Liverpool may be happy to share points with Brighton
Wayne Rooney would suit MLS
What's your best bet for the weekend?
No goalscorer in the Middlesbrough-Villa playoff. These two experienced defences and two real dogged bosses who know the value of not conceding a goal in the first leg of a two-legged tie. Both Tony Pulis and Steve Bruce will simply want to be in the mix come the return so I don’t see a huge number of risks being taken by either side.
Which favourites look the most vulnerable?
Liverpool are far too short at home to Brighton. A point will do the Reds and that may very well be all they get out of Albion. I don’t see Chris Hughton taking risks – he doesn’t want to sign off with a hiding – and they were competitive at Manchester City on Wednesday.
Do you give Chelsea any chance of snatching fourth place from Liverpool?
I might have done had they beaten Huddersfield, but it looks like a tall order. Liverpool’s league form has been patchy, not necessarily because they’ve run out of gas but because they’ve lost a bit of focus with a Champions League final around the corner. But this is just one match before a two-week break so they can make sure they don’t lose.
Are West Brom or Stoke more likely to bounce straight back to the Premier League next season?
Neither. They are going down for a reason and with a player exodus to come from both clubs, expect them to be nestling into the pack in the Sky Bet Championship. Neither side is good enough. Recent Premier League outcasts like Hull, Reading and Norwich can’t even make the top half so that shows what they’ll be up against.
Would a move to America be a smart decision by Wayne Rooney?
It’s a win-win. He’s exactly the type of player MLS chiefs need in their league, a world-class player who wants to play every week and isn’t over the hill. And it’s perfect for Rooney, who has clearly lost a bit of purpose since leaving United. He’s had his last hurrah at Everton and deserves to make whatever move he wants.
What's your best bet for the Europa League final?
A lay of Atletico. I saw Marseille take Leipzig apart in the quarter-finals and they are a good side. They’ve gone under the radar in France where everyone plays second fiddle to PSG but their league form is sound and they do score goals. They will be a test for Atletico who we know are unbelievably tough to break down but are too short.
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