Premier League preview: the final day’s action, part 2
Everton vs Bournemouth
Everton need a win to guarantee Premier League survival. Recent form isn’t exactly encouraging; Sean Dyche’s side have failed to win any of their last four at Goodison. And the side are without injured striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin once again.
The Toffees’ only win in their last ten was the 5-1 victory over Brighton earlier this month. That inexplicable result does suggest that Everton may be able to pull something special off, but it’s far from a given.
In Dyche’s favour is Bournemouth’s own iffy form; they’ve lost their last three. Less encouragingly for the hosts though, Bournemouth have won each of the last four meetings between these sides in all comps – by an aggregate score of 13-3.
Everton haven’t played terribly in recent games, though. Any kind of a win over Brighton would have been unexpected. Since then, they’ve lost to Man City – would you expect any other outcome? – and drew last week against Wolves.
That point came through a last-gasp equaliser from Yerry Mina, and suggests the Toffees haven’t given up the ghost yet. Maybe it’s not too late.
Last season, in their penultimate game of the campaign, the side were 2-0 down at half-time against Crystal Palace but fought back 3-2 to secure their Prem status.
When their backs are against the wall, Everton may be able to dodge the drop – and maintain their status as having never been relegated from the Premier League since it was founded in 1992. In fact, the Toffees have actually played in the top flight of English football since the 1954/55 season.
Does that proud record end here? There’s little appeal in backing the hosts to win at a heavy odds-on price. Instead, taking a chance on Dwight McNeil to score for the hosts may be worth a look. He has five goals since March, which is about as prolific as an Everton scorer gets – he’s 19/2 to find the opener here.
Leeds vs Tottenham
Even a Leeds win isn’t enough to guarantee the side stay up. But with Sam Allardyce sounding downbeat in the aftermath of last week’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham, that they can overcome this uninspired Tottenham side is hardly nailed on.
Allardyce has taken a point from his three games in charge. And Leeds have one win in ten outings.
As for the visitors, Spurs’ once promising campaign has flamed out; currently sitting eighth in the league, the club are on their third manager of the season (as are Leeds, for that matter).
For all that, Tottenham may still be able to get the better of a Leeds team who remain incapable of keeping clean sheets. As disappointing as Tottenham have been, they’ve still been able to find the net, and will surely find a way through on Sunday.
Kane is 19/20 to score – and has 10 goals in his last 11 league games.
Leicester vs West Ham
To have any hope of Premier League survival, Leicester need a win. And despite a record of just one victory in their last 15 matches, Dean Smith will be hopeful his side can put in a good showing against the Irons.
Whatever team David Moyes puts out, West Ham can afford to take it easy. The East London side’s focus is on the Europa Conference League final in a couple of weeks, and the Foxes may be able to take advantage of that. Even leaving aside their motivation, West Ham have lost their last three on the road, too.
Of course, even victory may not be enough, depending on if Everton can win their match against Bournemouth. Still, even if it’s too little too late, the hosts may – should? – be able to take three points here. Back Leicester to win at 9/10.
Man Utd vs Fulham
Man Utd have already made certain of their place in the Champions League next season. Fulham have overachieved in this campaign to make certain of a 10th place finish, whatever happens.
In a game where the outcome isn’t important, maybe both teams will play with something approaching reckless abandon – even if reckless abandon doesn’t really seem to be Erik Ten Hag’s thing.
Fulham have nine goals in their last three games, while Man Utd put four past Chelsea on Thursday night. Combine over 3.5 total goals and BTTS in a double at 8/5.
Southampton vs Liverpool
As with the previous game, there’s not much riding on this one. But a Liverpool side still irked at the way the season has panned out may be in the mood to rain in a few goals against the already relegated Southampton. Over 4.5 goals is available at 11/5.
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