So this is it. The final set of games in the Premier League. Emotional. We also see the Play Offs across the Football League taking place and we have a treble of games where we can see both teams scoring…
Peterborough United v Leyton Orient – 5.15pm Saturday
Both teams to score odds – 3/4 with BetVictor
The Football League has reached a massively exciting time as the Play Off stages have arrived. Here we have the Semi Finals for League One as Leyton Orient who finished third travel to Peterborough who grabbed the final spot in sixth. These games are always lively and I expect this one to be no different.
Peterborough looked destined for an automatic spot after their incredible start to the season which saw them unbeaten for so long and drifting away from rivals at the top. Unfortunately they suffered a dip in form which they never recovered from and left them 20 points away from an automatic place. Promotion and relegation is a regular thing at London Road and the Posh have plenty of experience to get a lead in this Semi Final. The Posh have scored in each of their last seven home league games verses Leyton Orient, and a goal should be a minimum expectation on Saturday.
Leyton Orient hugely overachieved this season and promotion to the Championship would be their biggest achievement in generations. Considering the size of the club and wage bill it is a miracle that the O’s were top of the league for so long. Orient have more than enough quality to beat Peterborough and should certainly score considering they have found the back of the net at least once in all but one of their 24 away games this season. A truly mesmerizing stat. Kevin Lisbie has netted four goals in his last three appearances for the O’s, so watch out for the veteran striker to get another this weekend.
Southampton v Manchester United – 3.00pm Sunday
Both teams to score odds- 4/7 with BetVictor
These two sides have had very different sort of seasons compared to their fans expectations on where they should finish, however they have ended up side by side in the table with Southampton occupying eighth and Manchester United, one place higher in seventh.
Manchester United will be managed for the final time by Ryan Giggs after taking a caretaker position in the interim after the sacking of David Moyes. Van Gaal is coming into Old Trafford after the World Cup, where he is managing Holland and Giggs will want to sign off his brief tenure with a victory. The Red Devils have scored in 83% of their away games this season and now the Welsh manager has come in and taken the hand break off, there could be a few goals at both ends.
When these two met at Old Trafford back in October it finished 1-1, and I am predicting both teams scoring once more. Despite being safe in the league for some time and being too many points off United to overtake, the Saints have kept performances to a high standard and are unbeaten in their previous three league games having won their last two. The destruction in their last game at St Mary’s of Everton in a 2-0 win, tells you all you need to know about Mauricio Pochettino’s motivation for Sunday.
Fulham v Crystal Palace – 3.00pm Sunday
Both teams to score odds – 4/7 with BetVictor
Fulham are already relegated after being torn to shreds by Stoke City last weekend. Crystal Palace on the other hand are one of this season’s success stories with Tony Pulis being seen as manager of the season in some quarters. Pulis has made survival look comfortable for the team which looked destined for 20th place under Ian Holloway.
Felix Magath wrote an open letter to the fans earlier in the week apologising for the dire and dismal display against Stoke, promising to fight back next season as well as promising a much better performance against Crystal Palace in their final game. Almost three quarters of games that the Black & Whites are involved in, there have been three goals or more and with the pressure off there may even be more on Sunday. The Cottagers have scored in all but one home game this season and I don’t expect that to change.
Fulham have conceded the most goals in the division by a country mile and Puncheon and Chamakh will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of finding the net a few times. Confidence within the Palace squad could not be higher, and away from Selhurst Park, the Eagles have registered victories in their last three matches. Tony Pulis will want to finish the season with the same intensity and an important win. Expect them to do so against a hapless Fulham side.