Boxing Day, English Premier League
Eight English Premier League matches take place on Boxing Day, league leaders Chelsea will host Bournemouth and David Moyes returns to Old Trafford where in form Manchester United entertain relegation threatened Sunderland.
Note, the odds quoted are subject to change.
Watford v Crystal Palace – click here to bet
Watford are in twelfth place with 21 points and a home record that comprises of four wins, one draw and three defeats. A total of 25 goals have been scored in their eight home games and although they won their most recent home fixture, 3-2 against Everton, they lost their next two away at Manchester City and then Sunderland. Watford’s last six league outings have delivered four defeats and two wins.
Palace are fourth from bottom and their away record shows two wins, two draws and four defeats. They have scored 16 goals in eight away fixtures but 19 have been conceded and over the last 10 matches home or away they have one win, one draw and eight defeats.
Crystal Palace 22/10
Suggested Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 19/20
Remember this is an early kick off (14:30) and when Palace travel we usually see plenty of goals.
Arsenal v West Brom – click here to bet
Up until 13th December Arsenal were going along just fine, unbeaten in the EPL since the opening weekend of the season. The Gunners title hopes then took a big knock in their last two matches as they went down 2-1 away at Everton and then at Manchester City. Arsenal are now all of nine points behind league leaders Chelsea as they return to the Emirates where their last two home games delivered 3-1 wins over Bournemouth and then Stoke.
With 23 points West Brom are going well just above half way in the standings. That represents a solid season so far for the Baggies but they have lost to three of the current top six teams in their last seven outings, at home to Manchester City (4-0) and Manchester United (2-0) and away at Chelsea (1-0)
West Brom 17/2
Suggested Bet: Arsenal clean sheet? (yes) at even money
The visitors may not be too adventurous in their approach and Arsenal are taken to keep a clean sheet.
Chelsea v Bournemouth – click here to bet
Chelsea have surged clear at the top of the standings on the back of eleven straight league wins and the last three have all come by a 1-0 scoreline, at home to West Brom and away at Sunderland and Palace. Chelsea have kept nine clean sheets in their winning streak but they will be without two big names here, 13 goal striker Diego Costa who is suspended for this match, as is midfield N’Gole Kante.
Bournemouth are in mid table with 21 points but they have been inconsistent for much of the season and a 3-1 home defeat in a local derby against Southampton last time out means their record over the last six matches reads WLWLWL. Bournemouth won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge last season but they were soundly beaten 4-1 in the return.
Suggested Bet: Handicap Chelsea -1 goal at 19/20
Even taking Costa’s suspension into account Chelsea have other potential goalscorers and they continue to keeping things ultra tight at the back.
Manchester United v Sunderland – click here to bet
United look as though they are starting to hit their straps and they come into this game on the back of three successive wins and an unbeaten run of eight league matches. They are still just sixth in the standings but the signs are good and this is the first of two very winnable home games over Christmas with Middlesbrough due here next.
Sunderland are giving it everything they have got in their bid to avoid relegation and four wins from their last seven have lifted them off the bottom of the table and just one point from safety. They have failed to score in five of their road trips this season.
Man United 2/9
Suggested Bet: Matchbet and total goals, over 2.5 and United win at 13/20
It’s hard to make a case for a surprise here with United on a roll.
Leicester v Everton – click here to bet
Leicester still have plenty to worry about in terms of their league position, fifteenth with 17 points, just three above the drop zone. However, there was plenty to like about the way they came back from 2-0 down at half time to draw 2-2 at Stoke last time out, especially given they played the bulk of the game with ten men after Vardy’s controversial red card.
Everton lost the Merseyside derby 1-0 to Liverpool in their most recent outing and their away form has suffered since the early stages of the season. The Toffees have lost five and drawn one of the last six on their travels, most recently 3-2 at Watford.
Suggested Bet: Match result draw at 24/10
This looks a difficult one to call and the draw is a speculative play.
Burnley v Middlesbrough – click here to bet
Burnley return to home soil after back to back narrow defeats in London at West Ham and Spurs. Their home form is impressive with five wins which include victories over Liverpool and Everton but they remain in trouble in sixteenth spot with a cushion of just three points over the relegation zone.
MIddlesbrough are a point better off than their opponents and they won a crucial game at home to Swansea 3-0 last time out. They have won just once on the away from home but they have drawn five other matches on the road including visits to Manchester City and Arsenal.
Suggested Bet: Match result draw 5/2
Burnley are much stronger at home than away but Boro are hard to beat and this could well be another stalemate.
Swansea v West Ham – click here to bet
Swansea have won their last two home fixtures and they were big games against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace (5-4) and Sunderland (3-0). Since the Sunderland game they have lost at West Brom and Middlesbrough and they come into this game second from bottom and three points from safety.
West Ham are looking for a third straight league win after 1-0 home victories over Burnley and Hull helped them move five points clear of the relegation zone. Their only win away this season came at Crystal Palace but useful points were earned in the last two on their travels at Manchester United and Liverpool.
West Ham 18/10
Suggested Bet: West Ham draw no bet at 9/10
A repeat of those recent displays at Man United and Liverpool would probably be enough to see West Ha win this but insurance is taken with the draw no bet option.
Hull City v Manchester City – click here to bet
The evening kick off sees Hull bid to upset City and move off the bottom of the table. With just one win in their last 15 league games the odds are stacked against the home team who have already seen Manchester United (1-0), Arsenal (4-1) and Chelsea (2-0) leave Humberside with maximum points and Stoke also won here.
City gave themselves a huge boost in the title race with a 2-1 home win over Arsenal last time out to move above the Gunners in the standings. They come into this weekend a point shy of Liverpool and seven behind league leaders Chelsea and leading scorer Aguero is still serving his suspension. City were awful in their most recent road trip, a 4-2 defeat at Leicester but six other away fixtures have gone their way.
Man City 7/20
Suggested Bet: Away tea to score in both halves? (yes) at 9/10
Even without Aguero City still have the firepower to find the net in both halves.