Hello everyone! Many apologies – it has been a while since I last posted anything, but with the end of the season all but here and my impending wedding on the 14th of May – I really had little to offer and no time to go with it!
I’ve been looking at the 4 major finals over the next week or so – and even though they are notoriously hard to find a winner, I have picked out 2 markets for each:
Ajax vs Man Utd (Europa League – Wednesday 24th May, 1945 KO)
This looks quite an even game on paper, and with no Ibrahimovic and a few suspended players, United will be weaker for it. Ajax look near full-strength, but with the likes of Ziyech and Dolberg in form, they are certainly a massive threat. It’s all on Man Utd however, they need to win this to get into the Champions League, which in turn will attract the players they are chasing to actually consider moving there.
The two markets I like are Man Utd + BTTS @ 7/2 as well as BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 13/8 – two sides with threat going forward but often issues at the back.
Arsenal vs Chelsea (FA Cup, Saturday 27th May, 1730 KO)
Two sides with contrasting fortunes – Chelsea have won the league by some margin, and rather impressively in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge. Arsenal on the other hand have missed out on Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, and look set to lose Alexis Sanchez, and potentially more. Arsene Wenger’s future is to be decided, while first choice centre half Laurent Koscielny is suspended, and German Shkodran Mustafi could well miss the game through injury.
Chelsea are attempting to seal the double, and with a near fully fit squad – they are clear favourites. I like them to Win to Nil @ 2/1 as well as Eden Hazard A/T @ 6/4 as a scoring option – he is in incredible form with his goals tally hitting double figures this term, and with Diego Costa out of form, and Michy Batshuayi hitting the net more regularly but unlikely to start, the Belgian is my choice.
Blackpool vs Exeter (League Two – Sunday 28th May, 1500 KO)
This is a tie that I’m expecting a lot of goals in! Exeter and Blackpool both won their semi finals 6-5 on aggregate and also drew 2-2 in their last meeting. Exeter’s final 6 games had at least 4 goals in each, and with both ending the season in great form – BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 11/10 the value bet.
In terms of a bigger bet – I fancy Exeter to win, and both to score – so Exeter Win + BTTS @ 4/1 my higher priced pick. They have three forwards with double figures this term – Ollie Watkins, David Wheeler and Rueben Reid scoring between 11 and 17 each. Exeter are also the higher scoring of the two, but also conceded more over the course of the season – Blackpool conceded on average a goal per game, and scored 69.
Huddersfield vs Reading (Championship – Monday 29th May, 1500 KO)
Bank Holiday Monday brings the Championship final – a match worth £100m and then some to the winning team. Huddersfield and Reading meet at Wembley, and for me it’s a hard one to call. Both ended the season in mixed form, with David Wagner’s men the worse of the two. Both won one meet each during the season, with 1-0 results both times – and with both ending the season with some thumping losses, Reading losing 7-1 to Norwich among four losses in their last 15 games and Huddersfield even worse – losing 7 of their last 15.
Reading come into it in a better place – having kept a forceful Fulham side to just one goal in 180 minutes, Jaap Stam’s time as one of the best defenders in world football clearly having a positive effect. Huddersfield and David Wagner struggled, at one stage looking like fighting Brighton and Newcastle for the title – but as mentioned 7 losses in the final 3rd of the season curtailing that hope.
Reading are 12/5 to win in 90 minutes – which in my eyes is very overpriced. That makes Reading to Win the Trophy @ 11/10 incredible value (basically win overall, even in extra time or penalties) – and the high value tip being Reading Win to Nil @ 4/1 (in 90 minutes). The pitch could play a big part – with it being the 3rd game in 72 hours after the FA Cup final and League Two playoff final. I’m expecting a tight affair with neither wanting to make any errors.
Hazard A/T @ 6/4, Exe-Bla BTTS + Over 2.5 @ 11/10, Ajax-Utd BTTS + Over 2.5 @ 13/8 & Reading to be Promoted @ 11/10 – 27/1
Chelsea Win to Nil @ 2/1, Exeter Win + BTTS @ 4/1, Man Utd Win + BTTS @ 7/2 & Reading Win to Nil @ 4/1 – 325/1
Best of luck