A Question of Professionalism
At this stage of the season you will often hear the right noises coming out, from teams that have little or nothing to play for. Managers will insist that their team will give it their all, out of respect for the other sides in the division and that their supporters would expect nothing less.
The bookies, however, tend to disagree with this assessment, and this is often reflected in their odds, with the power of motivation invariably coming to the fore. Two of Wednesday’s encounters provide perfect examples – Sunderland vs Everton and Norwich City vs Watford.
Let’s put this into perspective – Norwich City have won just 27.8% of their home games, the same figure as Sunderland. If the Black Cats collect maximum points they will preserve their Premier League status for another year, while the Canaries need to get the job done at home and hope that Everton do them a favour, to give them something to fight for on the final day.
The Boleyn Ground will host its final West Ham United game and with the visitors, Manchester United, now having the chance to finish above their neighbours, Manchester City, motivation will not be an issue for either side.
Elsewhere, Liverpool might just have one eye on the Europa League final, although starting spots against Sevilla are still very much up for grabs, while the season can’t end quick enough for Chelsea.
The question a fantasy football manager needs to ask himself is – do I want to select a player who has nothing to play for, a player who is just waiting for Euro 2016 to kick-off or a player who is fully motivated going into these penultimate games?
Something tells me the latter group might just produce the best fantasy points output in these games!