It was an incredible weekend of football we witnessed with the main highlight being the 8-0 thrashing of Villa at the hands of Chelsea. Is Chelsea back to their strong early season form? Or was this just one of those results that happens every so often? To us it seems like they are back and Benitez looks to be getting the best out of Torres – his headed goal to open the scoring was fantastic. There was also plenty of controversy with West Ham and Everton with Carlton Cole being sent off unluckily, the Ashley Williams incident on RVP and we then saw Reading park the bus against Manchester City. Let’s have a look at the 9 games we have before us on Boxing day.
Best Value: Swansea looks the best value at $2.52 to beat Reading this week.
Everton ($1.51) Versus Wigan ($8.2), Draw ($4.4)
- Everton Last 5:DDWDW
- Undefeated at home this season
- Wigan Last 5:LLDLL
- Yet to win at Everton in their last 4 attempts (3 losses and 1 draw)
Everton did well to get the win at West Ham over the weekend thanks perhaps to some luck with the sending off but that’s football. Returning home to host the struggling Wigan and still without star Fellaini you would have to expect Everton to get the three points here.
Predicted result: Everton 2-1
Betting Option: Everton to win at $1.51
Fulham ($2) Versus Southampton ($4.3), Draw ($3.85)
- Fulham Last 5:DLWLL
- Only 1 win in their last 8 games
- Southampton Last 5:WDLWL
- Only 1 win away this season
- Conceding 2.85 goals a game away
It’s clear that Fulham has been struggling recently and they were poor again over the weekend. Southampton is also struggling to find some form with some up and down results of late that leaves them equal with Wigan on points in 18th for a relegation battle. Southampton has struggled away from home this season whilst Fulham generally have been quite strong at home. Berbatov will need to lead the way here and get back on the scoring sheet.
Predicted result: Fulham 2-1
Betting Option: Fulham to win at $2
Aston Villa ($4) Versus Tottenham ($2.06), Draw ($3.6)
- Aston Villa Last 5:WDDWL
- Beaten Spurs only once in their last 5 games at home (1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses)
- Tottenham Last 5:WWLWD
- From 9 games against bottom half sides Spurs have 7 wins and 2 losses
Villa will be desperate to bounce back after that horror 8-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Tottenham on the other hand are coming off a tough draw with Stoke and will be looking to get back on the winner’s list before the New Year. Importantly for Tottenham was the return of Gareth Bale and his form here could be the key. The last time these two met at Villa it ended in a 1-1 draw. This one will either be a tight affair or a relatively straightforward win for Tottenham.
Predicted result: Tottenham 2-1
Betting Option: none
Manchester United ($1.27) Versus Newcastle ($13.5), Draw ($6.8)
- Manchester United Last 5:WWWWD
- Undefeated at home versus Newcastle in their last 4 games
- Undefeated in their last 5 at home averaging 2.6 goals For.
- Newcastle Last 5:LWLLW
- Have not won away this season
- Averaging 1.75 goals against in away games
Manchester United is coming off their first draw of the season against an impressive Swansea unit whilst Newcastle got back on the winner’s list at home against QPR. Given Manchester United’s overall form this season and their form at home (despite the loss to Spurs) it’s hard to go past them here. It was an important return for Vidic from injury and he’ll be the better for it in his second game back here.
Predicted result: Manchester United 3-1
Betting Option: Manchester United to win at $1.27
Norwich ($6.2) Versus Chelsea ($1.65), Draw ($4.1)
- Norwich Last 5:DWWWL
- Had their first loss in 11 league games last weekend
- Only 1 loss at home this season
- Chelsea Last 5:DDLWW
- 11 goals in their last two games after knocking in 3 against Sunderland
Chelsea’s 8-0 win over Villa will surely have improved their confidence when they head to Norwich. Norwich has been incredible over the past few months despite their streak coming to an end over the weekend. Importantly for Chelsea is that all signs point to an improving and more confident Torres. Many people have been quick to give him a bit of a hiding but the fact remains that he has 13 goals in all competitions this season – not a bad return by any means. Norwich won’t be easy to knock over but Chelsea will hold no fear after recent results.
Predicted result: Chelsea 3-1
Betting Option: Chelsea to win at $1.65
QPR ($2.44) Versus West Brom ($3.25), Draw ($3.45)
- QPR Last 5:DDDWL
- Only 1 loss at home in their last 5
- West Brom Last 5:LLLDW
- 2 wins and 3 losses in their last 5 away games conceding on average 2 goals a game.
QPR were a little unlucky last week against Newcastle to not at least get a point and despite the loss they have been strong over their past 5 games under Redknapp. West Brom on the other hand got back on the winner’s list with a come from behind result against Norwich. On overall form this season it’s very easy to say West Brom would win convincingly, but on recent form QPR has been the better side. This will be a tight game and will most likely finish in a draw.
Predicted result: Draw 2-2
Betting Option: Both teams to score at $1.73
Reading ($3.05) Versus Swansea ($2.52), Draw ($3.55)
- Reading Last 5:LLLLL
- Conceding more goals at home per game (2.37) compared to when they play away (1.8)
- Swansea Last 5:WWLLD
- Michu continues to score – he now has 14 in all competitions
Reading were admirable in defence against Man City and in the end only conceded a late goal to Gareth Barry when we expected City to romp home with a big win. Swansea were impressive against Manchester United at home in their 1-1 encounter. This will be an interesting game as we don’t expect Reading to play for the draw in this one at home so they will look to try and attack a little more. This should open the door up for Swansea’s passing game to breakdown their defence and get the win here.
Predicted result: Swansea 2-0
Betting Option: Swansea to win at $2.52
Stoke ($3.55) Versus Liverpool ($2.36), Draw ($3.3)
- Stoke Last 5:WWDDD
- Conceded only 3 goals in 8 home games
- Undefeated at home
- Liverpool Last 5:LWWLW
- Only 1 win in their last 5 away games
There is no doubt right now that Stoke has the best defence in the league. Against Spurs over the weekend they were both strong defensively but they also showed some attacking flair at times which is the part of their game they need to develop a little more. Imagine this Stoke side with a strong attacking side to their game. Liverpool were fantastic in their win over Fulham and will need all their attackers on their best form to crack this Stoke defence.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: Under 2.5 goals at $1.67. Out of interest, correct result of 1-1 is paying $7 and 0-0 $9.2
Sunderland ($7.6) Versus Manchester City ($1.55), Draw ($4.2)
- Sunderland Last 5:LLWLW
- Yet to beat a top half side this season whilst also conceding 2 goals a game.
- Manchester City Last 5:WDLWW
- Undefeated away from home this season
Sunderland did well to win away at Southampton over the weekend and with 2 wins in their last 3 the signs certainly point to some improvement. City on the other hand had to work desperately hard to defeat Reading and will be looking to dominate this one. City has too many class players to lose this one and should get the win considering their form this season.
Predicted result: Manchester City 2-0
Betting Option: Manchester City at $1.55
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