Crucial midweek in top-four fight
Frank Monkhouse | 16 May 2017
City and Arsenal wrestling over position
We are fast-approaching the end of the 2016/17 Premier League season, with the campaign finishing up on Sunday. The title and relegation pictures may have already sorted themselves out, robbing fans of any late drama, meaning the focus of our attention will be on the race for the top-four.
Chelsea have won the league, and Spurs will finish as runners-up, but there’s only four points between Liverpool in third and Arsenal in fifth, with The Gunners boasting a game in hand. They’ll pick up the slack when hosting Sunderland on Tuesday. Man City in fourth are also in action, welcoming West Brom to the Etihad. Things are getting tense…..
Arsenal gunning for Champions League
Arsene Wenger could turn around the fortunes of his side in the final week. With a place in the FA Cup last-two against Chelsea already booked, he could well return them to the top-four and Champions League football. If the boss was to bow to pressure and walk out of the club in the summer, that would be the perfect way to sign-off.
The Londoners won their third game on the bounce, since losing 2-0 to Spurs last month, when beating Stoke 4-1 on Saturday. Goals from Ozil, Sanchez and a Giroud double stole the show, meaning they have now won each of their last three by, at least, a two-goal margin. Sunderland were beaten 2-0 by Swansea last time out, making our home win -1 on the handicap worth a go in your multiples, at 3/10.
The stats tell us that Olivier Giroud scored two when Arsenal last met Sunderland, on-route to a 4-1 win over The Black Cats in the reverse of this fixture. The French striker is 13/5 to snatch the first of the game, or a handy 7/5 to net two goals or more on Tuesday. Sunderland have already leaked 62 this season.
City chasing a big finish
Man City will finish higher in the pecking order than rivals Manchester United, despite that hanging in the balance recently. They now host West Brom on Tuesday in game 37 of their season. Get the points in midweek and they will leapfrog Liverpool into third, with one leg left. They face struggling Watford on Sunday, making that bronze medal finish a real possibility.
City enter on a solid run of form, losing just one of their last 10, the spare coming against Chelsea in early April. A 5-0 hammering of Crystal Palace was followed with a weekend win vs Leicester City in a pulsating clash. City hammered West Brom 4-0 at The Hawthorns in October, Aguero scoring two and Gundogan getting the others.
Tony Pulis has watched through his fighters as the team appear to be rolling to a stop this season, and they go into this winless in seven, five defeats and two draws. Each of those losses have come without WBA hitting the net, and they’ve scored just two goals in their last seven. City to win to nil is a real option at 3/4.