Tasty 11/1 Domestic Cup Final Five-Fold

ABERDEEN vs CELTIC (Scottish Cup)

If anyone can give Celtic a run for their money, it is Aberdeen. Some predicted that Rangers would bounce back this year but the Dons are still the second best team in Scotland and a mouth-watering contest awaits. Aberdeen will head into this one as rank outsiders but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Derek McInnes’ men come out on top.

Meanwhile, treble-hunting Celtic will be full of confidence after their latest triumph at the weekend; a victory that ensured the Scottish giants became the first side to go unbeaten in the top flight for 118 years. Brendan Rodgers’ men know that they still have work to do but the Bhoys will fancy their chances of ending a magnificent season on a high.

TIP: Celtic to win in 90 minutes @ 11/20

 

ARSENAL vs CHELSEA (FA Cup)

Next up we have the FA Cup final. Can Arsene Wenger sign off with a third victory in four years or will Antonio Conte’s side complete a historic double? On their day, Arsenal are capable of beating anybody and the Gunners will be quietly confident despite losing key defensive stars ahead of the Wembley showpiece.

On current form, Chelsea are the team to beat. Arsenal finished outside the top four for the first time during Wenger’s tenure and the Blues will smell blood ahead of what could be a high scoring contest. Conte’s men will be desperate to secure the league and cup double and it may prove prudent to side with the Premier League champions this weekend.

TIP: Chelsea to win in 90 minutes @ 3/4

 

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND (DFB Pokal)

Niko Kovac’s men stumbled over the line in the Bundesliga, losing three of their final four league games. Eintracht needed penalties to get past Borussia Monchengladbach in the semi-finals and this one could also go all the way. Write Frankfurt off at your own peril; they have enough quality to push Dortmund to their limits.

Dortmund ended the Bundesliga campaign on a high note, losing just once in the final 10 games of the season – including a 3-2 victory away at champions Bayern Munich. Thomas Tuchel’s side will take plenty of confidence from April’s 3-1 win against Eintracht but they cannot afford to take Frankfurt for granted or risk a repeat of November’s 2-1 defeat.

TIP: Dortmund to win in 90 minutes @ 4/9

 

Angers vs Paris Saint-Germain (Coupe de France)

Angers have done tremendously well to make it this far and their dream isn’t over yet. It will take some doing but the French minnows will fancy their chances as they take on the mighty PSG on Saturday evening. They don’t have the best of records against Paris Saint-Germain but football is a funny old game and in cup finals, anything can happen.

Paris Saint-Germain had to play second fiddle to Monaco in Ligue 1 this season and a Coupe de France win will be little consolation for Unai Emery after a ‘what if’ campaign. However, they should be good enough to keep Angers at bay – especially if Emery selects his strongest possible squad for the final game of the French season.

TIP: PSG to win to nil @ 69/100

 

BARCELONA vs ALAVES (Copa Del Rey)

Barcelona will head into this one as clear favourites and this is the perfect chance for Luis Enrique to bow out on a high before leaving Camp Nou. La Blaugrana lost out to arch rivals Real Madrid in the title race but they have been playing exceptionally well in recent weeks and goals could be on the cards if Barca go for the throat.

Meanwhile, Alaves will attempt to defy the odds in a bid to beat Barcelona to silverware. On paper, they don’t stand much of a chance but Alaves will take confidence from their 2-1 win over Barcelona back in September. If luck is on their side, they could produce THE shock of the day at 15/1.

TIP: Barcelona to score three or more goals @ 77/100

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Atsu seals Magpies move

Chelsea winger Christian Atsu has joined Premier League new boys Newcastle United on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old Ghana international made 32 appearances and scored five goals on loan for the Magpies this past season and helped the side win the Championship title as they bounced back from relegation in 2015-16 to make an immediate return to the top flight.

Atsu, who has also had spells on loan at Everton and Bournemouth, was due to return to Stamford Bridge this summer, but Newcastle have pounced to take him back to St James' Park on a reported four-year deal which will see them pay over £6million for his signature.

The deal is still subject to Atsu successfully reapplying for a work permit, but boss Rafael Benitez is delighted to have him back on board for their Premier League comeback.

"We are happy to sign a good player," he told the club's official website.

"He's shown us that he's a good professional and someone who is very keen to learn and improve.

"Christian has been a key part of our promotion campaign and he wants to help us to build something for the future."

