It will be an emotional game for plenty, not least Arsene Wenger, but there are good reasons to think the Arsenal legend won't finish up with a win, says Jamie Pacheco.
"And what about Huddersfield? Aren’t they fresh from two brilliant results? Isn’t their own confidence sky high? Some will suggest that they may relax a bit knowing they’ve done the hard work and are safe but Wagner doesn’t seem like the sort of man to let that happen."
Huddersfield v Arsenal
Sunday May 13 15:00
Wagner deserves the credit for brilliant escape
Remarkable. The hot favourites for the drop not only beat it but did so with a game to spare.
And that only tells half the story. That they secured the two points that kept them up thanks to back-to-back away draws at Manchester City and Chelsea over the past week is as impressive as them not being relegated.
David Wagner deserves most of the credit. He had very much a Championship-quality squad at his disposal and got the best out of them, making them extremely hard to beat and instilling an excellent team spirit within the camp.
The danger as ever in these situations is the dreaded second season syndrome. Next season with teams aware of what they're all about, Wagner will need new ideas, gameplans, systems and players. Assuming he doesn't jump ship and join Leicester, of course.
Thanks for the memories, Arsene
When I wrote my first Arsenal preview for betting.betfair back in 2006 Arsene Wenger was manager of Arsenal. And had been for a fair few years already. That he's still manager of Arsenal in 2018 is barely credible in this day and age so I feel quite honoured to be previewing his last ever match in charge of the Gunners.
People can say what they like about him but arguably only Sir Alex Ferguson has had as much of an impact on the Premier League as Wenger and that includes players, owners and anyone else who's been involved with this league since it began.
Sadly, his last season hasn't exactly gone to plan. They failed to win the Europa League and whereas they've been cavalier and entertaining at home of late, they've been awful on the road and have continued to fail to beat the biggest teams, home or away. Some would say you could have highlighted those two weaknesses every season for the past decade.
Should Arsenal be odd-on?
Sometimes you have to wonder about the logic behind some of the prices you see on offer. And one can only assume that Arsenal are the price that they are because it's Wenger's last game in charge. And the odds compilers seem to have got caught up in the idea that there's going to be happy ending here just because he deserves one. And that his players are going to be playing out of their skin to give him the best possible send-off.
I'm not so sure. Should a team who has failed to win a single away game in four-and-a-half months really be [1.61]? And it's not just the last month that has been like that. Opta tell us they've won just three away games all season. Opta also point out that they've actually lost 11 times on the road so maybe that huge price about Huddersfield isn't such a leap of faith after all.
And yes, they had a man sent off early doors at Leicester in mid-week but they were also already 1-0 down when it happened.
And what about Huddersfield? Aren't they fresh from two brilliant results? Isn't their own confidence sky high? Some will suggest that they may relax a bit knowing they've done the hard work and are safe but Wagner doesn't seem like the sort of man to let that happen.
All in all, there are plenty of reasons to think Wenger won't sign off in style so it's with a bit of regret that I have to recommend a lay of them.
Here's one of those conundrums. Huddersfield's long-term stats suggest we won't see both teams scoring in this match. After all, it's only happened in 39% of their home games so far this season. Furthermore, it hasn't happened in any of their last four home games, which ended 0-0, 0-2, 1-0 and 2-0. For good measure, it only happened in two of their last five away games. So lots of numbers suggesting we'll get at least one clean sheet here.
It's a pretty different story if you look at Arsenal's - 66% of their away games have seen both teams score and recent results have boosted those stats with all of the last five away games of theirs having goals at both ends. Furthermore, with both Laurent Koscielny out injured and the impressive Konstantinos Mavropanis now suspended you'd think the chances of a Huddersfield goal will have improved.
So how do we solve this riddle? The answer of course is price. If things look pretty level on a two-runner market then there's surely value in going with 'no' at 6/4 here.
'Young' (when are they going to stop calling him that?) Michael Oliver takes charge. He averages around 3.5 yellows a game and dishes out a red roughly once every six games.
Both teams have players who are no strangers to the ref's notebook and despite there notactually being much to play for here, if you're going to play the bookings markets, it might pay to go high.
Jamie's 2017/17 P and L
2 pts Lay Arsenal @ @ 1.61
1pt Back ‘no’ on both teams to score @ 6/4 Betfair Sportsbook