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The Premier League title will be decided at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford on Sunday. Chris Hutcheon previews the season finale.
There’s an inevitable tension when the Premiership’s denouement is played out on the season’s last day but for supporters expecting a thrilling climax to the campaign in which the title advantage changes hands several times during the final 90 minutes, look set to be disappointed.
Admittedly, only a point separates Chelsea and Manchester United, ahead of the Premiership’s 38th and final hurdle but the two chief protagonists both face home games that on paper are straightforward enough to eliminate any excitement from Sunday’s finale.
The Blues occupy the box seat, holding a one-point lead and with the title effectively theirs to lose, they are just 1/10 with Betfred to clinch top spot. A victory at home to Wigan, a result chalked up by Paddy Power at 1/8 would confirm them as champions and sadly for United, who are now out to 7/1 (Totesport) to land an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premiership crown, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are likely to win at a canter.
Naturally, the latter is the most appealing of that trio and with that in mind, punters might fancy Stan James’ 7/1 chalked against the Blues notching three times without reply, especially as less specific bets such as a lead for Ancelotti’s troops at the interval and final whistle (1/3, Partybets) command much skinnier quotes.
Meanwhile, looking as it did, like a potential spanner in the works for the Londoners, Sunday’s trip to Liverpool ended up propelling Chelsea towards glory and the man that helped them on their way, if you discount Steven Gerrard of course, was Didier Drogba, who is 9/4 (Stan James) to follow up his opener in that one with the first one here. The Ivorian is 8/13 with the same firm just to get on the scoresheet but he may be worth doubling up with Frank Lampard; that pair 29/20 at William Hill to strike at any stage.
For their part, Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops should at least ensure Chelsea need a victory. The defending champions are 1/8 with Victor Chandler to overcome Betdaq’s 20/1 outsiders Stoke and like the Blues they should comfortably triumph.
Bet365 match their quote for the league leaders by also marking 4/9 against a United success by at least two goals but it’s worth considering a winning margin of at least three at Old Trafford (11/10, Paddy Power), where Wayne Rooney is 8/13 courtesy of Stan James to add to his tally at some point.
Elsewhere, Ladbrokes offer 2/5 for a Spurs victory at Burnley and away wins are also on the cards for Manchester City (8/13, Victor Chandler) and Liverpool (4/7, 888Sport), who head to West Ham and Hull respectively.
Meanwhile, Everton are a home banker at 3/10 (Betdaq) as they host a Portsmouth side with one eye on next week’s FA Cup Final, Aston Villa are priced at 4/7 by Betfred as they entertain Blackburn and at 9/4 with Totesport, Wolves’ home clash with Sunderland offers the best chance of a draw.
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