Newcastle are 7/2 to be relegated after just one season in the Premier League, while fellow new boys Brighton are 6/5 to go down and Burnley are priced at 6/4.

Bosz seeking strength from Ajax

Ajax head coach Peter Bosz says his side need to be strong in their approach to taking on Manchester United in the final of the Europa League on Wednesday.

The Amsterdammers have won many admirers on their way to the final in Stockholm, with their youthful team enjoying the attacking tactics preferred by Bosz, who took charge at Ajax just under a year ago.

And the former Feyenoord midfielder sees no reason to change his approach for the clash with the Red Devils, telling reporters: "We only have a chance of beating Manchester United if we play our own game, which we have developed this season and which I like to call the Ajax way of playing.

"It is romantic, but it all depends on how strong they are. We are dealing with two different styles and we will see which style of playing comes out on top."

Ajax can be backed at 15/8 to lift the Europa League trophy and are 12/1 to win 2-1 in 90 minutes, with the Dutch outfit 18/1 to triumph after extra-time.

Bosz will be without the suspended Nick Viergever, while Daley Sinkgraven has not recovered from a knee problem in time to be involved.

Meanwhile, Danish striker Kasper Dolberg is hoping to cap a fine first season in Amsterdam with some silverware, with the in-form frontman having scored in eight of his last ten games.

He added on UEFA.com: "We play to win. I don't think there is a reason for us to be afraid. We just have to go out there and do our best and we will see what happens."

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Barca poised as Valverde leaves Bilbao

Ernesto Valverde has become available to replace Luis Enrique at Barcelona this summer after his departure from Athletic Bilbao was confirmed.

The 53-year-old has been heavily linked with the Camp Nou hotseat since Enrique confirmed earlier in the season that he would be stepping down as coach when the campaign ends.

And, following on from Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirming on Sunday the club will unveil who has been chosen to succeed Enrique on 29th May, Valverde's exit from Bilbao was revealed late on Tuesday.

On the former Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia boss, who led the club to four successive top-seven finishes, a Copa del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the Europa League since taking over in 2013, Bilbao said in a statement: "Ernesto Valverde will not continue as coach of the first team of Athletic Club in the 2017-18 campaign."

Valverde knows all about Barca having spent two years with the Catalan giants during his playing days, where he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Copa del Rey.

And the news of his departure from Bilbao will only heighten speculation that he will be in charge of Barca when the 2017-18 La Liga season gets under way in August.

Barca are 1/12 to give Enrique a winning farewell in the Copa del Rey final, while opponents Alaves are priced at 7/1 to lift the trophy.

Gabriel adds to Wenger’s woes

Gabriel Paulista has added to Arsenal's defensive selection problems ahead of the FA Cup final after being ruled out with a knee injury.

The 26-year-old central defender suffered a serious medial ligament problem during the Gunners' 3-1 win against Everton in Sunday's final Premier League game of the season.

And boss Arsene Wenger confirmed at his Wednesday morning press conference that the Brazilian is facing between six and eight weeks on the sidelines and will definitely miss Saturday's Wembley showdown against Chelsea.

He said: "We had a scare about his cruciate but it's medial. He avoids surgery."

Wenger also revealed Germany international Shkodran Mustafi remains a doubt to face Chelsea because he is yet to return to training after falling sick following a kick to the head in the win against Sunderland eight days ago.

Laurent Koscielny will definitely miss out as the Football Association upheld his red card from the Everton game, meaning that he will now serve a three-match ban.

There are no problems at the opposite end of the field as Alexis Sanchez appears to have recovered from the suspected hamstring injury which forced him to limp out of the weekend's win, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return from a hamstring injury that's kept him out for the last three games.

Meanwhile, Wenger was again coy when asked if the FA Cup final will be his final game in charge of the Gunners as his current contract expires at the end of June.

When asked if he will be in charge at the Emirates Stadium next season, Wenger said: "I cannot answer that question at the moment.

"It will not be my last match anyway because no matter what happens I will stay in football."

Arsenal are 15/8 to win the FA Cup, while Chelsea are priced at 2/5 to complete the Premier League and FA Cup double.

Gabriel adds to Wenger’s defensive woes

Gabriel Paulista has added to Arsenal's defensive selection problems ahead of the FA Cup final after being ruled out with a knee injury.

The 26-year-old central defender suffered a serious medial ligament problem during the Gunners' 3-1 win against Everton in Sunday's final Premier League game of the season.

