Source: Imago Images
Source: Imago Images

Weekend football: One down, two left

Football OlyBet 03.05.2024

A draw against West Ham confirmed what was quietly becoming obvious – after pushing the limits over the winter, Liverpool have run out of steam. With just one win in their last five, the title race is all but over.

It is not over officially yet. According to Opta, Liverpool now have a 0.1% chance of lifting the Premier League trophy, down 1.6% from last week (yes, it was quite bad before); they have accumulated five points from their last five games. This is something not even Jurgen Klopp can get away with, although they probably deserved more from those games.

Liverpool have Tottenham (h), Aston Villa (a), and Wolverhampton (h) to come. With a perfect record, they can reach 84 points. It would mark a new record for a third-place finish, but Klopp’s men are not likely to catch Arsenal (3 games to go, 80 points) or Man City (4; 79).

So who will take it? Arsenal have two home games vs Bournemouth and Everton, sandwiched by a trip to Old Trafford to meet Manchester United. Man City will host Wolverhampton and West Ham but will have to travel to London twice to meet Fulham and Tottenham. With City doing what they do year after year … Opta gives City a two in three (67.4%) chance, with Arsenal at 32.5%.

Can Liverpool keep the pressure on against Tottenham and which other games to enjoy over the weekend?

All times listed below are in Eastern European Summer Time (GMT+3).

Girona – Barcelona

Saturday 19:30

It is now May and Girona are still amongst the big boys. In a world where Bayer Leverkusen does not go on an all-time unbeaten run, they are the talk of the town. With good reason – after 33 rounds, Girona have passed to 70 point mark and could mathematically qualify for the Champions League this weekend. They were supposed to falter, but have gone unbeaten in their last twelve (10 wins, 2 draws).

Barcelona are second, but lead Girona by just two points at this stage. With Xavi committing to the club for another season, they can look forward to another Champions League challenge, but finishing above Girona is a must. They have not beaten their opponent in their last two head-to-heads though (1D 1L), with Girona scoring four times in December.

Liverpool – Tottenham

Sunday 18:30

Liverpool can either settle for third – maybe they already have? – or push, push, push. Against Tottenham, they have lost just one of their last 27 games at home, but have also not scored at home in their past two games at Anfield. They have not kept a clean sheet in their last fourteen league games.

For Tottenham, it is almost over after a 0-2 loss to Chelsea on Thursday. They have played a game less than Aston Villa, but the gap stands at seven points with Tottenham still having to play Liverpool and Man City. For a team that has now lost three in a row, things are looking bleak. If they turn a corner here … it is a lot to ask now.

AS Roma – Juventus

Sunday 21:45

On Thursday, Roma tried to do what no other team has been able to this season – but they were not able to break Leverkusen, losing 0-2 at home. This almost certainly means their European dream is over; time to concentrate on the league, with Bologna four and Juventus six points ahead. Cementing fifth place would also take Roma to the Champions League, so a win here will help them significantly.

Juve can not be too comfortable yet as they will also play Bologna in the penultimate round; for a team that has won just two of their last thirteen games, nothing is given. But they have drawn their last three games, keeping two clean sheets. If someone not named Dušan Vlahovic would step up, it would make Massimiliano Allegri a very happy man.

The Betis Babble

OlyBet is the proud betting partner of Real Betis.

Next game: Sunday 15:00 @ Osasuna

A 1-1 draw against Sevilla was not the desired outcome on a weekend where both Sociedad and Valencia played (and lost to) top teams, but it is not the end of the world either. Betis remain seventh with a trip to mid-table Osasuna coming up.

Osasuna has lost three straight and seven of their last eight against Real Betis, but the corresponding fixture last season ended in a 3-2 win for the home team. One thing to look out for are the set pieces: Osasuna has scored the joint-most goals from dead-ball situations this season while Betis concedes the highest proportion of them (15/39, 38%).

If Betis wants to finish in the top six, winning the next three games – Osasuna, Almeria, and Las Palmas – is a must before a head-to-head vs Sociedad and a trip to the Bernabeu to play Real Madrid.


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