Everton v Man City (5.30pm SKY)
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here’s a good reason why all the football matches kick off at the same time on the final day of the season. It’s to stop teams playing tactically.
However, it could be even more appropriate this weekend to have the same kick-offs as the next 72 hours could easily resolve the destination of the title.
The way the fixture list has fallen gives Manchester City a great chance to put even more pressure on Liverpool.
It’s not as if there isn’t enough pressure on Liverpool already after they went from 1/7 favourites to 11/10 in just 90 minutes last weekend when they were beaten by Chelsea at Anfield.
Man City get the first blow in on Saturday and can move to the top of the table with a win against Everton (5.30pm, SKY) – they’d be level on points with Liverpool but top courtesy of a better goal difference which could yet prove crucial.
Chelsea are at home to Norwich on Sunday and Liverpool don’t play until Monday when three points against Crystal Palace is by no means guaranteed given the resurgent form of Palace who are now incredibly in 11th spot.
So, is there an advantage in going first ? There is if you win (of course) but it’s similar to a three-way play off in a golf tournament. Can your player step up to the mark and handle the pressure?
Everton look to have missed out on a Champions League spot but they play before Arsenal this weekend so need a win to keep in that race.
More conundrums than on Countdown.
And to make things even harder, Everton have a great recent record against City at Goodison – winning the last four encounters, and, of course, Everton would do their Merseyside rivals and neighbours a huge favour if they can conjure up another victory:
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Max last 10 only)
Oct 2013 Premier Man City 3-1 Everton
Mar 2013 Premier Everton 2-0 Man City
Dec 2012 Premier Man City 1-1 Everton
Jan 2012 Premier Everton 1-0 Man City
Sep 2011 Premier Man City 2-0 Everton
May 2011 Premier Everton 2-1 Man City
Dec 2010 Premier Man City 1-2 Everton
Mar 2010 Premier Man City 0-2 Everton
Jan 2010 Premier Everton 2-0 Man City
Apr 2009 Premier Everton 1-2 Man City
The match is expected to see the return to action for Everton captain Phil Jagielka after a 10-week absence with a hamstring injury and David Silva has been named in the City squad after recovering from an ankle injury.
The bottom line though is that Man City have been presented another chance at the title that surely they didn’t expect getting.
Man City to be winning at both HT and FT is the call with Star Sports at around 13/8.
RECOMMENDED BET (scale of 1-10 points)
10 points MAN CITY HT/FT at around 13/8 with Star Sports