Crafty Mourinho could mastermind a sad goodbye for Antonio Conte
Southgate's England team are heading in the right direction
Who will win the FA Cup final?
I’m leaning towards Man United. A side who have a habit of not playing at their best while still managing to get into finals and win trophies are tough to ignore. Jose Mourinho is the absolute master of getting results – he’s carved out a career doing it. It’s been a disappointing end of season for Chelsea who couldn’t even make the top four, and this will cap it off.
Where is the Wembley value outside the 90-minutes market?
Buy bookings. The last big game Michael Oliver took charge of was that spiky encounter between Real Madrid and Juventus in which he flashed nine yellows and a red. He’s not afraid to show cards. There is no love lost between the managers and I’m hoping that will fire up the players. I can see tempers fraying at some point.
What's your best bet for the rest of the weekend football?
Bayern have done the double over Frankfurt this season and are a very short price to complete the hat-trick in the German Cup final in Berlin. It’s a fascinating match for many reasons, none more so than it’s Niko Kovac’s last as Frankfurt boss before taking the reins at Bayern. The champions are still missing one or two and I like Frankfurt +2. I can see them covering the spread.
What did you make of Gareth Southgate's England squad?
I really like it. In fact I really like Gareth Southgate and the way he’s approaching this job. What I like is the fact that he’s looked at the team he’d most like to play in Russia and has picked the players accordingly. Take your best team, not always your best players. They’ve ground to make up on a lot of nations but are definitely heading in the right direction.
Should Chelsea stick with Antonio Conte next season or make a change?
I think they should – but I know they won’t. Conte has been let down and the disconnect between him and the board looks too great. He should have been backed in the transfer market after winning the title and he wasn’t and their season has stuttered accordingly. I’d be amazed if he’s still around in August.
Which manager would you most like to see filling one of the Premier League vacancies?
I’d be giving someone like Eddie Howe a job, and not necessarily at Everton or West Ham. I’m talking Arsenal. When good young coaches come through in Germany, they get chances to shine and Howe needs that now. He’s proved with good coaching, good transfer nous and excellent relationships with staff and players that he’s got what it takes.
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