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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Wily Boro might rob Villans of a final place

West Brom will be strong contenders next season

Middlesbrough could have plenty to celebrate
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What's your best bet for the weekend?
I give Middlesbrough a really decent chance of knocking out Aston Villa over two leagues. Over the last 12 games of the season I have Boro very marginally the better of the two sides, and I prefer Tony Pulis’s wily operating over Steve Bruce here. Boro at odds against to qualify seems reasonable.

Middlesbrough v Aston Villa preview

Which favourites look the most vulnerable?
Coventry look very short for their first leg against Notts County. At around evens, or even a shade of odds on, they look opposable. 

Coventry v Notts County preview

Do you give Chelsea any chance of snatching fourth place from Liverpool?
Close to none. For a start they have the far harder of the two games. Brighton are safe and chased Manchester City around for 90 minutes on Wednesday. While they may say they’re going to Anfield intending to spoil the party, this doesn’t have any kind of feel that it is likely to happen at all.

Are West Brom or Stoke more likely to bounce straight back to the Premier League next season?
I think West Brom are. I don’t think they should have gone down. They aren’t one of the three worst teams ability wise but they got into a rut and Alan Pardew didn’t have the solution. By the time the change came they were already doomed, but if they can keep the squad together to even a partial extent they’ll be strong contenders.

Would a move to America be a smart decision by Wayne Rooney?
Yes, why not? He was never the type of player to continue at his peak into his mid-30s and the drop-off happened pretty quickly. He has little left to offer at Premier League level now but a trip to the States a lovely way to end a fantastic career.

What's your best bet for the Europa League final?
There’s no need to overcomplicate this one. Backing Atletico to win in 90 minutes seems good enough.


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I prefer Tony Pulis’s wily operating over Steve Bruce here
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