Having had their Premier League membership finally revoked, today marks Aston Villa’s last match in the re-branded top-tier before they embark upon life in the Championship.
Already guaranteed bottom spot after a diabolical campaign, the Villans face the daunting prospect of a trip to Arsenal on the last day, where, of course, universally expected to lose.
Indeed, with 11 straight Villa defeats preceding last weekend’s goalless draw with Newcastle, it’s easy to understand why the Gunners have been installed as microscopic 11/100 favourites to inflict one final blow on their miserable visitors.
A selection of last-day trends, however, suggests Arsenal won’t have it as easy as the odds-makers envisage.
As far as match-betting goes, a punt on Villa at 20/1 is almost certain to end in tears, but they look good value in the handicap markets. Back them to win after being handed a two-goal head start, for instance, and land a 21/10 pay out.
It’s a bet that would’ve landed on four of Arsenal’s previous eight last days, as it would have done on six of eight Villa outings on game 38.
Across the period in question, the Gunners have failed to inflict heavy doses of season-ending pain on Sunderland (1-0) Fulham (2-2), West Brom (3-2) and Newcastle (1-0) and have been way short of their scintillating best on the homestead in recent months.
Three wins from four at the Emirates reads as decent form, but one of those triumphs was a laboured effort against Norwich City, while Crystal Palace fled north London with a point in tow.
In total, 11 of the 14 fixtures Arsenal have hosted in 2016 ended with those who backed the visitors to prevail with a two-goal head start making a profit so there must be some value in siding with Villa not to get obliterated here.