BEN CLEMINSON AND BILL ESDAILE WITH THE WEEKEND’S TOP WAGERS
HAVING gone from top gear to reverse in just over a week, Liverpool have been overtaken by Manchester City in the title race, and they look to have no chance of catching Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Only a West Ham win at the Etihad will let Liverpool back in but, as Star Sports’ odds of 18/1 suggest, even the most optimistic of Liverpool fans have better places to invest their money.
The Reds would still need to beat Newcastle to stand a chance – hence why they are now out to 20/1 to pull off a final day shock.
Their incredible 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park didn’t so much as dent their chances of lifting a first Premier League as write them off completely.
Crystal Palace’s fortunes have flipped since the appointment of Tony Pulis and the soaring Eagles can finish no lower than 11th place.
They can cap off a fine return to the top flight with a victory across town at Fulham.
The Cottagers might not be departing for the Championship had they shown half of the fight and spirit of Pulis’ men.
None of Martin Jol, Rene Meulensteen or Felix Magath could stop the rot and there is nothing to suggest that they will get the better of a Palace side that has claimed 16 of the last 21 points available to them.
Back the visitors at 7/4 with Paddy Power.
Many teams have underperformed this year but there is no disputing the biggest failures.
Manchester United could yet finish in sixth and qualify for the Europa League but that would add a thin layer of gloss to what has been a disastrous campaign.
To have a chance of leapfrogging Tottenham into the European places United need Spurs to slip up at home to Aston Villa and they must beat Southampton at St Mary’s.
However, I can’t see the Red Devils keeping up their side of the bargain.
The Saints have had a fantastic season and any doubts over the future of their highly prized manager and England players can wait for now.
They come into this game on the back of successive victories against Everton and Swansea City and can enjoy the rare distinction of facing United as pre-match favourites.
At 6/4 with Star Sports I fancy Mauricio Pochettino to oversee a 16th win of the season in what could be his last game in charge.
The anticlimactic conclusion to proceedings at the top of the table is mirrored at the bottom, where Cardiff, like Fulham, are already down, and Norwich need more than a miracle to avoid joining the doomed pair.
Sunderland’s incredible form has condemned their rivals.
After a draw at Manchester City, followed by straight wins against Chelsea, Cardiff, Manchester United and West Brom, they are safe and, at 5/4 with Paddy Power, can sign off with another triumph at home to Swansea.
The Swans’ inconsistency has made for an uncomfortable season and there is little reason to suspect they can ruin the Mackems’ party, having claimed just one win on the road since November.
Paddy Power offer about 15/1 for a treble on our three selections this week.
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Palace to beat Fulham at 7/4 with Paddy Power
Southampton to beat Man United at 6/4 with Star Sports
Sunderland to beat Swansea at 5/4 with Paddy Power