It was a strange old week for this column last time out, which was not aided by that last-game-of-the-season chaos that has a habit of unfolding.
If you backed Tottenham to beat Leicester by a scoreline of 5-4….well, enjoy your holiday in the Maldives! We certainly expected Spurs to win by a more comfortable margin than that, and our -1 handicap selection ultimately cost us the acca win, as did Charlton’s failure to even draw with Shrewsbury in their League One play-off semi-final.
The fat lady is clearing her throat in readiness for the conclusion to the European club campaign….we’d better move fast with this week’s football accumulator tips!
|Chelsea vs Manchester United||Under 2.5 Goals||8/15|
|Juventus vs Hellas Verona||Juventus -2 Handicap||4/7|
|Celta Vigo vs Levante||Levante +1.50 Asian Handicap||2/5|
|Leganes vs Real Betis||Betis to Win Either Half||4/6|
|Toronto vs Orlando City||Orlando +1.50 Asian Handicap||8/15|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||7.62/1|
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Under 2.5 Goals
According to the recent history of FA Cup finals, there is a 50% chance that the 2018 edition won’t be a goal-laden affair: of the last ten, only five have witnessed three or more goals inside the opening 90 minutes.
And when you add Jose Mourinho into the equation, it is fair to suggest that goals are unlikely to flow.
We’ve seen it this season already in the 0-0 draw at Anfield and the 0-1 and 0-2 defeats at Chelsea and Tottenham respectively; when he is playing away from home against elite opposition, Mourinho plays a no risks, conservative style of football that sends traditionalist fans of the club around the bend with rage.
And it is probably worth noting that Chelsea scored one or fewer goals in seven of their last ten Premier League games; including four in five since Antonio Conte switched to a 3-5-1-1 system.
The eyes of the footballing world will be on Wembley Stadium at Saturday teatime; it’s just a shame that the action is unlikely to match some expectation.
Juventus vs Hellas Verona: Juventus -2 Handicap
Napoli may have pushed the Old Lady close for the title this season but Juve secured their seventh successive title with a draw away to Roma last week.
Verona’s fortunes are quite the opposite, confined to relegation a fortnight ago, they’ll be plying their trade in Serie B next term.
Losing six on the spin and shipping 14 goals won’t inspire much confidence travelling west to Turin and there could be a carnival atmosphere with the goals to match. The champions are available at 8/15 with a -2 handicap, more than achievable if Higuain, Dybala et al turn on the style.
Add in to the mix the probable announcement from Gigi Buffon that he will hang up his gloves after this one, he’ll no doubt be looking to do so with one last clean sheet.
Celta Vigo vs Levante: Levante +1.50 Asian Handicap
There is, of course, the fear that Levante will be suffering with the classic ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ type scenario after their astonishing 5-4 win over Barcelona last time out.
But even so, it’s not as if their form has just suddenly appeared from nowhere. In their last five alone they have beaten Barca, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, amongst others, and their confidence simply could not be higher.
As for Celta Vigo, it would be fair to say that the opposite is true. One win in ten, and 1-6 and 1-4 defeats within their last trio of outings, does not bode well.
Leganes vs Real Betis: Betis to Win Either Half
Opportunity knocks for Real Betis, who could finish fifth in La Liga – and jump into the Europa League slot – if they beat Leganes and Villarreal lose to Real Madrid.
It’s certainly not absurd, with Betis in decent form of late having taken points off Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
Leganes appear to have essentially gone on holiday rather prematurely. They can’t go down, and so have been on easy street since their top-flight status was secured. They’ve lost four of their last five and shipped two or more goals in each of them.
Toronto vs Orlando City: Orlando +1.50 Asian Handicap
It’s quite curious to see Toronto quoted as such a strong odds-on favourite here.
This will be their fourth game in just fourteen days – an unforgiving schedule for any team, and against Orlando they will have to make do without their talisman Sebastian Giovinco, who was red carded in their defeat to New England.
Orlando are being written off despite embarking on a run of W6 D0 L1, with that defeat coming against an excellent Atlanta outfit. The Florida side should be able to welcome back Jonathan Spector and Scott Sutter in defence too.