THE PREDICTOR: Curtain falls on season, Van Gaal

Leicester City beat the odds and left many with eggs on their face en route to writing history by winning the title. Tottenham Hotspur, their only challenger until last week, also turned tables on their fortunes and will finish second.

Leicester City beat the odds and left many with eggs on their face en route to writing history by winning the title. Tottenham Hotspur, their only challenger until last week, also turned tables on their fortunes and will finish second.

Last season’s champions Chelsea won another title: for the worst finishing by a champion in league history. At the other end of the table, Newcastle United and Norwich City joined Aston Villa in taking the subway to Championship.

So what do we have today? Yes, the battle for Champions League place. Cross city rivals Manchester United and Manchester City are battling it out for the final slot with Arsenal trying to avoid defeat and falling back to fourth place.

SWANSEA 2-1 MAn CITY 4pm
Manchester City have had such an indifferent form lately and with manager Manuel Pellegrini in his farewell game, this could all be too tough for City away to a rejuvenated Swansea City. City need just a point at Liberty Stadium to guarantee their place in Europe’s ultimate club competition. However, on their current form and without Captain Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva, City are not the kind to trust. Home win or draw.

MAN UTD 2-2 B’MOUTH 4pm
The beauty of football is in the drama. Manchester City might actually not need to set a foot to qualify for Champions League provided Bournemouth can do the job at Old Trafford where Louis van Gaal is probably having his final game.

With two games left, Manchester United only needed to beat West Ham in midweek and Bournemouth tomorrow to finish above their rivals, but they were badly exposed by the Hammers and now risk being humiliated by the Cherries, too. A home loss could see the Red Devils drop out of Europe altogether because eighth-placed Liverpool are only three points away. Draw.

CHELSEA 1-1 LEICESTER 4pm
The atmosphere at Stamford Bridge is bound to be carnivorous when Claudio Ranieri returns to a standing ovation. Oh, not only that, his Leicester City champions will be receiving a guard of honour from the immediate former champions – who ironically sealed the title for the new champions by holding off Tottenham Hotspur charge.

ARSENAL 2-2 VILLA 4pm
Last week, I warned that Aston Villa were down but kicks of dying cries hurt. It did. Newcastle failed to beat Villa and that result has taken them down. Now Arsenal need a point to avoid finishing fourth and guarantee automatic place in Champions League.

They can also finish above North London rivals Spurs with a win if other results go their way. However, it’s just never easy playing against a side that has nothing to play for. Aston Villa can turn out to be the wrong button to press on the final day of the season.

OTHER FIXTURES

West BROM 0-3 LIVERPOOL
WATFORD 1-2 SUNDERLAND
STOKE 4-1 West HAM
SAINTS 2-0 PALACE
NEWCASTLE 0-4 SPURS
EVERTON 2-1 NORWICH
LIVERPOOL 2-1 CHELSEA
WEST HAM 2-0 MAN UTD

 

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