English Premier League – Boxing Day – 2016

English Premier League - Football

The action continues straight after Christmas Day with plenty of matches to take place on Boxing Day. The competition will continue to chase the league leaders in Chelsea who have a comfortable 6 point lead over 2nd placed Liverpool. Though with no real crunch matches at the top of the table, Chelsea look likely to keep their 6 point lead for now. There’s more likely to be movement at the other end of the table with the likes of Hull, Swansea, and Sunderland looking to snap up some valuable points in an effort to claw their way out of the relegation zone. Crystal Palace too, who now have a new and ideal manager in Sam Allardyce for their relegation threatened season, will be keen to get back on the winners list given their current position in 17th. Regardless of no big ticket match ups here, this is the Premier League and there’s sure to be a surprise result or two.

**Odds from Sportsbet as at 26th December

Match Day 18 Best Bet: Watford versus Crystal Palace – Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72

Head to Head multi Bet: West Ham win ($2.8), Southampton/Tottenham Draw ($3.3), Chelsea win ($1.4), Arsenal win ($1.33) = $17.2

Watford vs Crystal Palace  

Crystal Palace have a chance to kick-start their season under new manager Sam Allardyce when they head across town to Watford on Boxing Day. Both sides have been out of form lately with Watford winning just 2 of their last 6 matches and Palace just 1 of their last 6. For Palace though, there will be a sense of new beginnings after Pardew was sacked and often with a new manager you tend to see a better performance based off emotions of such a change. One thing in Watford’s favour though has been their home form of late with 4 wins in their last 6. Palace will be a bit more inspired under a new manager but they may need a few games for Big Sam to start getting the best out of the team and with that a draw looks a fitting result here.

Predicted score: Draw 2-2
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.72 (90%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals $2.03

Arsenal vs West Brom   

Having now lost their last 2 matches, Arsenal face a tricky home test against West Brom who’ve been one of the form sides of the league this season outside of the top 6. They’ve been stubborn on the road as well this season with just the 3 losses from their 8 away matches but winning just twice in those 8 gives them a tough road ahead. That road gets really tough given that Arsenal are due for a win as losing 3 straight doesn’t look likely for a side that likely to challenge for the title the rest of the season.

Predicted score: Arsenal 2-0
Best Bet: Arsenal to lead at Half-Time at $1.72 (80%)
Next Best: Arsenal -1 Handicap at $1.91

Burnley vs Middlesbrough   

They are certainly a shocking side when you look at their away form, but at home Burnley are a much stronger proposition. They’ve only lost 3 times at home this season and haven’t conceded a lot of goals either for a newly promoted side. Their opponents Middlesbrough, though not overly strong home or away, have had a habit of keeping things even on the road this season. Of their 8 away matches, they have 5 draws and are one of only 6 sides in the league to so far concede fewer than 20 goals this season. The only other sides to conceded less than 20 include Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Southampton. For a side that still sits in 14th, that’s a pretty handy record and one that at this stage should see them safe from relegation. As for this contest, both sides don’t seem to score a lot of goals and this may end up being a pretty tight contest as a result.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at $1.5 (85%)
Next Best: Burnley to win either half at $2.01

Chelsea vs Bournemouth   

The league leaders will be gunning for 12 straight wins here when they take on Bournemouth and it’s very difficult to see them stumbling here. There’s of course the chance of a shock result, but Chelsea just seem to be motoring along content with 1-0 wins of which they have had 4 from their last 6. Those tight wins on the scoreboard may point to a potential upset coming up and the suspension of Diego Costa may harm the balance they have in the side right now but even still, a loss doesn’t look likely in this one. Bournemouth haven’t had much success on the road this season either. Their only win of the season on the road came at Stoke over a month ago and winning here would certainly be a shock.

