Crystal Palace versus Manchester United, Saturday, May 22
As expected, Manchester United breezed past Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday to secure fifth place in the Premier League and European football – albeit in the Europa League – next season and are odds-on to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
The Red Devils needed a replay to beat West Ham United in the sixth round and an injury time winner from Anthony Martial to beat Everton in the semi-final so, while manager Louis van Gaal says he’s confident of being in charge at the start of next season, his side remains largely unconvincing. However, the likes of Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were a class apart when the sides met at Old Trafford in the Premier League last month and it’s hard to see the Eagles escaping with anything better than the 2-0 defeat they suffered on that occasion. United should, once again, be too bright, creative and energetic for Palace, so let’s try Manchester United -2 in the handicap market at 13/2 with Sporting Bet.
Selection: Manchester United -2 (13/2 with Sporting Bet)
Newcastle United versus Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday, May 15
Win, lose or draw, Tottenham are guaranteed to finish at least third in the Premier League and Newcastle could already be relegated, if Sunderland beat Everton on Wednesday, so this fixture could turn out to be something of a non-event. However, the Magpies lacked ambition during the 0-0 draw with relegated Aston Villa at last Saturday and, frankly, cannot be recommended whether or not they have anything left to play for. The spirit and desire they displayed when winning the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane, under former boss Steve McLaren, appears long gone and it could be a long afternoon for Rafa Benitez. Spurs may have missed out on their first league title since 1961, but can still secure their highest finish to a Premier League season, so let’s have a decent bet at 13/10 with BetVictor, Coral or Paddy Power that Mauricio Pochettino’s side end the season on a high.
Selection: Tottenham Hotspur to win (13/10 with BetVictor)
Manchester City versus Arsenal, Sunday, May 8
Manchester City have the little matter of a Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday before they face Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Neither side has exactly been pulling up any trees lately, but the Sky Blues can take a seven-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United by beating the Gunners and look worthy favourites to do so.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes from last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Los Blancos for the 4-2 defeat by Southampton at St. Mary’s last Sunday, but is unlikely to take such a ‘cavalier’ approach to the two remaining Premier League fixtures, against Arsenal and Swansea City.
The Gunners lack of firepower was, once again, evident during the 1-0 defeat of Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday, when Danny Welbeck’s 59th minute winner was their first shot on target. The fact that they won the reverse fixture against the Sky Blues 2-1 in December, with a performance characterised by drive, cutting edge and resilience, only really serves to demonstrate how disappointing they’ve become.
Let’s take Manchester City to drive another nail in the coffin of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger by hammering his team 4-0 at 55/1 with BetVictor.
Selections: Manchester City to win 4-0 (55/1 with BetVictor)
Leicester City Win the Premier League!
The wait is over and due to a 2 – 2 draw for Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea (despite being 2-0 up after half time), Leicester have been crowned Premier League 2005-16 champions. The dream scenario that only a handful of lucky punters got in on at 5000-1 at the start of the season, has become a reality. The public love an underdog story and we’ll all be in for a long wait to find one to top this. Well done the Foxes. Now it’s finally time to get out to the shops and buy that reduced price Spurs celebration cake!
What a bargain!