A Premier League title race going to the wire and total domination of Europe’s two club competitions, not to mention the Nations League Finals just around the corner. Could English football ask for any more?
Probably not but Liverpool might have preferred a tougher opponent for Manchester City on the final day to give us a proper thriller and them more of a chance.
City are a win away from retaining their crown — a feat not achieved since Manchester United a decade ago — and only Brighton stand in their way.
Sergio Aguero (centre) is no stranger to a title-winning goal on the last day of the season
Liverpool will be praying the 20/1 shots can spring a surprise and might like to know that the last manager to beat Manchester City on the final day was Brighton boss Chris Hughton, back in 2013 when he was in charge of Norwich.
But the Reds faithful will be well aware that the most recent team to go into the last game of the campaign top of the pile and not win the title was their own, 30 years ago. So it doesn’t happen often.
Brighton go into this on the back of their best result for weeks — a 1-1 draw at Arsenal — and lost just 1-0 to City in the FA Cup last month and 2-0 earlier in the season.
There’s also what happened on the final day in 2012 to take into account when Sergio Aguero’s late, late show landed the trophy just when it looked like QPR were about to spoil the City party.
Aguero could be man to back to make some money on this one as City just to win is no better than 2/11.
The little Argentinian has 31 goals in all competitions this season, two short of his best-ever haul in a City shirt, which he managed two seasons ago. He’s also on 20 in the league, two behind leading scorer Mohamed Salah, who will be back in the Liverpool side to face Wolves after he missed the midweek win over Barcelona.
Mohamed Salah returns to the Liverpool side for the visit of Wolves to Anfield
City have been grinding out wins the way champions do — six of their last seven in the league have been 1-0 or 2-0 — but they’re worth backing to finish this one in style. Aguero is 10/3 to score two or more 16/1 for a hat-trick (both William Hill) and with a nod to 2012, Paddy Power are offering 15/2 that he scores after the clock has passed 89min and 59sec.
As for Liverpool expect them to do their bit despite Wolves’ impressive record against the big teams – wins over Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Man United in the league plus that FA Cup victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side. Nuno’s men also go into this on the back of three straight wins but it’s impossible to back against Liverpool right now and they’re a shade better than 2/1 with a few bookies to win with both teams scoring in the match.
The best of the rest
It would take a miracle for the top-four race to have one last twist and after Liverpool and Tottenham in midweek, we’re all miracled out. So, there’s nothing left to play for except pride – and a few million pounds in prize money. So, where else can the money be made?
The curtain coming down on the campaign has been known to bring with it a few strange ones, often involving Tottenham. Spurs, to end a season, have beaten Leicester 5-4 and Hull 7-1 but gone down 5-1 to Newcastle. Plus, who can forget Stoke’s 6-1 thumping of Liverpool, Chelsea hitting Wigan for eight without reply or West Brom and Manchester United sharing TEN goals in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game as Old Trafford manager.
Over 3.5 total goals in the games at Tottenham, Palace and Liverpool returns 18/1.
Leicester and Jamie Vardy will be looking to give Chelsea the blues on Sunday
Punters could do worse than going home on the 38th round of top-flight fixtures. Over the last 10 seasons, so 100 games, 54 have seen the hosts take full points as players sign off for the summer , which is a higher average than over this campaign as a whole.
Chelsea were taken to penalties on Thursday night and Arsenal, domestically, travel about as well as a skateboard in quicksand, so Leicester (16/11) and Burnley (23/10) appeal. Throw in Fulham at home to new boss Scott Parker’s former club Newcastle, and Crystal Palace to beat Bournemouth – you’re looking at a 38/1 acca.
Pieree-Emerick Aubamayeng was on fire as Arsenal won at Valencia in midweek but away from home in the Premier League they have been far less impressive
BEST BETS FOR THE SEASON FINALE
10/3 Aguero to score two or more
16/1 Aguero to score a hat-trick
38/1 Leicester, Burnley, Palace and Fulham all to win
34/1 Mitrovic, Wood and Townsend to score at any time
Manchester United are playing relegated Cardiff, the team Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kicked things off against with a 5-1 win but the Norwegian and his players just need the season to end to regroup over the summer.
United are 3/10 with Cardiff 21/2 and the draw available at 6/1. Elsewhere, FA Cup finalists Watford against West Ham looks the best bet for a stalemate with any score draw 7/2 (BetVictor). Southampton host Huddersfield and Tottenham face Everton.
For the final anytime scorer treble of the season, go with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chris Wood and Andros Townsend – 34/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.