There is still a fight to avoid relegation happening this final weekend of the Premier League season for three clubs, but the majority of teams are assessing their seasons and looking towards the offseason and the transfer window in an effort to simply be better next season.
Today's episode of the NBC Sports Soccer Pub was just that: a discussion of the conclusion of the current season and a look ahead to the 2023-24 campaign. Jay Croucher sat down with Harry Symeou (@HarrySymeou) and of course the first portion of the conversation was commiseration over the late season plunge by their beloved Arsenal Gunners.
Arsenal - Season Overview
No question Mikel Arteta and co. overachieved this season but because they were the favorites to win the Prem with weeks to go it does not feel that way. Harry sides with those who look on the campaign as a success.
“I think at the moment the major feeling is disappointment. I think it's impossible to avoid that when you're on top of the league for as long as Arsenal were and you're in that position for the first time in the best part of two decades where you could go on and win the league. I think when the dust settles a little bit, when the season is done, and the attention turns to kind of reflecting back on what we've achieved this season…I certainly think it was a successful season. It was all about progress for me. And progress was getting back in the Champions League, and we've done that with loads to spare.”
Arsenal cannot be satisfied with the finish having secured just nine points in their last eight games, but they will look to send their fans home happy with a win over Rúben Neves and Wolverhampton at the Emirates Sunday.
“I think probably we will go out with a bit of a high beating Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves haven't played anywhere near what they're capable of this season…Unlike the Forest game, this is not a game in which our opposition have a lot to fight for. Nottingham Forest were desperate to secure Premier League status, and they had that extra bit of motivation…I think the mood will be not a happy one because of what could have been, but it will certainly be one of you know, let's make sure that we get his message across to the players and the manager that we appreciate what they've done.”
The Relegation Battle
The duo went on to discuss the offseason and Arsenal's needs before turning back to this season and the fight to avoid Relegation between Everton, Leeds United, and Leicester City.
“My only thing with Everton is that they play against a side who they've got a dreadful record against…So, on that basis, I wouldn't say that Everton beating Bournemouth is a foregone conclusion but the question is can Leicester and Leeds do what they need to do? Leicester plays West Ham and I believe Leeds United are of course at home to Tottenham who will be on holiday pretty much now…I would think Everton probably will survive. I think it could be a day though where we see it changing as the 90 minutes goes on.”
Stay up to date with all things Arsenal. Listen to The Chronicles of a Gooner | The Arsenal Podcast with Harry Symeou wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
Premier League Best Bets
Brad Thomas (@MrBradThomas) Leeds v. Tottenham OVER 3 Goals (-120)
“I think we see a slugfest here both of these teams have attacking prowess…I just don't believe in Leeds defensively…I think it's going to be a slugfest…Leeds are going to have to get a bunch of goals to have any shot at avoiding relegation.”
Jay Croucher (@croucherJD): Leeds v. Tottenham ML (+138)
“I don't think Tottenham want to win this game and get into the Europa Conference League so it would be very Tottenham to go out and win the game. So that is basically where I'm at with this one.”
Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper): Aston Villa v. Brighton UNDER 2.5 Goals (+140)
“It has been 53 years since Brighton had a clean sheet at Aston Villa. But I think that has potential in this one. That said, my favorite way to bet this match is going to be under two and a half goals. Ultimately, I think fair pricing for this one should be 2.25. So, Under 2.5 goals at +140 to me looks like a very fair bet.”
Enjoy the sweat on this final weekend of another fantastic Premier League season on the NBC Family of networks.