And boss Arsene Wenger confirmed at his Wednesday morning press conference that the Brazilian is facing between six and eight weeks on the sidelines and will definitely miss Saturday's Wembley showdown against Chelsea.

He said: "We had a scare about his cruciate but it's medial. He avoids surgery."

Wenger also revealed Germany international Shkodran Mustafi remains a doubt to face Chelsea because he is yet to return to training after falling sick following a kick to the head in the win against Sunderland eight days ago.

Laurent Koscielny will definitely miss out as the Football Association upheld his red card from the Everton game, meaning that he will now serve a three-match ban.

There are no problems at the opposite end of the field as Alexis Sanchez appears to have recovered from the suspected hamstring injury which forced him to limp out of the weekend's win, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return from a hamstring injury that's kept him out for the last three games.

Meanwhile, Wenger was again coy when asked if the FA Cup final will be his final game in charge of the Gunners as his current contract expires at the end of June.

When asked if he will be in charge at the Emirates Stadium next season, Wenger said: "I cannot answer that question at the moment.

"It will not be my last match anyway because no matter what happens I will stay in football."

Arsenal are 15/8 to win the FA Cup, while Chelsea are priced at 2/5 to complete the Premier League and FA Cup double.

It’s the Magic of the FA Cup that Football betting fans love!

Chelsea vs Arsenal

It’s the greatest domestic cup competition in the world. When the magic of the FA Cup reaches our screens this weekend, we can look forward to one heck of a final.

Chelsea are going for a league and cup double in Antonio Conte’s first season at the helm, while Arsenal can save a difficult season with an invaluable triumph. The biggest football games like this are what it’s all about.

Betting odds have Chelsea to win, with a -0.75 handicap, at 1.99. Arsenal are at odds of 1.93 with that start. The two London giants have dominated the competition in the Premier League era, with Arsenal the most successful cup team on seven titles. But Chelsea, on six, can level with a win on Sunday.

Both clubs are in scintillating form. Chelsea stormed to the league title and come into the match on the back of seven consecutive wins while the Gunners are on an impressive run of five. But Arsene Wenger goes into the game with a central defensive problem, with Gabriel out injured for the summer and Laurent Koscielny banned after failing to overturn his red received against Everton last week.

Chelsea beat Spurs 4-2 to reach the final while Arsenal ousted Manchester City 2-1. So the side which lifts the trophy at Wembley will be the deserved champions.

Arsenal’s defensive conundrum could lift the goal count in a game I expected to be fairly tight, so you can get odds of 1.83 on over 2.50 goals. While all eyes will be on Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez, there is quality running through each team. Theo Walcott has netted five cup goals for the Gunners this season, while Willian top scores for the Blues with four.

The favourite scoreline is 1-1 at odds of 6.60, but I think there’ll be a result in the 90 minutes.

Enjoy the game!

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Palace start new boss search

Crystal Palace are searching for a new manager after Sam Allardyce resigned on Tuesday evening and suggested he has retired from football.

The 62-year-old only moved to Selhurst Park on a two-and-a-half-year deal in December when he replaced Alan Pardew in the hotseat with the Eagles sitting just one point and one place above the relegation places in 17th position.

And, despite guiding the Londoners to a 14th-placed finish to maintain his record of having never been relegated from the Premier League, Allardyce has opted to leave following a meeting with owner Steve Parish on Tuesday.

The former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland boss confirmed his departure in a statement released by his representative.

In it Allardyce thanked Parish for giving him a chance to resurrect his career less than three months after leaving his role with England by mutual consent at the end of September after 67 days and just one game following a newspaper investigation.

He also rubbished reports that there had been a fall-out about finances and the transfer budget ahead of the summer transfer window, while claiming the decision was purely personal.

Allardyce said: "I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and showing that I still had the ability to achieve something significant. As I said last weekend, Palace gave me the chance of rehabilitation.

"That's why it's hard walking away now. I believe the club are heading in the right direction with a hugely supportive board of directors, a great squad of players and some of the most passionate fans I've ever met. It's been a privilege to have worked for them for the past five months.

"But there comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take – and that's been the simple part for me.

"I want to be able to savour life while I'm still relatively young and when I'm still relatively healthy, even if I'm beginning to feel all my 62 years.

"While I've got the energy, I want to travel and also spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. I owe that to my wife and family.

"This is the right time for me, I know that in my heart. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League."

