Fulham v Newcastle
Sunday 23 May, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports
Cottagers at a crossroads
Fulham are facing up to life back in the Championship and given all of the speculation linking Scott Parker with other jobs, this could be his final game in charge of the Cottagers.
A couple of months ago, this fixture looked like it could be a final day relegation shoot-out. However, when it comes to it, Fulham are already down - 11 points adrift of 17th - and Newcastle are comfortable in 15th.
Since their shock victory at Anfield on March 7th, Parker's men have played nine time, losing seven and drawing the other two. One of those draws did come at Old Trafford in the week, but it's too little, too late.
As for the team news, the manger has stated that he doesn't expect any of the club's seven loanees to still be at the club next season, which could indicate that he will leave most of them out, and take a closer look at what he has to work with in the Championship. On that basis, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ademola Lookman might not feature.
Bruce yet to win over the Toon Army
Newcastle ground out a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United on Wednesday, completing their fourth victory in seven outings. Unfortunately for Steve Bruce, he still isn't popular among the fans.
It's hard to know what the future holds for Bruce, but he seems to remain in good-standing with Mike Ashley, so unless the club is sold, he will almost certainly be in charge come August.
One man who Newcastle fans really want to still be at St James' next season is Arsenal loanee, Joe Willock. He has scored in each of his last six appearances, and the first three of those were from the bench.
Callum Wilson remains sidelined for the Magpies, and with slight doubts over both Saint-Maximin and Joelinton, Dwight Gayle or Andy Carroll could be afforded a rare start.
The hosts are the 2.186/5 favourites ahead of this fixture and that is somewhat of a surprise to me. The have shown little in most of their matches of late, and with rotation likely, I wouldn't go anywhere near that price.
Looking at the other options, the visitors are 3.412/5 and the draw is 3.953/1. The last time the Magpies played away from home they scored four goals in a 4-2 victory, and it's actually seven points from a possible nine on the road of late.
Given the flood of goals from the Toon in recent weeks, I certainly think that the 3.412/5 is a shade overpriced here. Fulham have lost their last five at Craven Cottage - scoring just one goal across the five.
The final day of the season has historically been higher-scoring than the season average, and that is why Over 2.5 Goals is as short as 1.75/7. Unders is trading at around the 2.3811/8 mark.
I do think that there will be three goals or more, but I wouldn't want to back it at the current price as it just doesn't have any juice in it.
Three of Newcastle's last four away from home have seen Over 2.5 backers collect, and the same can be said of two of Fulham's last four at home.
As stated though, the odds in this market are about right, and I'm just not tempted to play.
Opta tells us that Newcastle have won their final league game of the season in five of the last six campaigns, though they did lose 3-1 against Liverpool on MD38 last season. Therefore my first selection in my Sportsbook Bet Builder is a Newcastle victory.
Given Joe Willock's form, my second pick is him to score any time and extend his record to seven goals in as many games.
I very much doubt that this will be a feisty affair, so the third selection is Under 30 Booking Points. Finally, I am going to chance Jonjo Shelvey for Shot on Target, in the hope that he has his shooting boots on this weekend.
All of that adds up to a massive 61/1.