A climactic end to a thrilling season?
Well, here we are at seasons end in nearly all the European Leagues. It’s been a thriller as ever with the top 3 looking to be Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal, wow! This is something completely new isn’t it? That being said, if Citeh can hold on to 4th spot then with the backing they have and the lure of Champions League football they may well be able to push on that bit more next year and shake things up.
This week also saw both Man Utd and Barcelona make it through to the Champions League final at Wembley almost at a canter. Both sides scored first to as good as put their respective ties out of doubt and went on to secure their place. There’s a lot of talk around how United can possibly beat Barca, and in my opinion, they can’t. Whilst they are solid in defence for the most part, and Rooney and Hernandez are looking promising as a partnership, that midfield is awful, Utter tripe. Barca may not thrash them, Sir Wrigley should be too astute for that, but United will not see the ball and should be easily beaten. Music this week comes with a summery vibe…Mos Def and Ms Fat Booty.
Aston Villa v Wigan, Saturday 1500
Normally I’d avoid Wigan matches, and avoid watching Villa or Wigan matches. A pair of more turgid sides there is not in the Premier League. But, this time I’m keen to be involved. Villa are priced a bit longer than usual as it’s all to play for for Wigan, and I think this is a bit of an error. Villa will still want to push as high up the table as they can, the players need to prove themselves, and the club will make more money that way. Darren Bent is always good for a goal against teams of Wigan’s quality, or lack thereof, and I think Villa will probably nick it. Wigan are in the position they are for a reason. And that reason is their complete lack of quality barring Rodallega and McCarthy, neither of whom are scoring enough either. Get on Villa at 1.85 with Paddy Power now.
West Ham v Blackburn, Saturday 1500
This match is the definition of a relegation 6 pointer. The Hammers have retreated back to the majority of the seasons form since February’s renaissance and are looking diabolical again. Blackburn have tried to play more football since the removal of Lamb Shank lookalike Big Fat Sam, but have failed miserably. They look toothless up front since the reinstatement of Jason Roberts, funny that, and leak goals at an alarming rate. They’ve been particularly poor away from home so far this season and the Hammers must win this one to have a hope of staying up. And, I think they’ll do it! They may be out of form, but they’ll know it’s now or never, and their strikers will all be playing to impress other managers and stay in the league even if the club fall. I see them giving their fans some hope to cling to. They are 2.0 are most firms and I’d take that.
Man Utd v Chelsea, Sunday 1610
The Big One at the other end of the table at Old Trafford. The home of the Asian fan hosts Chavski on Sunday and Utd will presumably be confident enough with their mostly imperious home form. Chelsea have hit form just at the right time to make a late push for the title and must win this or it’s really all over for them, and possibly Ancelotti. Fernando Torres finally has his first goal, but still looks like a summer spent resting would do him good, and Drogba looks back to his best when through the centre. United have all their big guns to call on after resting most against Schalke, somewhat devaluing UEFA’s premier competition, and Sir Wrigley will know this will finally be the title to beat Pool’s 18 title record. He will send them out fired up for this. Wayne Rooney is back, and in one of his goal gluts, and I reckon he’ll get one in this. David Luiz still leaves too much space and he should exploit this. I think the 2.4 at Paddy Power on a United win is good value as is the quotes of 2.6 for Rooney anytime with the same firm.
Valencia v Real Sociedad, Saturday 1700
A top v bottom clash from La Liga on Saturday afternoon. Valencia are in good goalscoring form with 15 goals in their last 6 matches and Roberto Soldado has 7 of those. He is in the form of his life and is greatly enjoying the service of the likes of Juan Mata and Joaquin. Sociedad have climbed to mid table, but are still only 4 points clear of relegation. They beat Barcelona last week, with the Catalans clearly having both eyes on Madrid in the week. They have wrapped up the title and know they can afford to drop points and rest for the Champions League. So I wouldn’t read into that result too much. A more revealing stat is that they have lost 13 of their 17 away matches, and Valencia have only lost 4 times at home. They should coast this one and I’d back Soldado to score anytime at 2.05 with Victor Chandler.
Genoa v Sampdoria, Sunday 1945
The Genoa derby is on Sunday night in Serie A and it’s usually a feisty affair! The two clubs have had fairly mediocre seasons this year and local pride is about all that’s left to play for now. Since selling Antonio Cassano Samp have looked goalshy and have slumped to midtable. Genoa have lacked goals all season and that has kept them well away from European football next year. Expect all those anxieties and anger to be taken out on each other in this. Especially with the crowd baying after all day to get tanked up. I would back a Red Card at 2.7 with Unibet.
Bucaspor v Trabzonspor, Sunday 1800
Three games left to play and Trabzon and Fener are still locked together at the top of the table. They have been putting everything into their games of late knowing that any slip up at this stage will probably see them out of the race for the SuperLig. Some of the other matches have proved hard to predict with teams lacking effort in some matches then coming out all guns blazing next time, but the two giants have been all out all the time. They are a very short 1.3 away from home, but rightly so in my opinion. Bucaspor are 8 points away from safety and can be relegated if they lose this, and they will. Trabzon have led at half time in their last 4 home matches and have gone on to win them all from that position. That makes quotes of 1.83 at Paddy Power on such an eventuality look very appealing to me.
Sivasspor v Ankaragucu, Sunday 1800
This one sees Sivasspor with the chance to make sure they spend another seaosn in the SuperLig. As mentioned in the above tip, Bucaspor are 8 points adrift of Sivass with three to play. They play at the same time, but I’m sure Sivass will see this as perfectly winnable and be able to make themselves safe. They have had a revival since xmas and should see an Ankara side with little to play for off. Ankara shouldn’t be discounted, they’re a decent enough side, but I fancy Sivass to get the points they need. Back them at 2. with most firms to do so.