Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
Sunday is our last chance to enjoy Premier League football before what could be the longest summer in the history of the league with no tournaments to enjoy. It’s also possibly our final chance to mock Man United before they potentially get good again.
Oh, plus there’s the small matter of declaring the champions, the final Champions League entrants, the Europa League/Conference League teams and sending one more team down to the Championship. Given that long summer ahead, there’ll be a lot of time for this weekend’s losers to stew on their own failure.
But on a brighter note, it’s that time of the year when we can break out the word permutations again and look at what’s still undecided. We’ve poured through all the interesting final day races, and some uninteresting ones to boot. We’ve picked out four sides who need a win this weekend for one reason or another, totalling up to a 22/1 Last Chance Accumulator tip
Last Chance Acca
Arsenal vs Everton
When Friday’s rumours of food poisoning at Tottenham emerged I imagine somewhere out there Martin Jol had to go for a long sit down in a dark room to decompress. 2006’s lasagne-gate drama could get a sequel this weekend, much to the delight of Arsenal.
Lillywhite digestive drama aside, the Gunners have a job to do this weekend. This season has seen a credible top-four challenge run to the final day, they can’t go and Arsenal that up now. Regardless if it’s enough or not, it would speak volumes about Arteta’s side if they can take their Champions League hopes to the final minutes of the season.
That’s unlikely to be an issue, as they host a poor Everton outfit who have nothing to play for and probably some hangovers to nurse. There were joyous scenes on Thursday as it was confirmed that the Toffees, who have done next to nothing over the last few years, are in for more of the same next season.
The visitors had something to fight for all through this campaign and they still lost 20 of 37 games, losing by two or more seven times on the road. Outside of the top three the Gunners have won 12 of 15 at home this term, so expect them to get the job done in comfortable fashion.
Last Chance tip: Arsenal -1
Burnley vs Newcastle
Burnley could hope for a Brentford favour to keep themselves up this weekend, but a win would guarantee their safety – so long as Leeds don’t thump the Bees by 21 clear goals. Given the state of Leeds’ defence, they’d likely need a basketball score to achieve it.
To their credit, the Clarets have taken charge of their own fate after Sean Dyche’s departure and they’ve been largely good. With three wins from their last four at home the hosts should be happy to return to Turf Moor, unlike the visitors who have lost four of their last five on the road.
Newcastle signed off their season with a 2-0 win over Arsenal at home, which was a promising sign for the future. The Magpies could pick up a few million more in prize money on Sunday, but is that something their owners really care about?
Not only are Burnley fighting for survival, newspaper reports claim a win on Sunday could turn Vincent Kompany’s considerable forehead too. With everything in their hands, back the Clarets to get the job done.
Last Chance tip: Burnley to win
Brighton vs West Ham
Lost in the title drama, relegation panic and top four chase is that the final Europa League spot is up for grabs. Manchester United are currently in possession of it, but if their dire campaign ended with another defeat the door would be open for West Ham to slide into sixth.
The Hammers looked thrilled with their Europa League campaign and the fact they lost to the eventual winners in the semis suggests they could well target winning the trophy next season. Given that, I can’t see them settling for a flat final day, especially as United are far from reliable.
I don’t think there are many non-United fans who wouldn’t want to see the Red Devils slumming it in the Conference League next term, while the Hammers’ European run should suggest they too see themselves above UEFA’s third-tier trophy. On top of that, could there be any sweeter revenge for David Moyes than to pip United to a Europa League qualifying spot?
Last Chance tip: West Ham to win
Leicester vs Southampton
It’s been an incredible last six years for Leicester, having gone from dramatic survival to the league title, the Champions League quarters to final day top four chases with a European semi and an FA Cup win to boot. However, this season it’s the race for eighth which is setting pulses racing at the King Power.
Eighth-placed Wolves are at Liverpool this weekend and it’s hard to see them spoiling the Reds’ title push. That creaks open the door for Leicester to close the two-point gap to them and Wolves with a win over Southampton.
Now, it’s not exactly the most glamourous, but finishing eighth would be a symbolic recovery for Leicester. There’s also the fact that jumping that one extra place would pocket the Foxes an additional £2.2m in prize money. Plus, even if they aren’t trying Leicester could probably defeat Southampton by accident, with the Saints losing four of their last five.
However, I have more faith in Brendan Rodgers & co. than that, so I think they’ll fight on the final day.
Last Chance tip: Leicester to win
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