It’s time for a hectic festive period of football, with games on Boxing Day and then December 28. Here are Kurt Bristoll’s best bets for our Premier League Xmas special . . .
Liverpool v Leicester – Foxes to win
Leicester are top of the table ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures, which not even Gary Lineker could have even thought would be possible. But it now seems as they are being taken seriously as title contenders as the league’s top scorers are showing no signs of slowing down. Liverpool are not in their best form going into this one, managing only a point from their last three games against West Brom, Newcastle and Watford. Here they’ll come up against a great attacking side in Leicester with deadly duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, which I reckon will mean another defeat for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
Best price: 16/5 with Coral.
Aston Villa v West Ham – Under 2.5 goals
This game does not look like it will end up being first on Match of the Day highlights package on Boxing Day. Both teams have been struggling in front of goal and are subsequently toiling in the Premier League. Aston Villa have only managed to score 14 goals in 17 games in the league this season, whereas West Ham have scored just two goals in their last five games, drawing their last three matches 0-0. The correct score of 0-0 pays 7/1 but I’m going to play it safe and go for under 2.5 goals in this one.
Best price: 8/13 with Bet365.
Southampton v Arsenal – Gunners to win
Southampton have struggled to hit the heights that they managed last season and are desperate to start picking up some much-needed wins. Unfortunately for them they meet an impressive Arsenal side, who are just two points behind Leicester in the race for the title after their 2-1 victory over Man City on Monday night. Saints have just one draw and four defeats in their last five games and I can’t see them getting the three points they need here.
Best price: 23/20 with Bet Victor.
Man United v Chelsea – Under 2.5 goals
If rumours are to be believed then by the time this game rolls around Jose Mourinho could soon be sitting in the home dugout. As it stands, this game lacks the usual spice of a meeting between Man United and Chelsea, with both teams are well below par this season. I’m expecting this to be a cagey affair without many goals as they look to avoid defeat and because Chelsea have netted just one away goal in their last three league games. Last season this fixture ended 0-0 and with that being a familiar scoreline for United this season, I reckon it will be the same again.
Best price: 4/6 with Paddy Power.
Crystal Palace v Swansea – Palace to win
Crystal Palace are currently sixthe in the Premier League and level with Tottenham and Manchester United on points, which is a fantastic achievement at this point in the season. Swansea sit in 18th place and find themselves in a relegation battle as we head for a new year. The visitors haven’t won an away game since late October and have taken just two points from their last five games, while Palace have recorded 10 points and beat Stoke in their last outing. I expect Alan Pardew’s men to make easy work of managerless Swans.
Best price: 10/11 with William Hill.
Norwich v Aston Villa – Canaries to win
Norwich will be fairly happy with their recent results, having managed to secure draws at home with Everton and Arsenal. Alex Neil’s men then went one further when they stunned Man United with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford. They face a miserable Aston Villa side who look destined to be playing in the Championship next season and who haven’t won since the first day of the season. The Canaries have the momentum and confidence going into this one and with the home crowd behind them, I reckon they will take all three points.
Best price: 11/10 with SkyBet.
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