Former title-winning Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, Wales boss and former Palace defender Chris Coleman, ex-England chief Roy Hodgson and Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic are the early names in the frame to succeed Allardyce.

Meanwhile, Palace are 11/2 to be relegated from the Premier League next season, while new boys Brighton are priced at 6/5.

Top clay tennis will provide exciting betting odds

Now that football season is almost done with, sports betting fans will now shift their focus on events that shine under the sun.

At the head of these sports is tennis. The charismatic athletes and their amazing skills always draw in the live betting crowd from the major football leagues, and this year’s Roland Garros promises the same thing to the best of them.

French Open Men’s Singles

The obvious favourite among the ATP rankers is Rafa Nadal, the one kissed by clay. The Spaniard already racked impressive feats throughout the clay season, winning the Madrid Open and reaching the quarter-finals of the Italian Open. Nadal looks dominant on clay and deserves the 1.65 outright odds given to him.

Novak Djokovic made a lot of changes before setting out for France: he now has Andre Agassi at his camp to help him rediscover his dominant form. He is now with Lacoste after a long association with Uniqlo. Will these changes bring Lady Luck to his side? Bookies believe he has a chance with 2.50.

Andy Murray (3.50), Stanislas Wawrinka (8.00), Dominic Thiem (9.00), and Alexander Zverev (11.00) are also expected to make a deep run at Roland Garros. However, the World No1’s recent early exits cause more than enough concern for the casual betting fan.

 I’d also advise punters to look out for Milos Raonic (16.00), Kei Nishikori (21.00), Nick Kyrgios (26.00), and Grigor Dimitrov (26.00). Local talentss Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (51.00), Gael Monfils (67.00), and Lucas Pouille will also be looking to impress the home crowd.

French Open Women’s Singles

The WTA side of Roland Garros is in for a scrap now that Selena Williams is taking time off for her baby.

Angelique Kerber – with 8.00 outright odds of winning – is struggling to make deep runs in clay-court tournaments, so it’s understandable that the World No1 is overtaken by other women in different bookmakers’ lists.

The ladies heavily favoured to lift the trophy by the end are Simona Halep (3.00), Elina Svitolina (5.00), and Gabrine Muguruza (7.00). Halep won a drawn-out battle against France’s Kristina Mladenovic (11.00) while Svitolina outlasted the Romanian in Rome. Muguruza did the impossible and defeated Williams in last year’s French Open final.

 Other WTA players expected to make a splash are Svetlana Kuznetsova (13.00), Karolina Pliskova (15.00), Caroline Wozniacki (15.00), and Johanna Konta (16.00). Caroline Garcia (81.00) will join Mladenovic in representing the Tricolore in this tournament.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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The Cavs know how to make a comeback!

Boston Celtics 99-112 Cleveland Cavaliers

Extra motivated following their Game 3 loss, the Cleveland Cavaliers returned with a bang as they thrilled online betting once again with a 13-point demolition of the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

Those who bet online on the Celtics with Asian Handicap Betting will be pleased with the result given that the C’s were heavy underdogs ahead of the matchup.

However, Boston were just lucky enough not to feel the wrath of the King early in the game after getting into foul trouble.

Indeed, LeBron James was too motivated that led him to commit four fouls – two of which were offensive charges – in less than 24 minutes of play.

With LeBron seeing more time on the bench, Boston took advantage of the opportunity to get the lead and end the first half in front with a 10-point cushion.

The second half was a different story though as Kyrie Irving and LeBron took turns in punishing the Celts to bring the Cavs back to life.

Irving sparked Cleveland’s comeback, scoring 21 points in a 40-23 third-quarter stretch that saw the Wine and Gold reverse the tide.

The All-Star point guard finished with a playoff career-high 42 points on 68.2 percent shooting.

LeBron, on the other hand, took over and managed his foul trouble with perfection to finish the job. He tallied 15 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to deny the visitors of pulling another surprise.

The King also made up for his five turnovers by dishing out six assists and grabbing five boards.

Kevin Love had a monster game as well with 17 points and 17 rebounds as the visitors struggled to contain him in the painted area.

Boston, led by Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder, had four players reaching the double-digit mark, but they were largely inefficient from the three-point area where they made just 10 of their 31 attempts.

It also didn’t help them that they were short-handed in the frontcourt with Amir Johnson out due to a shoulder injury.

The Celtics are playing better than they did in the first two games, but they need to show their depth if they want to extend this series. They will return to Boston for Game 5 where the Cavs will look to shut them for good.

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