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Our experts are split on Man United's Europa destiny

This week's big football betting questions

Things have not always gone smoothly for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United
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Joe Champion Racing Post Sport

What’s your best bet of the weekend?
Leicester were hammered by Tottenham on Thursday evening but I’m keeping the faith with them when they host Bournemouth. The Foxes have picked up 33 of their 45 points at the King Power Stadium this season while the Cherries have been poor on the road. They won at Sunderland in their last away outing but it was far from convincing and they could end the season with a whimper.

Which favourites look most vulnerable?
I’m in no rush to back Lyon at odds-on against Nice. OL have lost six home games this season and are marooned in fourth place. Their opponents have enjoyed another strong season, even if they weren’t quite classy enough to go the distance in the title race. They beat Lyon 2-0 in October and are capable of stopping them again.

Is Harry Kane a certainty to be Premier League top goalscorer?
Yes. There’s no reason to oppose him after his four-goal haul on Thursday. Tottenham face relegated Hull and Kane is more likely to net against the Tigers than Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are when Arsenal and Everton face each other at the Emirates. With Lukaku two behind, it’s going to take something special to catch Kane.

Where is the value for next season’s top-flight title?
Chelsea have been so solid this season and I’m not sure how they can be bigger than Manchester City and the same price as Manchester United. City must strengthen their defence while United don’t score enough but the Blues don’t have to improve. The only worry would be if they lose key players in the summer.

What’s your fancy for the Sky Bet League One playoff final?
Narrow preference is for Bradford in what should be a tight encounter between two closely-matched teams. The Bantams were solid enough to shut out Fleetwood over 180 minutes in the semi-finals and they can blunt a Millwall attack who took advantage of some shocking defending against Scunthorpe.

What’s your top tip for Wednesday’s Europa League final?
I’ve been trying to find a way to oppose Man United but the Red Devils are probably too big to win in 90 minutes. Ajax have an exciting young squad but they couldn’t win the Eredivisie and they have a poor away record in European matches this season. Inexperience is likely to handicap them.

Ian Griffin Betfair

What’s your best bet of the weekend?
There has been a massive move on Crystal Palace as they play Manchester United three days before the Europa League final. The Eagles are already safe and I think United’s second-string team are way overpriced at home.

Which favourites look most vulnerable?
Monaco will have had a couple of shandies after clinching the Ligue 1 title on Wednesday and they could play a lot of their young players against Rennes, who have been in decent form lately losing only one of their last five games. One to leave out of the acca. 

Is Harry Kane a certainty to be Premier League top goalscorer?
Yes. Kane is now two goals ahead of Romelu Lukaku and 1-10 to be the top goalscorer. With Spurs playing Hull I expect him to extend that lead.

Where is the value for next season’s top-flight title?
If Liverpool finish in the top four they will strengthen their squad. Jurgen Klopp improved each year at Dortmund and is doing the same thing at Anfield. Tottenham were poor at Wembley in the Champions League while Man Utd will improve their squad with a marquee signing but they have been a disappointment and I can’t have them at 3-1.

What’s your fancy for the Sky Bet League One playoff final?
Both league games resulted in 1-1 draws this season and it’s hard to choose between the two. This will be a tense affair with few chances so I will be on the draw or either team on penalties at 9-2.

What’s your top tip for Wednesday’s Europa League final?
Eric Bailly’s absence is a massive blow for United as he has been solid this season. Ajax are a free-scoring team, notching more than two goals a game on average this season. With that in mind, both teams to score is a no-brainer for me.


Didi Hamann Liverpool legend

What’s your best bet of the weekend?
Arsenal against Everton. Arsenal are finishing the season in some style and despite having an FA Cup final on the horizon, Arsene Wenger has to chuck everything at this. While there’s a chance of Liverpool not beating Middlesbrough, Arsenal have to believe. They are in excellent form with four straight wins and in full flow they are still very hard to stop.

Which favourites look most vulnerable?
I’m going to say Chelsea. This isn’t a normal Premier League game – Chelsea are already champions while Sunderland are down so the pressure is off. Chelsea looked like a side who were struggling to stay focused against Watford on Monday, and motivation is going to be an issue here while Antonio Conte will make changes a week before the FA Cup final. 

Is Harry Kane a certainty to be Premier League top goalscorer?
Yes. It’s a struggle to see Romelu Lukaku finding the net against Arsenal so Harry Kane won’t be caught now. Indeed, given that Spurs are at Hull and that Kane is in sizzling form, there’s more likelihood of him winning the boot by three or four rather than being caught.

