League play is slowly but surely coming to an end. We have finished up with La Liga and Bundesliga and now we await the conclusion of the Premier League and Serie A. Something a little new to CHIT picks this week will be the lack of Players to Watch as it is getting down to the wire in the season, there are a couple of games in which Players to Watch will be extremely important. I have to say, some of these matches are absolutely brutal but with the Champions pretty much wrapped up we may (or may not) focus on some relegation battles during this week’s CHIT picks. Who knows?
Actually, I do but you will have to read on to find out if we look at some relegation games….well now that the rambling, incoherent introduction is over with enjoy….and may God have mercy on my soul.
Arsenal v. Watford: ARS -105, Draw +280, WAT +270 26 July, Sunday
History: This matchup, as of late, has always provided some spark; mainly due to the blistering commentary that the Shark, Troy Deeney, has for Arsenal players and management. I also 100% agree with what Deeney has to say however, this is a time where Watford needs to buckle down and focus on surviving the last stretch to be able to stay in the Premier League next season. The teams met for a draw earlier in the year but prior to that Arsenal have seemed to dominate the games over the past couple of seasons. This game, to me, is a complete toss up as Arsenal (who managed to beat City and Liverpool) just lost to Aston Villa. Watford is a desperate team with everything to lose and they will come out hot.
Players to Watch: Keep an eye on Deeney. He has been the heart and sole of this Watford team ever since they clinched promotion. HULK! DEENEY! It is the final day, so expect some magic.
YL’s Pick: Watford ML, Deeney to Score
West Ham v. Aston Villa: WHU +210, Draw +260, VIL +115 26 July, Sunday
History: A bottom of the table game that is going to mean everything. West Ham have seemingly secured staying in the top flight for the next season but Villa not so much. Villa are in a tough spot that requires them to win or draw this final game against West Ham. Villa is currently even on points with Watford for the final relegation spot. These two games have so much on the line that I would expect both teams to play extremely desperate which will certainly make for a great day of football. These two teams have each won 4 games against each other and the match has ended in a draw 4 times, including the last time out. Two of England’s most historical clubs with one of them battling to stay in the Premier League for another season, how can you not love the final day?
Players to Watch: I would have to keep an eye on Jack Graelish. He has been rumored to be moving on from his boyhood club but I cannot imagine him wanting to leave on the terms of the team getting sent back down. Graelish is a lad who single-handedly drove this team back into Premier League football, he is Birmingham, he is Villa.
YL’s Pick: Villa ML
Everton v. AFC Bournemouth: EVE +120, Draw +270, BOU +195 26 July, Sunday
History: Another game that may decide who is relegated and who is not. Bournemouth is currently three points behind Watford (18th). The team teams, Watford and Bournemouth, also have the same goal differential. This is a must win game for Bournemouth to even have a shot at securing safety, but they will also need some help from Arsenal. Bournemouth absolutely steam rolled Everton the last time out, 5-2, but Bournemouth and Howe’s men have been struggling all season long and Everton has managed to right the ship for the most part. Another game with another desperate team, hold your horses folks.
Players to Watch: Junior Stanislas and Nathan Ake have been staples in the Bournemouth team over the last couple of seasons. One should think that if Bournemouth go down then the likes of Ake and Stanislas are more than likely to leave to secure top flight football. I would expect these two players to leave it all out on the field, Stanislas always has a major impact on the game and if he is even more motivated it may propel the Cherries to safety with a little help from their North London friends.
YL’s Pick: Bournemouth ML, King to Score
Leicester City v. Man United: LEI +230, Draw +250, MAN +115 26 July, Sunday
History: A battle for a Champions League spot, for Leicester this is a must win game if they hope to secure a Champions League spot next season as United tied West Ham yesterday. Leicester have proven themselves to be one of the newest teams to break into the top sides of the Premier League and to maintain this position they need to secure Champions League football. The increase in budget that Champions League provides will allow the team to continue on their upward trajectory. United has walked away from the past two games with 1-0 victories. I would expect to see both United and Leicester play a desperate type of game because of how important securing a Champions League spot is. The teams, as of right now, are currently even on goal differential so the game cannot end in a draw for either team.
Players to Watch: Vardy Party. Vodka. Charlie.
YL’s Pick: Leicester ML, Vardy to Score
Chelsea v. Wolves: CHE -110, Draw +280, WOL +280 26 July, Sunday
History: This game will wind up determining a Champions League spot for next season as Chelsea lost to Liverpool yesterday which puts them tied on points with United. Chelsea desperately need to make Champions League for next season as Lampard needs to maintain his place as the manager of the squad. Wolves are knocking on the door of Champions League football and one point ahead of Tottenham for the 5th place Europa League spot. All of these games will determine who plays in Europe next season as well as who gets relegated. The teams have split two of the last three matches with a draw mixed in there. Expect both teams to come out on all cylinders as Wolves have not secured European football and Chelsea haven’t secured a Champions League spot.
Players to Watch: The American Prodigal Son. Christian Pulisic. He needs to come out and perform as does the entire Chelsea squad but of late it seems when Pulisic goes, Chelsea goes. Adama Traore is an absolute beast and will certainly cause numerous problems for the Chelsea back line and Diogo Jota has been dominant this season.
YL’s Pick: Chelsea ML, Over 3.5 Goals
Written by: Tyler Bond aka Charlie Tweeder (@tybond16)