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Chelsea have already wrapped up the Premier league title, and whilst they are on course to set the record for most wins in a single season, I firmly expect Antonio Conte to rotate his players or their one remaining match against Sunderland at the weekend, with one eye on the FA Cup final. They should still win this match, but I expect the odds to be too short to include.
Arsenal have no such luxury as they seek to scrape into the top four, and HAVE to win their two remaining matches to have any chance of playing Champions League football next term. They earned a well-earned 4-1 win away to Stoke City on Saturday, and they should be firing on all cylinders as they look to keep their hopes alive. Regardless of how certain I am that the Gunners WILL win comfortably, the fact that they are less than even money to win by three or more goals, means I simply refuse to back them however.
Their run in the league will leave them downbeat, with two wins almost certain to kick them in the teeth and leave them without Champions League football, with Liverpool at home to the now-relegated Middlesbrough to kill their hopes. They will also be the more tired of the two sides for the FA Cup final, and I can’t look beyond Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
Manchester United take on Ajax as they look to become Europa League champions, and just as importantly, earn a place in next season’s Champions League. The Red Devils have already been prioritising their bid for glory in the competition, resting players in the league in order to bolster their chances, and I can’t imagine anything but glory for Jose Mourinho’s side. Ajax have a young and exciting side, but I have a feeling the occasion will overcome them, as will the tactics adopted by the Portuguese tactician.
As certain as I am that Jose is fully committed to his European target, I feel as though he will discard any importance in his English domestic matches remaining, and they are more-or-less cemented into sixth position. This leads me to believe that Southampton will given an easy ride when United travel there tomorrow in the league.
The midweek matches of the biggest importance however are the Championship play-offs, where one of four lucky sides will earn a huge payday, and a place in next season’s Premier League.
Reading earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Fulham on Saturday, and whilst the London side were unlucky not to win, the Royals will have been happy to settle for that result. The Berkshire boys have been absolutely amazing at home all season, losing only twice at the Madejski in all competitions, and are way too big a price to turn down tonight. Offerings of bigger than 2/1 for a home win tonight is complete madness, especially when considering that Reading were the team to finish third in the division, while Fulham snuck into sixth…
The last pick I bring to you is for the Champions League final. Real Madrid are on course to be the first team to ever win the competition back-to-back since the change in format, and have Italian champions Juventus standing in their way. The Spaniards are of course favourites for the trophy, and with the amazing superstars in their side are an easy pick, but I’m going against them. Juventus have been amazing domestically as well as in Europe, and have already despatched of Barcelona with an aggregate score of 3-0.
Best picks for May:
Southampton to beat Man United @ 7/4 (2.75)
Reading to beat Fulham @ 23/10 (3.3)
FA Cup: Chelsea win and both teams to score @ 11/4 (3.75)
Juventus to win Champions League trophy (11/10)
What are your favourite picks for May?