Baku or bust for Arsenal in Europa League final vs. Chelsea
Another tough weekend for the column after tipping Charlton to beat Sunderland at Wembley but suffering disappointment from Newport County, who fluffed their lines against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday. All eyes will be on the Europa League final on Wednesday, as Arsenal and Chelsea lock horns in the unlikely setting of the Olympic Stadium in Baku.
Running total: -£85.70
It's Baku or bust for Arsenal who know they must emerge victorious from Wednesday's Europa League final if they are to feature in next season's Champions League. Chelsea, who finished third in the Premier League and therefore will be dining at Europe's top table next season, are the slight favourites with the bookies. However this one looks wide open and at the prices Arsenal make plenty of appeal at 21/10. Chelsea have a number of injury worries ahead of Wednesday's clash while it looks like the end of the road for Eden Hazard, who seems set for a move to Real Madrid this summer. The Gunners know if they can keep the shackles on the Belgian they'll have a real chance in Azerbaijan. The importance of the first goal in this game is huge, but Arsenal cannot be discounted with big hitters such as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack.
Their coach is no stranger to European success either. Unai Emery is a three-time Europa League winner from his days as Sevilla boss. They've been erratic at times this year but at their flowing best Arsenal are at least as good as Chelsea and they should be backed to end their 24-year trophy drought on the European stage.
Selection: £5 on Arsenal to win at 21/10 with bet365.
The First Goal Flutter
Tammy Abraham's 26 goals for Aston Villa this season have helped propel them to the playoff final against Derby County, and the Chelsea loanee looks a bet at 100/30 to score first on Monday. Abraham scored in both games against the Rams during the regular season -- Villa winning 3-0 away and 4-0 at home -- and he will be the player Frank Lampard fears most at Wembley.
The Wildcard Tip
With only four goals to his name this season he can hardly be described as prolific but Granit Xhaka looks a big price at 28/1 to score first in Baku. The Swiss has had his detractors this term but he's turned into a very important player for Arsenal under Emery and 28s looks big against a Chelsea side not noted for their defensive miserliness.
Selection: £1 on Xhaka to score first at 28/1 with bet365.