English Premier League

Man City v West Ham: Back Ward-Prowse in 50/1 Bet Builder

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola can guide City to another title

Dave Tindall is backing Manchester City to claim title glory but suggests there could be drama before victory is sealed...

Betfair Premier League Superboost

In a weekend where the title is heading to either Manchester or North London, both Pep Guardiola's and Mikel Arteta's side must turn up on Sunday, just incase the other does win. City know the title is theirs with a win, whilst Arsenal are relying on West Ham to do them a favour and any dropped points from City means the Gunners can win the title with a win over Everton.

Betfair have decided to get involved in the title race, and offer a Superboost across both title defining matches, with both the West Ham and Everton GK each to make 3+ saves, now priced at 1/12.00 (was [1/4!]).

Interestingly, only Man Utd's goalkeeper has a higher save ratio than Everton's (74%) and West Ham's (73%), with Jordan Pickford (3.2) and Alphone Areola (4.3) averaging over the 3+ barrier in their Premier League games this season.

Both 'keepers are set to be very busy on Sunday, as not only do they come up against sides who need to win, they come up against sides who are in red hot form in front of goal.

Man City are averaging 7.6 shots on target per home game in 2024, firing 36 on target across their last three games. They also lead the league overall this season with 7.2 per game.

Arsenal meanwhile, have managed 3+ shots on target in all eight of their home games in 2024, averaging 7.1 per game since the turn of the year.

Expect Pickford and Areola to be in the firing line on Sunday.

Manchester City v West Ham
Sunday May 19, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

City on the brink

This looks all too familiar. When Arsenal went to Manchester City on the final day of March and came away with a 0-0 draw, debate raged as to whether that was a great point for the Gunners or an opportunity missed.

There were still plenty of potential plot twists to come. Except when it comes to City they just don't exist. When Arsenal blinked in a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, that was the opening Pep's men needed and they've continued their relentless march towards a sixth title in seven seasons with eight straight victories.

Arsenal have gone blow for blow since the Villa loss but City's 2-0 win over the Gunners' North London rivals, Spurs, on Tuesday night means the champions are on the brink again. Two points clear, if they bank all three points here they're lifting the trophy once more.

It means Arsenal could get to 89 points and not win the title. Liverpool fans, who watched their team amass 92 (2022) and 97 (2019) and still finish second to City will have little sympathy.

Final game for Moyes

David Moyes got to wave goodbye to the West Ham fans on a positive note after his team played out their final home game of the campaign with a 3-1 win over Luton last Saturday.

And due to other results in midweek, the Hammers' final league position is already set in stone. It's a five-point gap to the teams above them while they're four ahead of Brighton and Bournemouth. After some highs and lows this season, West Ham will finish ninth.

It makes them the subject of that classic debate: will Moyes' men be mentally on the beach or play with a carefree abandon that produces moments of danger. They certainly have the flair players to pull something out of the bag with the pressure off.

In the extremely lopsided match market, Man City are just 1/121.08 to get the win they need, with West Ham 20/121.00 and The Draw 12/113.00

City closing in but history suggests a twist

While everyone is handing them the title already, City's players have been quick to remind us that they almost blew it against another team in claret and blue two seasons ago.

City knew failure to beat Aston Villa at the Etihad on the final day would give Liverpool the chance to snatch the title and the trophy looked to be heading to Merseyside when the visitors moved into a shock 2-0 lead. Stung into action, the hosts scored thee goals in an incredible five-minute burst to turn it around.

That's surely a one-off though. Well, maybe not. On the final day in 2019, City were in the same position again when they travelled to Brighton: needing a win to keep the door shut on Liverpool. They went behind in that one too before striking back with four goals to rack up 98 points to Liverpool's 97.

Perhaps the tone was originally set by Agueroooo City, who trailed QPR in injury-time before that incredible finish in 2011-12.

In short, history says City get this done - perhaps convincingly so - but there may be value in backing them to suffer a wobble before the inevitable plays out.

If we're going down that route we may as well milk it for full drama and envisage James Ward-Prowse curling in a free-kick or netting from a penalty after referee John Brooks shows he's not afraid to make the big decision by pointing to the spot.

Remember, though, this will be a minor blip and City get it done. That scenario of Ward-Prowse to score first in a Man City victory is attractively priced at 50/151.00.

I'll add in another similar scenario and the other obvious West Ham player to induce panic is Jarrod Bowen.

Whereas many of the Premier League's leading frontmen have a home and away bias when it comes to scoring - Cole Palmer 16 out of 22 at Stamford Bridge, Alexander Isak 14 out of 20 at St James' Park and Mo Salah 13 out of 18 at Anfield - Bowen has an 8-8 home and away split.

Bowen has scored at Liverpool, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Newcastle this season so loves going to the big grounds. He's 26/127.00 to open the scoring before City strike back to win.

Now read Jones Knows Notebook: Back 10/1 & 20/1 Over 7.5 goals wagers on final day

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Dave's P/L for 2023/24

Staked: 47pts

Returned: 28.9pts

P/L: -18.1pts

2022/2023 P/L: +£16.79
2021/2022 P/L: +£8.69
2020/2021 P/L: +£3.06

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