golden boot winner except Kane scores 4 and he doesn’t score at all, very unlikely too as the Tottenham frontman has been struggling although he got one in midweek to close the gap a bit on Salah. Pride alone at stake here, should be entertaining.
Verdict: Liverpool to win

Manchester United vs Watford
Old Trafford
3:00pm

Manchester United secured the second spot on Thursday night following a goalless draw against West Ham at the millennium stadium, a drab of sort that was full of attempts but Adrian was in inspirational form to deny Lingard, Pogba, Sanchez and Rashford successively. Watford have been struggling of late but their last victory over Newcastle eased pressure and made sure of their status. There are still doubts about the managerial position of Jarvi Gracia, Watford owners are not known to be patient, it would be seen what they do in the summer. Manchester United are still without a title since Sir Alex Ferguson left, five years now, the longest they have stayed without the top pearl, it’s not completely a failed season yet, they battle Chelsea next weekend for the FA Cup trophy, one that would give lots of smiles... if they do win it.
Verdict: Manchester United to win

Newcastle vs Chelsea
St James’s Park
3:00pm

Newcastle have suffered three losses on the bounce but who cares? They are safe and are unperturbed. Chelsea have the FA Cup final to prepare for, that is the only piece of silverware they can count on after a rather disappointing season; they were champions last term but they’re finishing fifth this season- except Liverpool loses at home to Brighton and Chelsea wins here. Who starts up front? Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud? Are we going to see David Luiz one more time at Chelsea? Will Antonio Conte still be at the helm next season? All these would be answered in the summer, but the FA Cup final result holds it all for the Blues. Newcastle would look to give their fans something to enjoy, they aren’t really sure they would have Rafael Benitez as manager beyond this season with Arsenal still looking for a replacement for Arsene Wenger, but for now, they need to enjoy their final game of the season on their return to the top flight.
Verdict: Newcastle to win or draw

Southampton vs Manchester City
St Mary’s Stadium
3:00pm

Up next is an interesting one here at St Mary’s stadium, what would it have been if the Saints actually need the points here? The champions would want to get to 100 points, and they are on 97, that means they have to win here. Football has taught us that nothing is impossible, but can Swansea score as much as 6 against Stoke? If they can’t, hoping the Saints lose heavily won’t do them any good either. The champions can have fun all afternoon and ram goals past Southampton, but the Saints can learn from the grit of Huddersfield who stole a point away from home from the Citizens, beyond keeping an eye on Swansea, finishing on a high gives confidence ahead of a new season, Mark Hughes has done the job he was hired to do, they can party here regardless of how it finishes, they did the real job at Swansea in midweek where they won the relegation six-pointer.
Verdict: Manchester City to win

Swansea vs Stoke
Liberty Stadium
3:00pm

This would be the last time we’d have this fixture in the premier league at least for a year except the impossible happens, that is Southampton losing heavily and Swansea winning here heavily. Stoke were relegated last weekend when they lost in a silly fashion at home to Crystal Palace and have since been joined by West Brom who did give a good fight but still relegated regardless. This would have been a massive joy to watch had Stoke beaten Palace and Swansea at least got a draw at home against Sotton in midweek. Pride and hope is the story here, albeit a very faint and unrealistic hope, Swansea are the architects of their own downfall, it was in their hands up until midweek before losing at home to Southampton, this fixture would be interesting in the championship next season, how long will it take them to bounce back? We wait on that, goodbye lads.
Verdict: Both teams to score

Tottenham vs Leicester
Wembley
3:00pm

For the final time on a borrowed stadium, Tottenham will file out in anticipation of a victorious outing following another underwhelming season considering the top quality in their squad. Questions must be asked of Mauricio Pochetino’s credentials as another season of opportunities is about to end with just a top-four finish to point at as achievement, would a different manager achieve more with these lads? Leicester beat Arsenal in midweek, making good use of the one-man advantage on a night that beautiful football was displayed by both sides. The Foxes will evaluate Claude Puel’s position at the end of the season but they are quite certain to lose sensational Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez in the summer, but for a lump sum of money. Harry Kane would hope to score some numbers here and hope Mo Salah doesn’t... That’s all there is to fight for.
Verdict: Spurs to win

Westham vs Everton
London Stadium
3:00pm

David Moyes can rest, a little reputation salvaged, though still a long way from where he was before the ill-fated Manchester United job, he did get a point off his former employers on Thursday night in a goalless draw and can even finish higher with a win here. Everton are another team that cheated relegation, sinking to rise no more under Dutchman Ronald Koeman but somehow managed to pick necessary points where it mattered and are now in eighth, wow! What a story for the Toffees, they live to fight another season and can return with high optimism for a Europa push at least next season. Whatever happens here would have no big impact on the league table in terms of consequences, but pride is at stake, the fans deserve a result, so dear Hammers... give it to them.
Verdict: Westham to win or draw


Strictly the writer's opinion.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.