BILLY BUNTER

Weblog: The football punter

Eagles can land massive win in drop-zone scrap

IF the Championship playoff final is known as the £170m match then there must be a fair few noughts hanging off the end of Sunday’s showdown between Crystal Palace and Hull.

When Sky announced their final batch of live TV games in mid-April and lobbed this one into the mix, the Eagles had just thumped Arsenal 3-0 and were looking relatively safe, six points clear of the drop zone with a game in hand on most of those around them.

Fast forward a few weeks and that gap has tightened considerably, to the extent that if they lose at home to Hull everything will be up for grabs on the final weekend.

Given how Hull got it all wrong against Sunderland last weekend and how Big Sam just loves all this brinkmanship, I’m taking Palace to settle any nerves and chalk up a massive win.

I don’t think it’ll send Hull down because I’m not convinced Swansea can dot up at Sunderland. And I’m certainly not backing the Welshmen at odds-on.

From a last possible 21 road points, Paul Clement’s men have accrued the grand total of one and we all saw at the KCom that Sunderland aren’t quite done with yet.

My big bet of the weekend is under 1.5 goals in the Boro-Soton showdown, closely followed by the same game being shown last on Match of the Day. If it’s shown at all.

These two are the 0-0 draw specialists of the Premier League with 13 between them this season and while it’s just possible that it might match the drama and excitement of their first meeting at St Mary’s (Saints won 1-0), I very much doubt it.

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Match in Focus

14:00 TODAY BT2

Cagliari v Milan

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Milan have not won any of their last five away games
Expert verdict
Cagliari's last game of the season will also be their last at the Stadio Sant'Elia for three years - they are scheduled to return to a revamped venue in 2020 - and they can sign off with a win over sixth-placed Milan. The home side will be highly-motivated to post an 11th home league win of the season, while Milan cannot finish any higher or lower.