The Scout: EPL Week 38

Arsenal v Everton

What a season it has been for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal. And what a shame it would be if it didn’t result in silverware.

Arsenal have spent 14 weeks on top of the Premier League, including nine of the past 10 when a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa allowed Manchester City to briefly regain the number one position.

But sentiment has no say in where the Premier League trophy will land and Arsenal must beat Everton and hope that West Ham can get a result against City.

The second part of that scenario seems unlikely. The first bit will be pretty difficult, too.

Everton have had eight points deducted for financial breaches and survived the threat of relegation, which for a while, looked like a distinct possibility.

The same old school mentality that kept them on track – their manager Sean Dyche – will ensure they go out with the same attitude that got them clear of the relegation zone.

If you want integrity from the game, Dyche is the man to deliver.

After a shock 6-0 loss to Chelsea, Everton are now unbeaten in five games. The clear highlight was a 2-0 Merseyside derby win over Liverpool thanks to goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

His return to fitness has been a boost for the Toffees with the big front man scoring four goals in his last six games.

If they hadn’t been deducted points, Everton would be mid-table, instead of 15th. That still leaves them a long way short of the Gunners, who have the players, manager and the comforts of home to make sure they get the win they need.

Arsenal will go into this one on the back of a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend when Leandro Trossard’s first-half goal was the difference.

Trossard was also the man on target when the Gunners last played Everton, his goal sealing victory at Goodison Park. It might be another close one at the Emirates Stadium.

Suggested Bet: Arsenal to win + Total goals under 2.5 (Same Game Multi) @ $3.40*

Manchester City v West Ham

Two goals from Erling Haaland took Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League with just Sunday’s final-round fixtures to play.

Haaland’s midweek victims were Tottenham Hotspur, who had slightly more possession and as many shots on target, but were undone by City’s ruthlessness.

Pep Guardiola’s side looks like a team ready to make history by claiming a fourth successive Premier League title, which will be the case if they beat West Ham. They are two points clear of Arsenal so a draw might be enough, but they will be taking no chances against the Hammers.

Aside from knowing exactly what it takes to cope with title-challenging pressure, City also have history on their side. West Ham have not beaten the Sky Blues since a 2-1 victory in September 2015.

Since then, the Hammers have managed just three league draws against City and have lost 13 times, their most recent defeat in September. West Ham had taken a surprising lead through James Ward-Prowse before goals from Jeremy Doku, Bernando Silva and Haaland wrapped up a 3-1 victory.

City have won eight successive Premier League matches and are now unbeaten in their last 22 games.

While they attempt to make history, West Ham will be saying goodbye to manager David Moyes.

A recent 5-0 loss to Chelsea was the trigger for West Ham to announce that Moyes will be released from his duties at the end of the season. The man who brought a first major trophy to the club in 43 years, when they won the Europa Conference League final last year, deserves a fitting farewell. City won’t give him that pleasure.

West Ham, who beat Luton 3-1 last weekend, will go into this one in a respectable ninth place, with Moyes hoping his farewell message can somehow conjure a special result.

But this has the distinct whiff of another City victory.

Suggested Bet: Manchester City to win + Total Goals under 4.5 + Both teams to score – NO (Same Game Multi) @ $2.70*

Liverpool v Wolves

It’s hard to imagine the Premier League without Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. But that’s what we’ll have next season.

For a while, there was the possibility of a fairytale finish, as Liverpool pushed to claim a second Premier League title to go with their success under Klopp in 2020. They also won the Champions League in 2019 as Klopp’s influence took hold.

Now, though, with a third-place finish guaranteed and with it a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, Reds fans just want to send him off on a winning note.

Liverpool will go into the final game of the season having thrown away a two-goal lead against Aston Villa in a midweek 3-3 draw at Villa Park. And two wins in their past seven league games sum up a faltering campaign.

If Liverpool could pick a team to play to give Klopp the farewell he deserves, Wolves might not make the short list, but they wouldn’t be far off it.

With just one win in their past nine games, the fight seems to have left 13th-placed Wolves, who spent several weeks as high as tenth in the Premier League.

A 2-1 win over all-but relegated Luton Town a couple of weeks ago, has been the most satisfying recent result. Even then, they suffered through some nervy closing moments when the Hatters pulled a goal back after Wolves had appeared to be cruising with goals from Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes.

If Wolves are to at least make it an uncomfortable afternoon for Klopp it’s likely to be through prime trouble causers Hwang and Matheus Cunha, who’ve scored 12 goals each this season.

But it’s more likely that Wolves will go quietly, and Anfield will be rocking.

Suggested Bet: Half Time/Full Time Draw/Liverpool @ $5*

*Odds correct as at 9am, 16th May 2024.

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