Where is the value for next season’s top-flight title?
I think Man City will go off closer to 6-4 than 5-2. The appetite for Chelsea and Liverpool should lessen with European commitments, Manchester United looks like chaos and Arsenal are in a state of uncertainty. Spurs are a runner but I think this is Guardiola’s summer to reinvent City. With the backing he’s receiving, City should go off clear favourites.

What’s your fancy for the Sky Bet League One playoff final?
I’m going to go with Bradford. They were impressive and efficient against Fleetwood in the semis and they look a really strong side. That was the hallmark of the team under Phil Parkinson and they haven’t weakened under Stuart McCall. It’s six clean sheets in eight now for the Bantams and that’s the defensive record of a playoff winner in my eyes.

What’s your top tip for Wednesday’s Europa League final?
Lay United. There’s so much negativity about Old Trafford, all stemming from Jose Mourinho, and the way they have finished the domestic season has to be a worry. For Ajax to come from behind to beat Schalke with ten men and to hold on against Lyon – again with ten men – suggests this young side is packed with self-belief.

Mike Holden Football betting analyst

What’s your best bet of the weekend?
Gabriel Jesus to score against Watford. The kid is so switched on and you can just tell there’s so much in his locker. There’s no such thing as a bad ball into the box when he’s on the end of it, he’ll back himself to execute any sort of finish from any kind of angle.

Which favourites look most vulnerable?
I’m more than happy to lay Real Madrid at long odds-on considering they only a need a point to clinch the title. Malaga have been in good shape lately, winning six of their last eight matches and thwarting Real Sociedad in a 2-2 draw at Anoeta last weekend. If Madrid don’t take control early, they could get quite nervy. 

Is Harry Kane a certainty to be Premier League top goalscorer?
Yes. It looks like a done deal for Kane now after his Thursday night heroics. Romelu Lukaku isn’t likely to trouble him on the evidence of Everton’s recent displays and even if Alexis Sanchez bagged a hat-trick against the Toffees to draw level, he’d still be relying on Kane not scoring at Hull.

Where is the value for next season’s top-flight title?
Tottenham, without a doubt. Concerns about playing at Wembley will be swiftly forgotten if they start next season like they finished this one. They obviously have the measure of the league – they’ve taken 49 points from the last available 54 against teams outside the top four. And it’s still such a young team, all maturing together. 

What’s your fancy for the Sky Bet League One playoff final?
The two teams couldn’t be more evenly-matched but I’m backing Millwall, purely down to geography and what happened last season. It might be too big an occasion for Bradford, whereas the Lions have been at Wembley five times in the last nine years. It’s almost being treated as just another game by them – albeit one with promotion at stake.

What’s your top tip for Wednesday’s Europa League final?
I think there’s some mileage in backing Ajax -1 on the handicap at 11-1. If the chemistry’s right on the night, they look capable of scoring a few goals. United aren’t used to chasing games, so would be well out of their comfort zone in that scenario. You can get a whopping 50-1 about Ajax winning 3-1.


Matt Ireland Racing Post Sport

What’s your best bet of the weekend?
Swansea looked dead and buried when Paul Clement took over in January so to survive relegation with a game to spare is a tremendous effort. The Swans have taken 26 points from Clement’s 19 games in charge and look great business to claim a fourth win in five at home to a West Brom side who have been in terrible form.

Which favourites look most vulnerable?
It has to be Manchester United. The Red Devils have only had eyes for the Europa League final for some time now and that isn’t about to change now the final is only four days away. Crystal Palace haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford since 1989 but they will seldom have a better chance.

Is Harry Kane a certainty to be Premier League top goalscorer?
Yes. Tottenham and Harry Kane have the easiest game on paper at Hull and he’s far more likely  to add to his two-goal lead than blow it – especially given Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are facing each other at the Emirates.

Where is the value for next season’s top-flight title?
You’d think with the way they have just won the league that Chelsea would be favourites but with some firms they are third best behind the two Manchester clubs. They are both going to spend lots of money but Antonio Conte’s Juventus tenure showed he isn’t one to rest on his laurels and 10-3 looks a fair price. 

What’s your fancy for the Sky Bet League One playoff final?
Bradford have dropped a long way since they were last in the Premier League 16 years ago but by tonight I think they’ll be celebrating the continuation of their recent revival. They came into the playoffs as the form side in the division and demonstrated that they have the resolve required to triumph over two legs with Fleetwood.

What’s your top tip for Wednesday’s Europa League final?
I can understand why Manchester United are odds-on. They have better players and have targeted this game for the last few months but the exuberance of youth could get the better of them in Stockholm. Ajax will also be well rested after ten days off since the end of the Dutch season and have enough going forward to puncture United’s defence.

There’s so much negativity about Old Trafford, all stemming from Jose Mourinho, and the way they have finished the domestic season has to be a worry