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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Weekend Football Picks (May 19th)

It is the final day of the Premier League season and it is one where a number of famous faces from the English game will be moving on, most notably Sir Alex Ferguson.

You have to be aware about motivation at this point of the season and it can be a bit of a minefield with some players beginning to think about where they are going to be sunning themselves on a beach next week.

Manchester City v Norwich City Pick: It has been rumoured that the Manchester City players were very happy to see the back of Roberto Mancini earlier this week and they did respond with a comfortable 0-2 win at Reading on Tuesday night.

This looks like the perfect chance to end their season with some positive memories as they are facing a Norwich City team that has been very poor on their travels this season and one that secured their Premier League future last weekend.

I am expecting an attacking Manchester City side to get stuck into their opponents and I do think Norwich may just have relaxed a little bit after beating West Brom at Carrow Road. The Canaries have conceded a lot of goals in their away games this season including heavy losses at Liverpool and Manchester United and I think Manchester City win this one by a couple of goals.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland Pick: There is nothing that Tottenham Hotspur can really do about whether they finish in the top four or not as they are relying on Newcastle United to get some sort of a result against Arsenal in the North East. However, the home team will know anything less than three points in this game will give them no chance at all and I expect them to do that at the very least.

Tottenham have been scoring a fair few goals of late and they seem to be facing Sunderland at the right time. The away team are now safe in the Premier League and they are missing a lot of their main attacking talent, while their motivation is gone. Paolo Di Canio has demanded his players give a full effort in the game, but it remains the point that Sunderland have lost 5 of their last 6 away games in the Premier League, were thumped 6-1 at Villa Park in their latest away game, and many of the players will be aware that big changes will be coming in the off-season.

Those factors could see Sunderland struggle to contain Tottenham, but all the prices have been adjusted because the home team 'needs' the win.

Instead, I think it makes more sense for Gareth Bale to be named 'Man of the Match' as he is likely to play an integral part of any win Spurs can manage, while he has been scoring plenty of winning goals for them himself. After winning all the personal awards you can this season, Bale will be high in the thoughts of the 'Man of the Match' award and you have to think he would likely get it if he is on the scoresheet.

Wigan Athletic v Aston Vila Pick: The Wigan Athletic fans have enjoyed the highs and the disappointment of the lows in the last week as their side won the FA Cup, but were also relegated from the Premier League.

I can't imagine them rolling over here, but it has to be a real shock to the system of the players that will be playing their third game in a week and I think Aston Villa could spring the surprise win.

Aston Villa have been playing a lot better to close the season when they secured their place in the Premier League and even in the absence of Christian Benteke, they certainly look a side capable of scoring goals. Villa have won 3 of their last 4 away games in the Premier League, including at struggling sides Reading, Stoke City and Norwich City, and they have the pace to exploit tired Wigan legs.

The side also have a strong record at the DW Stadium having been unbeaten in their last 6 visits to this stadium. Last season, this fixture ended goalless, but Aston Villa had won 4 straight before that and I can see them ending their season with a flourish.

MY PICKS: Manchester City - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.73 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Gareth Bale win 'Man of the Match' @ 3.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Aston Villa @ 4.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

May Update5-7, - 0.80 Units (14 Units Staked, - 5.71% Yield)

April Final10-21, - 9.15 Units (45 Units Staked, - 20.33% Yield)
March Final16-20, + 7.43 Units (55 Units Staked, + 13.51% Yield)
February Final14-23, - 2.81 Units (48 Units Staked, - 5.85% Yield)
January Final10-22, - 10.89 Units (45 Units Staked, - 24.2% Yield)
December Final17-24-1, - 0.83 Units (53 Units Staked, - 0.02 % Yield)
November Final8-21, - 8.25 Units (37 Units Staked, - 22.3% Yield)
October Final9-9, + 5.44 Units (27 Units Staked, 20.1% Yield)
September Final17-11, + 21.19 Units (46 Units Staked, 46.1% Yield)
August Final12-13, + 1.29 Units (40 Units Staked, 3.22% Yield)

Season 2012/13+ 3.42 Units (396 Units Staked, + 1.63% Yield)

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