Welcome to Shay Says, the latest football betting blog from LeoVegas’ new Irish ambassador, Shay Given.
This week, the Republic of Ireland and Premier League legend previews Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between Newcastle and Manchester United.
We’ve also got his opinion on the London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea, alongside Arsenal’s trip to Leicester.
Let’s see what Shay Says!
I think Leicester could still be in trouble – they’re only on 24 points and won’t be safe until they get to the magic 40. They’ve had a really poor start to the season.
When Brendan Rodgers has his team playing well, they can cause any side problems. We saw that against Manchester United last week – they could have gone in front by a couple of goals, but ended up losing the game.
If they can take their chances against Arsenal, the mindset of the Arsenal players will be tested again.
It might be too early to say it’s Arsenal’s title to throw away, but it remains in their hands. It’s so difficult to predict who’s going to win it given the way it’s swung in the past few weeks, but it’s really exciting from a neutral perspective.
I think this game could be a banana skin for Arsenal. There’s just no easy games at all – look at Southampton going to Chelsea last week and winning the game whilst being bottom of the table.
I think until Mikel Arteta gets his hands on the trophy, every game will be a potential banana skin.
However, I don’t think they will slip up here. I’m going to go 2-1 to Arsenal, with Bukayo Saka scoring anytime for the Gunners.
SHAY SAYS: LEICESTER 1-2 ARSENAL
Tottenham should be favourites for fourth now – they’re in the position and it’s theirs to throw away.
Spurs are one of those teams, though – they beat Manchester City but then lost 4-1 at Leicester, so it’s difficult to predict whether they can go on a run between now and the end of the season.
I don’t know if it’s a mindset issue with the players or staff, but it needs to change if they are to develop the consistency to finish in the top four. If they can find that level of consistency, I’d back them to get that final Champions League place.
I feel for Graham Potter a little bit. I know Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions of pounds, but I don’t feel Potter knows his best XI yet, or whether he’s actually signing the players that they’re bringing in.
It just feels like there’s so much activity with everyone coming into the squad – it’s humongous now. He just needs to get a settled XI on the pitch.
I like him a lot and think he’s a good manager, but he needs to turn the corner, and turn it pretty fast.
Chelsea are struggling a lot in front of goal, whereas Tottenham will have their tails up after winning against West Ham last week, so I think Antonio Conte’s men will win this one.
I’m going to go 2-0 to Spurs – I think if they can stay focused, they’ll win it.
SHAY SAYS: TOTTENHAM 2-0 CHELSEA
Manchester United are favourites for this one and you can understand why – they’ve really turned a corner and are on the up under Erik ten Hag.
Marcus Rashford is certainly up there with the best in the world right now. If we’re just talking about the Premier League then he’s definitely the in-form striker – everything he touches is turning to gold, and he’ll relish playing in a cup final.
It’s mad how 12-18 months ago he couldn’t score for love nor money, whereas now, everything he hits turns to goals. His confidence is sky-high, and everything is coming to him with ease.
I still think Newcastle can win the Cup without Nick Pope. Bruno Guimarães returning will be a big boost for them and the midfield will be a lot stronger.
Newcastle have qualified for the final for a reason – they’ve got there on merit. They deserve to be there. Eddie Howe will be telling his players in the week that they’re not just there to make up the numbers – it’s their chance to turn a good season into a brilliant season.
Why can’t they go to Wembley on Sunday and win the cup? If they do it, the city will come to a standstill!
I think it will be 1-1 at full time, with Newcastle to win on penalties. Maybe there will be a new hero in the goalkeeping department with Loris Karius!
SHAY SAYS: MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 NEWCASTLE (NEWCASTLE TO WIN ON PENALTIES)
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*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change