It’s the final game of the season for teams in the Football League and, while the automatic promotion places may be sorted, there’s still plenty to play for at the bottom of all three divisions.
Additionally, there’s a pivotal set of fixtures in the Premier League and it should all make for a cracking afternoon of football.
We’re backing these three teams to pick up the points on Saturday.
Stoke City V Fulham
This might not be the last game of the Premier League season, but it could be the final curtain for Fulham’s 13-year stay in the division.
The Cottagers need a big result at the Britannia, unfortunately that looks beyond Felix Magath’s men. In their hour of need, Fulham need to put in a strong defensive performance – as we saw against Hull City last week, that’s something the west Londonder’s are incapable of producing.
Surrendering a two-goal lead against the Tigers, combined with Sunderland’s recent good form, has left Fulham one-point below the safety line. With the Black Cats playing at Old Trafford, Magath’s men will believe that a result here would see them end the day back outside of the relegation zone. However, claiming three points on Saturday is far easy said than done – particularly as they face the daunting trip to Stoke.
The Britannia Stadium is never an easy place to visit, and that cliché rings truer now more than ever under Mark Hughes. The Welshman has transformed Stoke into a far more attractive team to watch and they could be set for a first ever top-half finish. For ‘Sparky’, it also offers the chance to exact revenge on his former employer, who treated him quite poorly when giving him the sack.
Stoke won four home games on the spin before losing to Tottenham last week, they could condemn Fulham to the Championship here.
Stoke City win @ 5/4 Bet365
Sheffield United V Coventry City
In League One, Sheffield United will want to end their season on a high as they take on Coventry City at Bramall Lane.
Both clubs have endured rather turbulent campaigns, but the Blades have improved vastly during the second half of the season after replacing David Weir with current boss Nigel Clough.
In addition to pulling clear of the relegation zone, the Blades managed to reach Wembley with an unlikely FA Cup semi-final appearance – where they battled bravely before falling 5-3 to Premier League side Hull City.
The Blades are actually fifth in the current form charts and will consider themselves unlucky to miss out on a play-off spot. A club of their magnitude will feel that they should be playing in at least the Championship and promotion will be their aim next season. As for Coventry, just staying afloat will be considered a success.
The Sky Blues are in financial turmoil and have had to play this campaign away from the Ricoh due to ongoing problems over stadium rent. On the pitch, they’ve generally done quite well. However, they are stumbling over the finishing line with no win in six and will be glad to see this season end.
Coventry have conceded 75 times this season, the in-form Blades will look to put that leaky defence to the sword.
Sheffield United win @ 5/6 Bet365
Newport County V Rochdale
Rochdale confirmed promotion to League One with last week’s victory Cheltenham Town, but that shouldn’t stop the party from rocking against an out-of-form Newport.
Justin Edinburgh’s Newport had been superb throughout the first half of their maiden campaign back in the Football League, but it’s all gone wrong in recent months for the Welsh club and they are set to finish the season nearer to the drop than promotion.
Three wins in 2014 signals an awful second half to the season and they’ll be happy to see this current campaign end so that they can begin preparations for next term. Meanwhile, Rochdale can begin to think about life in the third tier.
Dale have the fourth best away record in League Two and also enter the match on the back of two consecutive wins, as well as the dizzying high of securing promotion.
Rochdale won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Spotland, they could celebrate promotion with a similar result at Rodney Parade.
Rochdale win @ 21/20 Bet365
A £10 treble pays £84.56