There are invariably some thunderous local derbies and often a few strange results on Boxing Day.
There are some vital games affecting the top and bottom of the table, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all looking to have winnable games, while leaders Chelsea host fourth-placed London rivals West Ham United in the game of the day. Here’s our betting preview for the Boxing Day clashes in the Premier League
Chelsea (Odds: 1.34) are still the team to beat in the Premier League. They have won every home game, scoring at least twice on each occasion and have lost just once to fourth-placed West Ham (10.00) in the last 13 meetings at Stamford Bridge. It is the longest streak in Hammers’ history without a win there. The draw is 5.30.
West Ham have lost once in their last 11 league games but have won just one of the last 17 meetings with Chelsea. One or other failed to score in four of last five meetings – it is 1.78 for one or other to draw a blank and 2.02 that both find the net – and while some will be looking for a shock result, plenty points to West Ham being put firmly in their place. They will start to come down with the Christmas decorations.
VERDICT: Chelsea 3 West Ham 0 @ 15.50
BEST BET: West Ham not to score @ 1.93
Burnley (4.60) have been creating plenty of chances and should have got more out of recent games with QPR and Tottenham – yet they lost both and are in the bottom three. They have managed just one win in their last five and have two home victories all season.
Inconsistent Liverpool (1.80) have won three of the last nine meetings with Burnley and have won two of their last nine games after a late goal saved two points against Arsenal on Sunday. The draw is on offer at 3.60. There are rarely too many goals in this fixture – one or other failed to score in eight of last 10 meetings (it is a massive 2.08 for one or other to fail to register and 1.73 that both net) and we expect another low-scoring game, one that Liverpool can win.
VERDICT: Burnley 0 Liverpool 2 @ 8.40
Southampton (2.16) ended a run of four consecutive league defeats when thumping Everton last weekend and, given their recent record against Palace (3.60) – five wins from six meetings – they may well maintain their momentum. They have only won three of eight on the road, however. The draw is 3.20.
Palace have lost half their games at home (winning twice and drawing twice) and have just one victory in their last 11 league games. That is relegation form, but they remain out of the bottom three on goal difference. There has been a positive outcome in eight of last 10 meetings (it is 1.36 that either palace or Southampton win on the Double Chance market) and the last seven meetings were won to nil. Ten of the last 13 meetings saw less than three total goals – it is 1.73 that over two goals will be scored this time – and that may well be the case again, with the Saints having the class to prevail.
BEST BET: Half-Time Draw @ 2.02
Everton (1.78) have managed just two wins in their last eight and were dreadful in their 3-0 defeat at Southampton on Saturday. Yet their record against Stoke (4.80) is excellent, with The Potters having won just twice on their last 22 trips to Goodison Park.
Stoke have won two of their nine games on the road and have beaten Everton just twice in the last 17 meetings. There have been three draws in the last five meetings – he draw is available at 3.55 –and nine of the last 10 meetings saw less than three total goals. It is 1.80 that under 2.5 total goals are scored. Everton have lost just two at home and they may well sneak it.
VERDICT: Everton 1 Stoke 0 @ 6.20
BEST BET: Stoke not to score @ 2.30
There is a fair chance that Nigel Pearson could be out of the door should rock-bottom Leicester (3.80) lose their sixth successive game and tenth in 11. They looked lively at West Ham on Saturday, but their failure to convert some great chances ultimately cost them.
Tottenham (2.30) have lost three of the last six meetings with Leicester yet they have won four of their last eight away games – all four victories coming with goals in the last two minutes. The draw is on offer at 3.40). Expect plenty of goals (eight of the last nine meetings saw more than two goals) but the Foxes might earn a valuable point.
VERDICT: Leicester 2 Tottenham 2 @ 12.5
BEST BET: Both teams to score @ 1.69
Manchester United (1.39) are in the top three and Louis van Gaal appears to have turned things round after a sticky start with three wins in their first 10 games. After six straight wins, they were held by Aston Villa on Saturday but should take all three points from a Newcastle (8.40) side who have won one of their last 30 visits to Old Trafford. The draw is on offer at 4.90.
Newcastle enter this on the back on an unwelcome record – they lost to Sunderland for a fourth successive occasion on Sunday. Alan Pardew’s side have won just two of the last 25 meetings and while they may well net (it is 1.65 that they do register), as they have in four of their last five away games, ultimately the hosts should have their measure.
VERDICT: Man Utd 3 Newcastle 1 @ 9.60
BEST BET: Man Utd to lead at Half-Time @ 1.82
Hull (4.00) have been dropping like a stone since beating Crystal Place in October. They have lost six and drawn four subsequently, with one point taken from 12 at home. Their sole victory on the road came at QPR on opening day and Steve Bruce must fear the worst, despite having won the last three meetings with Sunderland (2.02).
The Black Cats, buoyant after beating Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby, have won six of the previous nine meetings with Hull and have lost just four times this season. They are still just four points off the relegation places, however, thanks to 10 draws in 17. There has been no draw in this fixture, so it is high time honours should be shared and it is 3.20 that this will be the case.
VERDICT: Sunderland 1 Hull 1 @ 6.00
BEST BET: Hull to score first goal @ 2.34
Swansea (1.73) have lost just twice at home this season and have never lost at home to Aston Villa (5.20). After two defeats, Gary Monk’s side got back on track with a 1-0 win at Hull on Saturday and are sitting comfortably in eight place in the table. The draw is on offer at 3.60.
Aston Villa, who won three of the last 10 meetings with the Swans, have eased their way out of relegation trouble after one defeat in their last eight league games, capped by a gritty draw with Manchester United last weekend. They have three road wins (all 0-1), but may well have to settle for a point, which has happened on three of the last six meetings.
VERDICT: Swansea 0 Aston Villa 0 @ 9.20
BEST BET: Half-Time Draw @ 2.16
Alan Irvine is under pressure and is favourite to get the axe in the Premier League sack race market. West Brom (6.60) threw away a two-goal lead at QPR on Saturday and have one win from their last seven league games. They have also managed just one win against City (1.54) in the last 10 meetings.
City, unbeaten in the last eight meetings (winning seven), have won their last six league games and the champions are now hot on the heels of leaders Chelsea. Thought bereft of strikers, it did not faze them against Crystal Palace and they won’t be short of a goal or two here. So we can probably rule out the draw at 4.10. Eight of the last 11 meetings saw more than two goals and that trend should continue. The odds for more than 2.5 total goals are 1.86.
VERDICT: West Brom 1 Man City 3 @ 13.00
BEST BET: HT/FT Draw-Man City @ 4.30
Following their draw at Anfield on Sunday, Arsenal (1.27) are still four points behind fourth-placed West Ham and won’t be in the Champions League places after this round of fixtures. They will be at the end of the season, however, and there is no shame backing odds-on certainties. To keep in the hunt, they will have to beat a QPR (13.00) side they have drawn with in seven of the last 14 meetings. The draw is on offer at 5.90.
Rangers failed to score in five of last six trips to Arsenal and they have won just one of the last 14 there. Harry Redknapp’s side have lost all of their last eight road games and have registered one goal in three of those eight games. Arsenal’s defence is hardly watertight, but we take the Gunners to eke a narrow win.
VERDICT: Arsenal 2 QPR 0 @ 6.60
BEST BET: Half-Time Draw @ 2.78
All odds quoted from lingfieldfc.myclubbetting.co.uk
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