Premier League Tip Sheet: Back Saints to condemn United to more failure

Will Mauricio Pochettino's Saints beat Manchester United?
Will Mauricio Pochettino's Saints beat Manchester United?

With all 10 of this Sunday's Premier League games kicking off simultaneously we've given Mike Norman the tough task of recommending a wager in the seven non-TV games, most of which have little riding on them...

"United’s record against top-half clubs this season meanwhile is woeful - the Red Devils have won just three of 17 games when facing a side situated in the top 10 of the table."

Recommended Bet: Back Southampton to Win @ 2.6613/8

Cardiff 8.27/1 v Chelsea 1.4740/85; The Draw 5.04/1

Cardiff are relegated; Chelsea will finish in the top three but can't win the title. So this game has nothing riding on it whatsoever.

Professional pride I hear you say. Maybe. The chance - in Cardiff's case - to avoid the wooden spoon. Fair shout. But the honest truth is that we haven't got a clue how each side will approach this game, who will line-up, what their attitude will be etc.

And this is pretty much the case in all seven of Sunday's non-televised final day fixtures.

What we do know however is that Chelsea are very well organised defensively regardless of who Jose Mourinho selects, and that Cardiff are relatively low scorers. Opta tell us that the Bluebirds have failed to score in more games than any other Premier League side this season (19), while the Blues have kept the most clean sheets (18).

Backing a Chelsea win without conceding has to be the call.

Recommended Bet: Back Chelsea Win to Nil @ 3.02/1

Fulham 2.6613/8 v Crystal Palace 2.8615/8; The Draw 3.55

Another relegated club against one that can't move up or down the table regardless of Sunday's result, so again, we're very much in the dark as to how this game will be approached.

Crystal Palace were brilliant on Monday night when coming from 0-3 down to draw with Liverpool and it would be just typical of them to surprise us one more time. Not that beating Fulham is regarded as a surprise now, but when the Eagles were trading as red hot favourites to be relegated not many people gave them any chance of picking up more than a few wins this term.

Tony Pulis' men have a poor recent record against the Cottagers, and a bit of a quirky Opta stat informs us that they've failed to win any of their last nine Premier League games to be played on a Sunday.

Fulham will want to give their fans something to smile about before dropping down to the Championship but I can see Palace being a difficult side to break down. We usually see plenty of goals on the last day of the season but I'm happy to back a low-scoring encounter here.

Recommended Bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.26/5

Hull 3.953/1 v Everton 2.111/10; The Draw 3.613/5

Hull could finish the season as high as 12th should they beat Everton and other results go their way, but failure to win could see the finish just one place above the relegation zone. Having said that, they'd have taken the latter if it had been offered to them last August.

The Toffees have been magnificent this term under very impressive boss Roberto Martinez. Seamus Coleman has arguably established himself as the best right-back in the Premier League while we now know that Ross Barkley is a world class midfielder in the making.

You sense that Martinez won't let his side slack for the trip to the KC Stadium, and with a possible mid-table finish on the cards for the Tigers then this game - more than others this weekend - has the potential to be played at a decent tempo with both sets of players giving 100%.

If that's the case then Everton look a tad short to take all three points given their current form. True, Hull have lost five of their last eight league games on home soil, but Martinez's men have lost three of their last four including disappointing defeats to Crystal Palace and Southampton.

It's a tough one to call this so we'll go for the stalemate.

Recommended Bet: Back The Draw @ 3.613/5

Norwich 4.47/2 v Arsenal 1.910/11; The Draw 4.03/1

Like the other two clubs we now know to be relegated, Norwich's decision to sack their manager didn't work out and the Canaries will be playing Championship football next season. You have to wonder what frame of mind they'll be in for this game.

Arsenal have once against qualified for the Champions League and next week they could lift their first piece of silverware for nine years when they face Hull City in the FA Cup final.

In contrast to Norwich, Arsene Wenger's men will be on a high and whatever side the boss fields they will be doing their very best to try and impress and win a Wembley starting place. I believe that's all the incentive the Gunners need for this trip to Carrow Road and they rate a decent bet to take all three points.

Opta tell us that prior to last season's defeat at the home of Norwich, Arsenal had gone 12 games in all competitions without losing away to the Canaries. With such contrasting moods in the respective camps - one on a high, one on a low - I fully expect an away win on Sunday afternoon.

Recommended Bet: Back Arsenal to Win @ 1.910/11

Southampton 2.6613/8 v Man Utd 2.8615/8; The Draw 3.613/5

Another match with little riding on it. Ok, United can qualify for the Europa League if they win and Tottenham lost at home to Aston Villa but my gut feeling is that the Red Devils don't care one bit if they're not in Europe next season. In fact, I'd wager that given the choice, they'd rather not be in it.

Ryan Giggs fielded a much changed side at home to Hull in midweek including giving debuts to youngsters James Wilson and Tom Lawrence, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the United boss does something similar at St Mary's.

Southampton on the other hand should be at full strength from the men available to them, and with plenty of players in their starting line-up still pushing for a World Cup place I can see Mauricio Pochettino's men winning this game.

The Saints have won back-to-back league games without conceding and they've hit the back of the net 12 times in their last four home games. United's record against top-half clubs this season meanwhile is woeful - the Red Devils have won just three of 17 games when facing a side situated in the top 10 of the table.

Recommended Bet: Back Southampton to Win @ 2.6613/8 (best bet)

Sunderland 2.3411/8 v Swansea 3.55/2; The Draw 3.412/5

Sunderland arguably have more momentum than any other side in the Premier League and you can just see them going out and completing a remarkable end to the season by beating Swansea.

So fingers crossed that Gus Poyet's men haven't been partying too hard then!

To take seven points from away games at Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United, and back it up with two easy home wins, is an incredible achievement by the Black Cats. They'll have to overcome a poor record against Swansea to keep that run going however as Opta tell us that Sunderland have won just one of their last 11 league games against the Welsh outfit.

But such is the form of Poyet's men it's impossible to oppose them here, especially given the form of Garry Monk's men away from home. The Swans have won just one of their last dozen league games on the road, that coming against bang out of form Newcastle.

Recommended Bet: Back Sunderland to Win @ 2.3411/8

West Brom 2.1211/10 v Stoke 3.814/5; The Draw 3.65

West Brom's Premier League status was confirmed when Sunderland won in midweek, though defeat here and a victory for Norwich would mean that the Baggies would survive only on goal difference. I'm not sure they'd be happy with that.

I can see Pepe Mel's men going out for the win here so that there's no chance they can finish on level points with a relegated side, and if that's the case then this game should be an entertaining encounter with plenty of goals.

Stoke have done this column some great favours in the last few months - no fewer than three times they've landed the best bet wager thanks to a win at odds against at the Britannia Stadium. With such a great home record - sixth in the table on home results alone - I've been amazed at the prices we've been allowed to back Mark Hughes' men.

Another quirky Opta stat tells us that the last four games the Potters have been involved in on a Sunday have averaged 5.5 per goals per match, while two of the Baggies' last three games at the Hawthorns ended 3-3. That will do for us so hopefully we'll see the net bulge at least four times in this encounter.

Recommended Bet: Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 3.211/5

Season P/L (1pt each bet, 2pts best bet)

Wagered: 210 pts
Returned: 191.84 pts
P/L: -18.16 pts

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