Chelsea v Blackburn, 15:00
Both sides in this one are well insulated against change, with enough of a gap above and below them that nothing can really come of this encounter in terms of the result. Of course, with a Champions League final to compete in the home side will have a good reason for playing hard to impress the boss, but injuries and suspensions mean a fair few in blue will already be confident of their place.
Chelsea’s David Luiz and Gary Cahill face a race to be fit for the Champions League final and John Obi Mikel is unlikely to be risked as he recovers from a knee injury. Blackburn’s Bradley Orr is out after having surgery on his Achilles tendon. Paul Robinson and David Dunn are doubts, but Gael Givet has been cleared to play after a scare at Wigan. I like the 10/3 Bet365 have on Fernando Torres scoring the first goal of the game, with the £50m man finally hitting his straps.
Everton v Newcastle, 15:00
The lowest Newcastle can finish this season is fifth, where they currently lie, and that would be enough for a Europa League place, but things are moving quickly at St James Park and it could be that by sundown the Magpies are looking forward to Champions League football, or maybe just qualifiers. Everton are allegedly motivated to finish well be Liverpool being below them, but have enough internationals that this game may suffer with fitness in mind.
Everton could welcome back Leighton Baines, Phil Neville and Darron Gibson from injury, but Victor Anichebe and Jack Rodwell remain out. Newcastle defender Danny Simpson has been ruled out with an ankle problem, while Leon Best has a thigh strain. Aside from his long-term absentees, manager Alan Pardew has no other injury worries. Newcastle are stuttering a tiny bit, but I fancy them to win 2-1 today, at 11/1 with Bet365.
Manchester City v QPR, 15:00
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but this game could be important in deciding the eventual destination of the Premier League trophy, as well as the fate of Queen Park Rangers Football Club, both short- and long-term. It is thought in the press that if QPR were to be relegated they would end up in trouble due to a massive wage bill and limited turnover, so there is as much riding on this for them as there may be for City.
Manchester City are at full strength with Mario Balotelli potentially returning to the substitutes’ bench after missing out completely against Newcastle. Queens Park Rangers midfielder Samba Diakite is still unavailable because of illness, Shaun Derry is nursing a dead leg and Akos Buzsaky is also a doubt with a hamstring problem. I think City will win, by a 2-goal margin, at 10/3 with Ladbrokes and secure the title.
Norwich v Aston Villa, 15:00
Villa have dragged themselves to safety just about, but their boss is still under pressure and an away win on the last day of the season would certainly ease that a bit. Norwich manager Paul Lambert has an interesting summer ahead of him, where he will find out how much support he’s getting to turn the Canaries into a regular at this level, but his hand is strengthened by the fact he has done so well this term and could be a subject of transfer interest himself.
Norwich left-back Adam Drury is a doubt for Sunday’s game, with Zak Whitbread, Marc Tierney and Daniel Ayala all ruled out. Aston Villa forwards Gabby Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey could join Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann on the sidelines. Alan Hutton is out with an ankle injury so James Collins could start, with Carlos Cuellar moved to right back in what may be his farewell appearance. I think we could see a 1-1 here, best priced at 67/10 with BetFair.
Stoke v Bolton, 15:00
Bolton need to win if they are to have any chance at survival, that much is well-known, but with QPR above them away at Manchester City the Trotters know that in fact a win will almost certainly reverse the situation for them. However, Stoke are not an easy side to beat and have only lost four games this season at home, so despite their expected fatigue the Potters will put up a very decent fight.
Stoke defender Marc Wilson is a doubt but Andy Wilkinson and Jermaine Pennant are expected to overcome respective groin and hamstring injuries. Bolton manager Owen Coyle is hopeful that the recently injured Nigel Reo-Coker and ill Mark Davies and Darren Pratley will be available. Gretar Steinsson remains sidelined with a thigh problem. Bolton are on at 9/2 with Ladbrokes to win by a 1-goal margin, and probably relegate QPR.
