Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
One of the most compelling Premier League title races in living memory will conclude on Sunday, when Manchester City and Liverpool contest the final fixtures of their respective campaigns against Brighton and Wolves.
In a head-to-head title tussle where the consistency shown by the contenders has at times bordered on the absurd, both Manchester City and Liverpool will finish on points totals just shy of 100 if they win their last league games of the season on Sunday.
It seems cruel that an entire year’s endeavour could be condensed and ultimately made redundant inside the space of just 90 minutes, though both Manchester City and Liverpool face the prospect of finishing incredible Premier League title-chasing crusades with nothing.
To complement the last day drama, we’ve compiled a selection of player specials and betting tips built around Sunday’s title deciders.
Check them out below:
Sergio Aguero over 3.5 shots (Brighton vs MAN CITY)
Premier League leaders and title favourites Manchester City will be banking on Sergio Aguero’s predatory instincts firing them to glory on Sunday.
The 30-year old centre forward has scored 20 league goals already this season, and Aguero could still conceivably finish as the division’s top scorer if he rattles home a hattrick at the Amex Stadium.
In truth, individual honours will probably be the least of Aguero’s concerns on Sunday, though City will be hope that the Argentine’s match-winning ability comes to the fore again.
Aguero has averaged a whopping 3.5 shots on goal per Premier League appearance this season -a figure that puts him joint top in that metric alongside Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Earlier this season, Aguero hit an eye-watering 7 shots at Brighton’s goal in City’s 2-0 win over the Seagulls at the Etihad Stadium, and with another win imperative for the Citizens on Sunday, we expect the former Atletico Madrid star to pepper Albion’s goal again.
With that considered, we think Aguero looks brilliant value at 4/6 with bet365 to rack up over 3.5 shots on goal.
Vincent Kompany under 95.5 passes – 5/6 (Brighton vs MAN CITY)
Manchester City captain and club legend Vincent Kompany could lead the Citizens out in a Premier League game for the last time on Sunday.
The veteran centre-half’s contract expires in the summer and with his future seemingly away from Manchester, Kompany will be determined to finish on the highest possible note.
In a Citizen’s team that dominates possession like no other, Vincent Kompany’s average passes per game stats are relatively low when compared to his teammates.
Kompany has averaged 71.5 passes per game in the Premier League this term – a figure that places him 7th at the club for distribution frequency.
Injuries have restricted the defender’s Premier League involvement to just 12 starts and 4 substitute appearances in 2018/19, and it’s worth noting that Kompany played over 95.5 passes in just 3 of those games.
Man City should enjoy the lion’s share of the ball against Brighton Sunday, though much of play will likely be recycled in areas further up the pitch and away from Kompany. That makes him a great price at 5/6 with bet365 to play under 96.5 passes against the Seagulls.
Sadio Mane to score anytime – 1/1 (LIVERPOOL vs Wolves)
Liverpool’s left-sided attacker Sadio Mane has been producing the goal-scoring goods on Mersyside with frightening regularity of late.
The Senegalese international has notched 20 Premier League goals already this season, 16 of which were plundered in Liverpool’s games at Anfield.
Mane has in fact, scored more home goals than any other player in the Premier League this season, and the 27-year old will keen to finish his remarkable individual Anfield campaign with another goal against Wolves on Sunday.
The former Southampton winger has scored 11 times in his last 9 Premier League stats at Anfield, and with Mane in such red-hot form, we think he is priced incredibly generously at 1/1 with bet365 to score anytime on Sunday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold over 0.5 assists – 11/4 (LIVERPOOL vs Wolves)
Like his full-back counterpart on the opposite flank Andrew Robertson, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed a fabulously productive season for his club.
With 12 and 11 assists respectively already in 2018/19, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have been involved in more Premier League goals than any other defenders this season.
Alexander-Arnold’s wicked set piece deliveries could prove a particularly potent weapon for Liverpool on Sunday against a Wolves team that have conceded 30% of their Premier League goals from dead-balls this season.
A combination of Alexander-Arnold’s set play expertise and devastating crossing ability makes him a cracking price at 11/4 with bet365 to grab another assist this weekend.
Final Day Drama?
With so much on the line for both Manchester City and Liverpool in their final Premier League fixtures of the season, tensions are certain to be at unusually high levels among the players involved.
Tension can lead to nerves, and those nerves turn can lead to some rash decision making and out of character flashes of panic from even the most psychologically rock solid and experienced footballers.
It makes sense then, that the chances of a penalty being awarded and of red card being shown in either game on Sunday might be higher than it has been all season.
Intriguingly, this perpetually attacking City team have been awarded just 3 Premier League penalties so far this season – in fact, the Citizens have been awarded fewer penalties than they have given away themselves (4).
Brighton have conceded more spot kicks than other other team in the league this season, giving away 10 penalties in total during a calamitous campaign.
You can back a penalty to be awarded at the Amex Stadium in Brighton’s meeting with City at 11/5 with bet365.
Liverpool have been given 7 penalties in total in the Premier League this season, though they are the only team in the entire division yet to concede one in 2018/19. Wolves have given away just 3 penalties all season, though it’s worth noting that 2 of those were conceded away from Molineux.
If you think another spot kick is likely at Anfield this weekend, you can back one to be awarded at 7/2 with bet365.
A red card for any of the four teams involved in Sunday’s brace of Premier League title deciders would certainly set the cat among the pigeons, and potentially change the course of history for Man City and Liverpool.
The Citizens have had just 1 man sent off (Fabian Delph) all season in the Premier League, while Liverpool have had 3 men dismissed (Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner).
City’s opponents Brighton have had 4 players sent off in 2018/19 (Anthony Knockaert, Dale Stephens, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy), while just 1 of Wolves’ players was given his marching orders this term (Willy Boly).
On an emotionally charged afternoon, tempers will undoubtedly be shorter than normal, heightening the possibility of seeing a red card in either contest on Sunday.
You can back a red card to be shown at the Amex Stadium at 4/1 with bet365 and if you fancy a flutter on a dismissal at Anfield, bet365 have priced a penalty at 9/2.
Any Premier League title race that goes to the final day of the season immediately evokes memories of Sergio Aguero’s famous 94th championship clinching goal for Man City against QPR in 2012.
On Sunday, any member of Manchester City and Liverpool’s squads could conceivably etch their own names into footballing folklore with a similarly pivotal strike.
Both teams are packed to bursting with match-winning superstars and between them the clubs have plundered a staggering 178 goals between them this season.
Interestingly, just 13 or 14% of City’s 91 goals were scored after the 75th minute, though the Citizens’ have had little need for last gasp winners as the dominant team in most of their games this season.
Brighton are sure to dig the trenches in an attempt to avoid defeat on Sunday however, which could in turn increase the chances that a goal might take a longer time to arrive than usual. With that in mind, you can back at goal to be scored after 78:59 at the Amex Stadium at 5/6 with bet365.
Liverpool have been the Premier League’s most prolific team in the final 15 minute period of matches this season. Jurgen Klopp’s men have grown accustomed to rattling the net late on, scoring an impressive 24 or 27% of their total goals after the 75th minute in 2018/19.
It is interesting to note however, that Liverpool conceded their highest number of goals (5) during the same final 15-minute period of the game, and in total, the Reds shipped 45% of their goals in the last half an hour of their matches.
The chances of a potentially season-defining late goal at Anfield seem high then, and you can back a goal to be scored after 76:59 at 5/6 with bet365.
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