Predicted score: Chelsea 2-0
Best Bet: Chelsea to lead at Half-Time at $1.83 (85%)
Next Best: Chelsea to win to Nil at $2.3

Leicester vs Everton   

It doesn’t seem as though Leicester are too intent on pushing higher up the table with a lot of their focus remaining on the Champions League. They have however been difficult to beat when at home where they’ve lost just once this season and that makes for a tricky match for Everton to get something out of. Everton have only won once in their last 7 matches and on the road this season they haven’t been much better with just two wins. Perhaps where they may have their chances is through suspensions to Leicester players. Fuchs, Huth and Vardy will miss here and that’s 3 pretty important players to be missing, especially all in one hit. Add to that the probably continued absence of Drinkwater, and Everton suddenly have a real chance of Boxing Day success here. They of course have some of their own problems, but Leicester look in a little more trouble.

Predicted score: Everton 2-1
Best Bet: Both teams to score – Yes at $1.67 (80%)
Next Best: Half-Time Draw at $2.1

Manchester United vs Sunderland   

There’s a feel good factor around Manchester United again now after 3 straight wins and the potential to make that 4 straight against the relegation threatened Sunderland will have them eager to perform. Sunderland have in the past 5 to 6 weeks started to claw their way off the foot of the table but this looks like another game where they’ll fall short. How far short they’ll fall remains to be seen, but they haven’t exactly been blown out of the water often when on the road this season. As for causing an upset, it does look pretty unlikely. From 8 away matches they have just 1 win and 1 draw but perhaps more telling has been their poor goal scoring record where they have just 4 goals on the road. United haven’t been the most convincing at home this season with just 3 wins, but being on a 3 game winning streak may lead to another good performance here.

Predicted score: Manchester United 2-0
Best Bet: Manchester United to win to Nil at $1.8 (75%)
Next Best: Manchester United -1 Handicap at $1.62

Swansea vs West Ham   

Swansea still look in trouble but they have some runs on the board when it comes to their home form. They’ve won their last 2 home matches, albeit against Sunderland and Crystal Palace, and will be keen to continue West Ham’s poor run on the road this season that has seen them produce just the 1 win. Based on form though, the Hammers look the better side here. They’ve won their last two matches compared to Swansea losing their last two by a combined 6-1. Swansea may have won their last 2 at home, but they haven’t exactly been convincing and for them to make it 3 straight at home seems like a big ask. West Ham similarly haven’t been overly convincing this season but based on form they have the ability to get over the line in this one.

Predicted score: West Ham 2-1
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.74 (85%)
Next Best: West Ham to win either half at $1.82

Hull vs Manchester City    

Hull are in a big hole at the moment and look set to stay there for some time yet with the visit of Manchester City here. The home side are currently on their best home run of the season where they are undefeated in their last 3 at home, but Manchester City will surely put a stop to that especially after coming off a big win against Arsenal last time out. That win pushed them back into the top 3 and just a point off 2nd spot. A win here is crucial to their title ambitions and with Hull struggling all over the pitch, a loss doesn’t seem realistic here.

Predicted score: Manchester City 3-0
Best Bet: Manchester City Half-Time/Full-Time at $1.83 (85%)
Next Best: Manchester City to win both halves at $2.88

Liverpool vs Stoke   

After some patchy form recently, two straight wins suddenly has Liverpool back into title contention even if they are still 6 points off the top in 2nd place. They host Stoke in their first match after Christmas and look set to continue their undefeated home form where they are one of only 2 sides in the league yet to lose at home. Stoke have been mixed on the road this season but their form really isn’t the issue here but more that Liverpool are starting to get back to their early season best. They’re still missing the amount of goals they were getting early this season but overall are still the strongest offensive side in the league right now with 41, 3 better than the next best in Arsenal.

Predicted score: Liverpool 3-1
Best Bet: Liverpool to lead at Half-Time at $1.67 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.47

Southampton vs Tottenham   

Tottenham have started to hit some form and despite observations suggesting they are below their performances from last season, they are 4 points better off this season than at the same point last season. It’s fair to say they haven’t had performances as strong this season so far as last, but they’ve won their last 2 and will be keen on making that 3 straight in this crucial period. Southampton have been very solid at home though with just the 1 loss and only 5 goals conceded in 8 home matches. Tottenham will need to be at their best to win here and although they’ve won their last two matches, this one may end up seventh draw of the season.

Predicted score: Draw 1-1
Best Bet: Half-Time Draw at $2 (75%)
Next Best: Under 2.5 goals at $1.68



As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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