The end of the Premier League season is almost upon us, with just a little bit of business to sort out before the final games of the season. As the majority of the league prepare for their final match on Sunday, a select few have to play their games in hand this midweek, which will set up the table for some pivotal games on the final day, including the race for the European spots.
There are plenty of sides playing in midweek who still have European ambitions, with both Arsenal and Manchester City in contention for the Champions League places. Tottenham are in action on Thursday, as they travel to Leicester just three days before the final game of the season. This midweek also sees the Italian Cup final, as Juventus look to win the treble. Ahead of those games, we’ve previewed each and picked out a betting tip on each encounter.
Tuesday 16th May 2017
Arsenal v Sunderland (19:45) – Arsenal to win and BTTS (2/1 with Coral)
The Gunners are having a late surge towards the Champions League spots, as they look to topple one of Manchester City or Liverpool. While the Gunners were written off not long ago, their recent form could propel them towards a place in the top four. While there’s still some way to go, their game in hand against Sunderland looks to be a banker win for Arsene Wenger and his men. Can they see off the already relegated visitors in order to move closer to a place in Europe’s elite competition next term? David Moyes’ men have shown some fight since their relegation was confirmed, but they’ve got a huge task on their hands to upset the Gunners on Tuesday.
Arsenal’s form has picked up in recent weeks, which has seen them through to the FA Cup final. They have two league games remaining before that trip to Wembley, but they’ll be focused on getting the points they need here. However, the Mackems have nothing to play for, and they’ll be pushing forward in one of their final Premier League games. Given the upturn in form they showed in their last trip, ending Hull’s unbeaten run at home, we think the Black Cats will score. Arsenal should ultimately have too much, so we’re backing the hosts to win and BTTS at 10/11 with BetVictor.
Wednesday 17th May 2017
Manchester City v West Brom (19:45) – City to Win with -2 Handicap (2/1 with Coral)
This hasn’t been the most productive season for Manchester City, but they’re still on course to book a place in the Champions League next term. That was the minimum aim for Pep Guardiola, and he’ll be expecting better next term. However, he’ll need his men to avoid gruelling Europa League games on Thursday nights, as that could be a real problem for the Citizens as they will be desperate for trophies next term. First and foremost they need to record a solid finish to this campaign, can they see off Tony Pulis and West Brom to move towards securing their place among Europe’s elite next season?
The Baggies have little to play for in the Premier League, and they come into this game safe in the top half of the table. That’s seen the intensity drop out of their game, and it could make them vulnerable against City. While Guardiola hasn’t had the greatest record this term, his sides are usually committed, and we can see that leading to a big win for City. We’re backing them to win with a -2 goal handicap, which is priced at 2/1 with Coral.
Juventus v Lazio (20:00) – Juventus to win (11/10 with BetVictor)
Juventus are gunning for an incredible third straight league and cup double, as they prepare to celebrate a sixth straight Italian title. This has been an amazing season for Max Allegri and his team, who head to Cardiff for the Champions League final in June. Their progression in Europe meant the Coppa Italia final had to be brought forward a few weeks, so Juve have to prepare for a trip to Rome to face Lazio. Can they continue their dominance of Italian football, or will there be a shock on the cards in the Stadio Olimpico? Judging by their form this term, we can’t see any upset happening here.
Juventus have been running away with things for a while in Italy, and now they’re starting to show their class in Europe. We can’t see past the Italian champions taking the trophy here, yet they’re priced at 11/10 with BetVictor to lift the cup within 90 minutes. They have a brilliant record against Lazio, winning home and away this term to extend their long winning run over their cup final opponents. That has us backing them to take the silverware here, as they’re very well priced given their record of late.
Thursday 18th May 2017
Leicester v Tottenham (19:45) – Leicester to win (4/1 with Betfair)
Leicester may have had to relinquish their status as champions, but they head into this clash with Tottenham looking to record a strong finish to the season. They could well secure a place in the top nine this term, which would mean they still haven’t been the worst defending champions in history, an honour which belongs to Chelsea last term. Despite fighting relegation earlier in the campaign, this season could have a strong finale for the Foxes. Will they be able to see off Tottenham at the King Power, after beating Mauricio Pochettino’s men to the title last term? Their current momentum suggest that they’ll cause problems for Spurs, who had an awful finish after missing out on the title 12 months ago.
It’s hard to see what Spurs have to play for, having basically confirmed second place. They’ve said goodbye to White Hart Lane, and that could lead to a bit of a hangover here. Meanwhile, Leicester have won all their last seven home matches – barring a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid. That has us backing the hosts to take the points, as they look to carry on their momentum and finish the season on a high. We’re backing a win for the Foxes at 4/1 with Betfair.