Weekend Preview: FA Cup Final and last day deciders across Europe
Nick Murphy | 18 May 2018
All the talking points on the last weekend
There are plenty of issues still to be decided across Europe this weekend as the domestic season draws to a close.
While there may be no dramatic title deciders on the final weekend, there are plenty of relegation battles and Champions League uncertainties to be settled.
Add in a spicy FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Chelsea and it should be a weekend to remember as football fans begin to look forward to the World Cup.
The Coral News Team have previewed all of the big issues in our weekend talking points…
Under-fire coaches meet in FA Cup Final
Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte are not flavour of the month at the moment.
The Portuguese tactician has drawn critics for his style of play, while the Italian has come up short in securing the Blues Champions League football. Now the pair of them have the chance to enjoy some sort of redemption in the FA Cup Final.
Mourinho does his best work in cup competitions. He has 17 pieces of silverware to show for his efforts, after all. Conte, on the other hand, has failed to win a major cup as a manager. He came up short with the West Londoners last year and may struggle to motivate his side based on their limp 3-0 away defeat at Newcastle United last week.
Bragging rights in Madrid
All of the main issues in La Liga have been sewn up for a while. But one talking point is still up for debate. Who finishes highest out of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid?
Diego Simeone’s men hold a three-point advantage over their city rival ahead of a final day clash with Eibar. Los Blancos, meanwhile, travel to Villarreal ahead of next weekend’s Champions League final with Liverpool.
It’s unlikely that Zinedine Zidane’s men can secure the three-point swing they need to be the city’s top-dog. Stranger things have happened, though. And it’s 6/5 that they ramp up the pressure by winning at El Madrigal.
Inter and Lazio vie for Champions League spot
The stakes couldn’t be higher when Inter Milan face-off against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Three points for the visitors will see them secure Champions League qualification for the first time in six years. If Lazio avoid defeat, they’ll remain above their opponents and secure UCL football on the final day of the season.
Five-way scrap for Serie A safety
Meanwhile, at the bottom of Serie A, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll fall through the relegation trap-door and into Serie B. Chievo, Udinese, Cagliari, SPAL and Crotone, who currently occupy the relegation zone, are all still in the mix.
To make things even more interesting, none of the sides involved in the Italian dogfight are playing each other on the final day. Expect high stakes drama, poorly relayed radio messages and plenty of phone and clockwatching.
Crotone remain the favourites to drop courtesy of their fixture away at Napoli. But if Gli Squali can conjure a result against Maurizio Sarri’s men, then it could be all to play for at the bottom.
Three doesn’t go into two in Ligue 1
Monaco, Lyon and Marseille are all vying for the two available Champions League spots on the final day in Ligue 1.
Leonardo Jardim’s men hold the advantage in second-spot and should see the job through at 4/7 against second from bottom Troyes. Lyon (4/9) are at home to sixth-place Nice, while Marseille (2/7), who need a favour to move up the table, tackle Amiens at the Stade Velodrome.
It could go down to the wire across the English Channel, which should make for scintillating final day viewing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing