It’s a busy run of fixtures over this Christmas period but it’s one of our favourite times of the year because it means more football more regularly. We’re very much looking forward to the WBA and Norwich game this weekend given that WBA had been very strong despite recent results whilst Norwich are on a golden run. We also wonder how many goals Reading will let through against a Manchester City side that arguably played their best game of the season last week against Newcastle. It’ll also be interesting to see if Cazorla can keep scoring for Arsenal after his 3 goal performance against Reading last week. Let the games and goals begin and Merry Christmas to all!
Best Value: Arsenal at $1.79 against Wigan and Manchester United $1.71 against Swansea looks the best value
Wigan ($5.1) Versus Arsenal ($1.79), Draw ($4)
- Wigan Last 5: WLLDL
- Conceding on average 2 goals a game against top half sides
- Arsenal Last 5: DDLWW
- Averaging 2.5 goals a game against bottom half sides
- Yet to lose to a bottom half side this season
It’s hard to see Wigan winning this one even though Arsenal have at times been less than convincing this season but the fact they are yet to lose to a bottom half side and their recent run of two wins suggests they should be too strong for Wigan in this one. Watch for Cazorla who is in fine touch after his 3 goals against Reading.
Predicted result: Arsenal 3-1
Betting Option: Arsenal to win at $1.79
Liverpool ($1.56) Versus Fulham ($7.2), Draw ($4.3)
- Liverpool Villa Last 5: DLWWL
- Only 1 loss in their last 5 at home (3 wins, 1 draw)
- Fulham Last 5: LDLWL
- Beat Liverpool twice last season
- Only 1 win away from home this season
Liverpool will be desperate to recover from their somewhat shock loss to Villa last time despite their domination with possession and the chances they had early on. Fulham are a good side on their day but they have been poor recently and their away record is not any better with only 1 win away this season.
Predicted result: Liverpool 2-1
Betting Option: none
Manchester City ($1.16) Versus Reading ($24), Draw ($10)
- Manchester City Last 5: DWDLW
- Averaging 2.33 goals at home and 2.55 goals a game against bottom half sides
- Reading Last 5: LLLLL
- Conceding on average 2.33 goals a game against top half sides
Without disrespecting Reading too much, it’s hard to see them troubling Manchester City here at all. There should be goals galore here given Reading’s poor defence and the fact they let in 5 against Arsenal last week. Look for Tevez and Aguero to cause plenty of headaches this week.
Predicted result: Manchester City 4-0
Betting Option: there’s not a lot of value in this one but there seems good value in over 3.5 goals at $1.88
Newcastle ($2.14) Versus QPR ($3.85), Draw ($3.6)
- Newcastle Last 5: LLWLL
- 1 win in their last 8
- Only 1 win against bottom half sides
- QPR Last 5: LDDDW
- Confidence will be high after their first win of the season and undefeated in their last 4.
Newcastle started strongly at home against Manchester City last week and were unlucky to not go ahead early on before City ran riot for the rest of the game. QPR’s confidence is growing after their win against Fulham and their undefeated reign under Redknapp. If Newcastle can convert their early chances and start the way they did against City last week they could very much get a win here at home.
Predicted result: Newcastle 2-1
Betting Option: none
Southampton ($2.06) Versus Sunderland ($4), Draw ($3.65)
- Southampton Last 5: WWDLW
- Conceding only 0.8 goals per game at home in their last 5.
- Sunderland Last 5: DLLWL
- Performing slightly better than last year at the same stage with 16 points compared to 14.
- Only 1 win away this season
Southampton has certainly had a decent run of late and they have been strong defensively in their last 5 at home. Sunderland on the other hand has been poor and they have struggled away from home. Southampton look the better side here but this one is most likely going to end in a draw.
Predicted result: Draw 1-1
Betting Option: Lay Sunderland at $4
Tottenham ($1.64) Versus Stoke ($6.6), Draw ($4)
- Tottenham Last 5: WWWLW
- Conceded only 4 goals in their last 5 games having conceded more than double this per game in their first 12 games.
- Stoke Last 5: WWWDD
- Averaging 1 Goal For a game in their last 6
- Only 1 win away
Tottenham didn’t have an easy win over Swansea last week but managed to hold out. They still look a little nervous in defence when it gets late in the game but recently they have managed to not concede too many goals in their last 5 games. Stoke as usual have been very strong defensively but they only have 1 win away this season and will be playing for a draw here. Bale will be the difference if he returns this week with his pace causing a few problems for the stubborn Stoke defence.
Predicted result: Tottenham 2-0
Betting Option: Under 2.5 goals at $1.84
West Brom ($2.04) Versus Norwich ($4.2), Draw ($3.6)
- West Brom Last 5: WLLLD
- Only scored 2 goals in their last 4
- Norwich Last 5: DDWWW
- Their last defeat was on October 6th to Chelsea – magical run since then
- Only lost once to top half sides this season
We’re quite looking forward to this one given West Brom’s season overall and Norwich’s incredible form of late. West Brom were unlucky to not score last week against West Ham and surely this week they’ll get a couple in the back of the net. As good as Norwich have been lately, they have still let goals slip through and there comes a point when a run of good form will end. Given that Grant Holt is unlikely to play this week this could be the baggies chance to get back on the winner’s list.
Predicted result: West Brom 2-1
Betting Option: Both teams to score at $1.74
West Ham ($3.1) Versus Everton ($2.6), Draw ($3.35)
- West Ham Last 5: LLWLD
- Averaging 2 goals a game in their last 5 home games
- Beaten Everton once in their last 10 meetings
- Everton Last 5: DDDWD
- Fellaini is out for 3 matches and is their leading goal scorer with 8
- 4 draws and 1 loss in their last 5 away games
The loss of Fellaini will hurt Everton as he’s been their best player and leading scorer this season. West Ham have not had the best run of form lately but they have been decent at home and will see Fellaini’s absence as the perfect time to get another win.
Predicted result: West Ham 1-0
Betting Option: Lay Everton at $2.6
Chelsea ($1.36) Versus Aston Villa ($10.5), Draw ($5.6)
- Chelsea Last 5: LDDLW
- Only 1 win in their last 5 at home
- 1 Premier league win from the start of November highlights their poor recent run.
- Aston Villa Last 5: DWDDW
- Villa won the last time they visited Stamford Bridge 3-1
- Only conceded 2 goals in their last 5 games
Villa was excellent last week with Benteke showing us all how good a player he is and can be. Chelsea has had a horror run for the most part since early November but there has been improvement recently with their win over Sunderland and during the week against Leeds. Chelsea will need to work hard to score given Villa’s excellent defensive displays in their last 5, but they should have enough firepower to win here
Predicted result: Chelsea 2-1
Betting Option: Chelsea to win at $1.36
Swansea ($5.7) Versus Manchester United ($1.71), Draw ($4)
- Swansea Last 5: DWWLL
- Undefeated when they score first (6 games) whilst they are yet to come from behind and win when the opposition scores first.
- Manchester United Last 5: WWWWW
- Averaging 2.33 goals For in away games
- The last 3 matches they have played in the game has averaged 5.33 goals
Swansea looked good against Tottenham last week and certainly troubled them. The United Juggernaut though continues to gather steam and at this stage seem almost unstoppable. Expect RVP to be involved heavily here. One must wonder whether Swansea will come out and attack or will they hold out for a point? Surely United is too strong in this one.
Predicted result: Manchester United 3-1
Betting Option: Manchester United at $1.71
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