Juventus did the business for the column in fine style by landing the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, but there was frustration elsewhere as Arsenal and Real Madrid slipped to surprise defeats. The Premier League action draws to a close on Sunday, but with title and relegation matters seemingly now decided, attention shifts to the Championship playoffs this weekend.
Running total: -£77.98
The Home Banker
You could make a convincing case for all four teams involved in the Championship playoffs but it could pay to back Middlesbrough on Saturday. Boro have finished strongly, winning four of their last six matches and they have momentum ahead of this home clash with Aston Villa. Steve Bruce’s men aren’t prolific scorers on the road and Tony Pulis has done a fine job in guiding Boro to a fifth place finish. Adama Traore has ridiculous pace and power and could be the man to inspire 23/20 shots Middlesbrough here at a packed Riverside.
The Tasty Treble
As the long goodbye comes to a close, it will surely only be fitting for Arsene Wenger to end his Arsenal tenure with a win? The Gunners are an 8/13 shout on Sunday despite having yet to register an away point in 2018. However they look a class above Huddersfield, who secured their top flight survival with that magnificent 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday night and whose players may now be in party mode. Elsewhere, Crystal Palace seem to be ending the season in fine style, thrashing Leicester 5-0 and following that up with victory over Stoke. They look to have solid credentials here at 4/5 to beat West Brom, given the Eagles have scored 12 in their last five games. Finally, Manchester United have looked below par in recent weeks but should get the job done against Watford. It’s 11/10 that United win this to nil and throwing that in with Arsenal and Palace gives us a treble with bet365 paying just shy of 5/1.
The Euro Wager
Barcelona have La Liga locked up and have been the dominant side in Spain this season. However Real Betis have enjoyed a stellar campaign themselves and look a big price at 31/20 to beat Sevilla. Betis won the reverse fixture 5-3 back in January and with home advantage can land another Seville derby at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
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The Wildcard Tip
Swansea were a 7/4 shot for the drop at the start of the week but a confidence-crushing home defeat to Southampton on Tuesday and Huddersfield’s draw with Chelsea has left them on the brink, and they look too short at 10/11 to beat Stoke City. They have scored a league-low 27 goals in 37 games this season and for the first time this season already relegated Stoke can play without pressure. With the shackles off, and the pressure firmly on Carlos Carvalhal’s men, Stoke look a spot of value here at 3/1.
The Bookie Basher
Olivier Giroud and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have only shown Chelsea and Arsenal fans glimpses of what they are truly capable of this season, but the in-form duo look worth backing in a double to notch first when they face Newcastle and Huddersfield respectively this Sunday.