Premier League: Matchweek 35 RunDown Part 1
Gaz is back with his weekly rundown of the weekends Premier League action, including his top tips and special betting offers.
Leicester v Newcastle – 20:00 BST, Friday 7th May
Leicester disappointed last week against Southampton. They had a chance to cement their Champions League place by beating a struggling Saints side. Their task was made easier on the 10 minute mark when Jannik Vestergaard was sent off but they couldn’t capitalise. Another loss this week would see them at risk of missing out on the Champions League altogether, especially if Chelsea and West Ham go on to pick up three points in their respective games.
Newcastle are still at risk of relegation despite a relatively good run recently. They were brought back down to Earth last week when Arsenal comfortably dispatched them. With Leicester up this week, and Champions elect City up next, the gap could close significantly. Fulham host the Magpies on the final day of the season and all at St. James’ Park will want to ensure their Premier League status is confirmed prior to that game.
Verdict: It’s hard to see past Leicester here despite Newcastle playing well recently (with the exception of the Arsenal game). At 4/11 they aren’t really a betting proposition. More attractive is Jamie Vardy in the Shots On Target market. Vardy is 13/10 to have 2 or more Shots On Target, and although he hasn’t been in the greatest of form, that is surely too big!
Leeds v Tottenham – 12:30 BST, Saturday 8th May
Leeds have had nothing at stake in recent games, and that really showed last weekend in their defeat at Brighton. Biesla’s side didn’t have their usual attacking zest and never really looked like winning the game. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back here. One thing is for sure, on their day they are a dangerous side. If they bring their A game Tottenham could be in trouble.
Tottenham played like a team with the shackles off last week and comfortably beat Sheffield United. Gareth Bale bagged a hat-trick in that game and he has looked like a different player since Mourinho was sacked. The attacking threat of Bale, Kane and Son is enough to give most defences nightmares, and if they click it’ll be an exciting end to the season for Spurs fans.
Verdict: Spurs at Evens is very tempting given Leeds have nothing to play for, and that Spurs need to keep winning to land 5th spot (and keep pressure on for top 4). This game could be very open and with that in mind over 2.5 goals at 4/6 is another attractive bet. I’m once again delving into the Shots On Target market as I can’t believe Heung-Min Son is priced at 11/5 for 2 plus Shots On Target.
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Sheffield United v Crystal Palace – 15:00 BST, Saturday 8th May
I’d love to be able to sex this game up, but in reality there isn’t really that much to say. Sheffield United were doomed for most of the season and their fate was sealed a number of weeks ago. To their credit they’ve still battled on and I wouldn’t fully discount them here.
Palace, as I’ve been saying for weeks, are tough to predict. Half of their squad are out of contract this summer and manager Roy Hodgson looks likely to depart when his contract expires. Safe from relegation they could down tools, or players could look to put themselves in the shop window.
Verdict: Likely to be a drab affair and not one to get involved with betting wise.
Man City v Chelsea – 17:30 BST, Saturday 8th May
On paper this is the obvious game of the weekend with the two Champions League finalists getting an opportunity to size each other up. There are still domestic issues to be resolved in the short term. A win for City would officially see them crowned Champions. Even though there will be no fans, wrapping the title up at home is a real carrot for Guardiola’s men.
Chelsea were brilliant in mid-week versus Real Madrid. They made the Spaniards look pretty ordinary and their attacking talent look to be building dangerous partnerships. Tuchel’s men need to to keep winning to secure a place in next year’s Champions League, although they could do that by beating City in the final in a couple of weeks also.
Verdict: This is obviously a tough match to call given how closely matched both teams are. Chelsea stick out as a big price at 10/3 and that looks a good bet. They were electric on the break versus Madrid, and may be able to expose City on the counter-attack.
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Liverpool v Southampton – 20:15 BST, Saturday 8th May
Liverpool had an interesting week, with the protests at Old Trafford on Sunday leading to the postponement of their game versus Man Utd. It’s difficult to know if that is a blessing or a curse to be honest. On a positive note the break has given Jurgen Klopp the chance to get his players refreshed for a final end of season push. On the negative front the gap to the top four has opened up, and even though they’ve a game in hand, Liverpool know they can’t afford any slip ups.
Southampton will be delighted with the aforementioned draw versus Leicester last weekend. The Saints still aren’t mathematically safe and could cause the home side some problems.
Verdict: Liverpool are unbackable at 1/4 so I’m again turning to the Shots On Target market. James Ward-Prowse got on the scoresheet last week and is heavily involved in the Southampton attack. He also takes most set-pieces therefore the 7/5 for 1 or more Shots On Target looks like value.