A lot of things seem to be coming to an end. Steven Gerrard’s plays his last game at Anfield this weekend, the final episode of Mad Men will be broadcast on Sunday night and this glorious column will soon be coming to a conclusion for another season.
Obviously I’m keen to end on a positive note, so I can can drift off into the summer without the whiff of failure sticking to me until August, when it starts all over again. Things did not go to plan on that score last week, as only one of my tips found the net.
So this week I’m keen to get back into serious profit. We start in the Premier League with QPR’s match with Newcastle. The home side are already relegated and could well revel in the freedom before their last Premier League match in front of their own fans.
Newcastle on the other hand, still have the weight of the world on their shoulders. They remain in relegation trouble and badly need a win to confirm their safety.
It should make for an attacking game with goals from both sides. With that in mind, Charlie Austin stands out as a value pick. With 17 goals in 30 league games it’s extremely like that Austin will be back in the top flight next season – possibly at Newcastle – so let’s back him at [2.8] to mark his audition with a goal.
Sergio Aguero should also be gracing the Premier League next season, unless one of La Liga’s giants pays an absolute fortune for him this summer. The Argentine is certainly a player capable of attracting such interest. He looked like the best player in England earlier this season, until injury derailed his inevitable march towards being the league’s top scorer.
It took Aguero a while to rediscover his mojo but it’s surely back now. He’s scored eight goals in his last five games and looks worth a punt at [4.5] to score the first goal against Swansea, with City still trying to secure second.
Over in Spain, Barcelona could clinch the title this weekend with a win at Atletico Madrid. The home side must surely be a little conflicted. On one hand they are now genuine rivals of Barca, yet on the other, their fans would not forgive them if they handed Real Madrid the title.
As such I’m expected a somewhat half-hearted performance from the home side and for Barcelona to take advantage. With nine goals from his last seven games, Neymar looks like someone in the mood to do just that. Back him at a likely price of [2.7] to add to his tally.
In France, Paris St Germain are another side that can win the league this weekend. They need just a point at Montpellier, having seen off a brave challenge from Lyon this season.
Once again it has been Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has scored the most goals for PSG, but in recent weeks Edison Cavani has been hot on his heels. His last five league games have seen him score eight goals, including a hat-trick against Guingamp last weekend, so let’s put faith in Cavani to score the first goal at [4.6].
Finally we go to Italy, where Lazio travel to Sampdoria. The visitors can still finish second in Serie A, which is a serious incentive given that they’ll oust neighbours Roma to do so.
Lazio’s top scorer is the evergreen 36-year old striker Miroslav Klose, who has 12 league goals. The German is not ready to settle into retirement yet and has just signed a new one year contract at the club. Back him at a likely price of [2.8] to repay the faith.
Best Bet: Back Aguero to score the first goal at [4.5]
Back Austin to score at [2.8]
Back Neymar to score at [2.7]
Back Cavani to score first at [4.6]
Back Klose to score at [2.8]