Spurs set for Europa League action next season once more
With the relegation battle all but over (Norwich City can still mathematically stay up with a record-breaking victory scoreline), there are only two other notable scraps for the the last day of the Premier League season. The race for the title, between Manchester City and Liverpool, and the fight for sixth place, and a Europa League berth.
Manchester United and Tottenham are still in the hunt, with the latter firmly in the driving seat. But, with both managers Ryan Giggs and Tim Sherwood desperately trying to hold on to their jobs, this will be their last chance to impress.
Southampton v Manchester United
It seems that Giggs has played down his United’s hopes of getting into the Europa League, in his final game as interim boss.
Nevertheless, this is the last opportunity the Welshman will get to show the owners that he is the man to lead the Red Devils forward next season, so a victory, as well as positive football, is a must.
“There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can’t really win anything,” he said.
“We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that. You get a little taste of the pressure you are put under with regards to picking teams and wanting to do your best.”
Both Man Utd and their hosts Southampton are priced equally at 13/8 for victory. However, as the Red Devils have won eight of their last nine head-to-heads with the Saints in all competitions, back them to beat them again.
The day is all about Man Utd it seems, with captain Nemanja Vidic playing his last game for the club, while the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are out of contract. Giggs has also yet to confirm if he will play on next year, so take odds of 11/2 on him to net anytime. Youth product James Wilson, meanwhile, who had a fantastic full debut against Hull City by scoring twice, can be backed at 13/8 to get a goal again.
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Villa failed to dent Man City’s title race chances in their last fixture, after being thrashed 4-0, and look unlikely to ruin top six hopes for Spurs either. Furthermore, Paul Lambert’s side have managed just one win in their last eight – losing six – so back the home team for victory odds-on at 1/2.
Tottenham have also beaten the Villans to nil in their last four head-to-heads in all competitions, and can be backed at 17/10 to do so again.
Both clubs are without a number of players, however. Spurs will be missing Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela, Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele due to injury, while Younes Kaboul is suspended.
For Villa, meanwhile, they will be without Christian Benteke, Charles N’Zogbia, Libor Kozak and Jores Okore, but have hopes that Marc Albrighton and Gabriel Agbonlahor can return.
If the Villans are to beat Spurs away for the first time since 2008, then they will have to go against odds of 5/1 for victory. A draw is 10/3.
For goals, English younsgter Harry Kane is a great shout for Tottenham, having scored three in his last five games. He is priced at 11/8 to net again anytime.