Sunderland v Manchester United, 15:00
While Sir Alex Ferguson has been very keen to talk about Manchester City this week he is now in the position of needing to beat a Sunderland team with a top motivational manager just to have hope of winning the title. For all the jokes about the number of former United players in the Sunderland squad I expect Martin O’Neill to demand nothing less that perfection from his players as he seeks to get involved in the title race by proxy.
Sunderland’s Wes Brown has returned to training but this game has come too soon for him.Kieran Richardson and Sebastian Larsson are out, but Titus Bramble will again be included. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Chris Smalling will miss this match, as will Danny Welbeck. Ladbrokes have 10/3 on United winning by 2 goals, and I can see maybe a 3-1 victory as they push for more.
Swansea v Liverpool, 15:00
More than thirty points separate Liverpool from the top two, and whichever way Kenny cuts it that simply will not do for the fans, or board. Swansea have a team that cost less to construct than Liverpool paid for the useless right foot of Stewart Downing and have only eight less points than their rivals, exposing not just how fooling some of the summer deals were, but how well Brendan Rodgers has done.
Swansea have no fresh injury concerns, with Leon Britton is likely to return to the starting line-up after shaking off a knee problem, but Kemy Agustien and Ferrie Bodde remain out. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard missed the midweek win over Chelsea with a minor back problem and may again be left out ahead of Euro 2012 while Maxi Rodriguez is expected to start in what could be his last match for the Reds. You can get 5/1 with BlueSquare on Luis Suarez scoring the first goal of the game, and rounding off a tough season in style.
Tottenham v Fulham, 15:00
Spurs have gone from entertaining us all on the pitch to being a joke off it this term, the latest gem being that Benoit Assou-Ekotto feels he may need to leave to play in the Champions League, despite being one of the weakest players and main reasons Tottenham are struggling this year. With Chelsea playing in the final of the Champions League Spurs could finish fourth and end up in the Europa, and we all know Harry hates that cup.
Tottenham are without both Danny Rose and Benoit Assou-Ekotto is injured, so William Gallas could play at left-back, and Scott Parker is a doubtful due to an Achilles problem. Fulham will be without Clint Dempsey, Bryan Ruiz, Dickson Etuhu and Steve Sidwell. There is a best price of 13/2 with Bet365 on a 2-1 Spurs win, if you fancy it.
West Brom v Arsenal, 15:00
With the Baggies set for an emotional farewell today, as their boss leaves to be slaughtered for failing to make an average England team into Barcelona, Arsenal will rock up to the Hawthorns confident they can get the win they need in order to secure third place in that table. The Gunners have the points at present, so if they win nothing Newcastle or Spurs behind them do will matter in that respect.
Chris Brunt has had his tonsils removed and is unavailable for Brom manager Roy Hodgson’s final match in charge of the club, Paul Scharner will make his final Albion appearance, while Peter Odemwingie and winger Jerome Thomas are doubtful. Arsenal could have winger Theo Walcott back earlier than expected from a hamstring injury. Bacary Sagna has undergone an operation on his broken leg. You can get 10/3 on Robin Van Persie scoring the opener in potentially his last game for Arsenal.
Wigan v Wolves, 15:00
A noticeable sigh of relief accompanied the eventually fairly comfortable win over Blackburn that secured Wigan Premiership football for another year, but you do wonder if the time will come for Roberto Martinez to move on and up from a side he has managed for some time. Wolves are in a state of disarray, with players even coming out and admitting to not having heard of the new man in charge, and this game will hopefully provide no further embarrassments for the men in old gold.
David Jones is Wigan’s only fitness concern, Roberto Martinez otherwise having a full squad available. Wolves defender Christophe Berra and winger Michael Kightly are doubts with respective calf and groin strains. Sebastien Bassong, Kevin Foley, Matt Jarvis and David Davis face fitness tests. BetFair have a very friendly 41/5 on a 2-0 Wigan win.