By Antony Jordan
The final two matches from the 30th round of Premier League football this season play this Sunday to bring the weekend’s action to a close with two vital matches. The first of the two games playing sees a must win relegation six pointer between Swansea and Middlesbrough at The Liberty Stadium before Arsenal play a must win match of their own as they look to ensure their place in the Champions League next season by taking all three points when they welcome Man City to The Emirates.
We preview both clashes with online sportsbook Bet365.com to provide our best EPL picks from the last two games of the weekend.
These two sides begin the weekend in sixth and third places respectively with seven points between them so both of these sides know that they must win this game if they are to push towards returning to the top four places and the Champions League spots or keeping their hopes of chasing down Chelsea at the top of the table alive. Historically, the Gunners have been the better side in recent meetings as they have lost just once in the last eight times that the sides have clashed, but with that defeat coming earlier this season as Leroy Sané and Raheem Stirling netted in a 2-1 win on home soil has the tide changed in Arsenal v Man City clashes with the northern side now under the management of Pep Guardiola?
It has been more than four years since Arsenal last lost a home match to Man City, but Bet365 favour that run to come to an end this Sunday evening as they make the visitors to North London the shorter price to take all three points. The major reason for this is that Arsenal are horribly out of form right now and have lost six of their last nine games in all competitions, with the three victories coming against relegation threatened Hull in the EPL and non-league sides Sutton and Lincoln in the FA Cup. The last time that the home side defeated a side in the top half of the Premier League was on Boxing Day at Christmas time when they defeated West Brom and they have struggled since. The question is will the international break given them enough time to analyse their issues and be ready for this battle with Man City?
With just one win – away at Middlesbrough – in their last four games as they drew with Stoke and Liverpool as well as suffered a 3-1 loss to Monaco in the second leg of their Champions League tie to exit Europe on away goals City do not have the best of form in the league right now either. However, after losing away to both Liverpool and Everton at the end of 2016 and start of 2017 they have bounced back with three successive wins at West Ham, Bournemouth and Sunderland with eight goals scored and none conceded. They are also unbeaten in seven EPL clashes both home and away since that loss to Everton and in Sergio Aguero they have someone who can take advantage of a leaky Arsenal defence. We feel that they are the stronger of the two sides in this clash at The Emirates and with them available at odds of 2.30 to take all three points this may actually be the bet of the weekend!
The first league meeting for five years between these sides saw Middlesbrough triumph 3-0 on home soil at The Riverside just before Christmas, but things have not gone well for them since as they recently parted ways with manager Aitor Karanka as they have failed to win a single EPL clash since then. They have lost seven and drawn four of the 11 top flight matches since that triumph and have netted a paltry four goals. They entered the international break with Karanka’s side losing to Crystal Palace and Stoke before caretaker boss Steve Agnew saw his team beaten 3-1 by Manchester United.
They are the outsiders to win this match thanks to the form that Swansea have shown under their third manager of the season Paul Clement to move out of the relegation zone and, unfortunately, for the away side the majority of these points have come on home soil. The Swans have beaten Southampton, Leicester and Burnley in their last three home league clashes scoring seven goals in the process and with ‘Boro having netted just one goal on the road since November we can see this match only going one way.