Premier League: final day drama
Frank Monkhouse | 21 May 2017
City, Liverpool & Arsenal battle it out
Chelsea are champions, Spurs a convincing second. That leaves two places remaining in the top-four, and a spot in next season’s Champions League. Where it gets interesting is, going into Sunday’s final round of fixtures, we have just three points separating Man City in third and Arsenal in fifth, Liverpool nervously sandwiched between the pair.
With the title and relegation quarrels decided, that battle for the top-four is billed as the drama of Sunday. So, which two sides will get their wish? Will Arsenal continue that strong finish to the campaign and gate-crash the party? Let’s look at the betting in each of the three matches of note.
Arsenal vs Everton
The Gunners have home advantage, but must bypass Everton to give themselves any chance of success. Easier said than done, with The Toffees winning the reverse of this fixture 2-1 back in December. Everton have nothing to play for however, and that could work in Arsenal’s favour, with the visitors rolling to a stop, winning just one of their last four.
What a story it would be if under-fire Arsene Wenger claimed a top-four finish and FA Cup win. The gaffer has not been without his doubters this year, and if he leaves the Emirates in the summer, that would be the perfect way to bow out – silencing a few critics in the process. Coral have a home win at 4/11, while a fourth 2-0 of the month can be tried at a value 15/2.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough
Surely the easiest match of the day for the three teams involved. Liverpool go out at Anfield, taking on a Boro side who have struggled throughout this season, on and off the park, and have already been relegated. Klopp’s boys are on a fantastic run of form, losing just one of their last 10, and were last seen hammering West Ham 4-0.
Not the most reliable side, granted, but the locals have everything to play for – this is nothing but an end of season kick about for their opponents, and a painful reminder of their failings this year. The Reds to stand up and be counted when it matters is no more than 1/10. That means we must work for our cut of value, and have Liverpool to win, and keep their fourth clean sheet in-a-row, at 1/2.
Watford vs Man City
A nervy afternoon ahead for Man City fans. As it stands, they go to London with Liverpool two points behind, Arsenal lagging by three points and five goals. They would need to lose quite heavily here, and see Arsenal run riot vs Everton to be in any danger, and we don’t see that happening. The easiest way to give their support the afternoon off is to win, and under normal circumstances, that’s easily achievable.
Keeping things simple and sticking with the stats, Watford have lost each of their last five, and will be losing their manager Walter Mazzarri at the end of this one. The players would love to have a say in the finish, and send out shockwaves, but if they find it’s not there for them early on, they will probably stroll through the 90 minutes. During that five-match losing run, Watford have conceded, on average, over two goals per game. City -1 on the handicap makes sense at 7/10.