We are going to look ahead at the first set of fixtures in this action packed Christmas schedule and give you the standout Premier League tips for our chosen selections.
It would be a brave man that predicted anything but a Manchester City Premier League title win come May. Manchester City overcome their last big hurdle as the first half of the Premier League draws to a close. They demolished Tottenham in emphatic fashion by 4 goals to 1, giving them 17 wins from 18.
In more or less any other season, 2nd placed Manchester United would still be in with a shout with 18 points from 42 games. With another win coming against West Brom at the weekend, they’re not giving up. But it would take something incredible for them to win the title from here.
So perhaps the two Premier League battles to watch this season is the one for 4th and the relegation battle. The relegation battle is looking particularly intriguing with just 7 points separating 10th placed Watford and 18th placed Newcastle.
Premier League Tips – Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in 8 of their last 9 matches against Liverpool in all competitions
With all the attention on Manchester City, Arsenal have kind of gone under the radar so far this season, and not many people are talking about them. This will be a welcome relief for manager Arsene Wenger who has been under intense pressure for the past four years.
While Arsenal are well out of the title race, their focus is now on a top 4 finish, and they’ve got as good a chance as anyone of returning to the Champions League again next year.
This match against Liverpool represents a good chance for them to leapfrog one of their top 4 rivals Liverpool and stake a claim for one of those spots.
Arsenal are going through a bit of a sticky patch with one win in 4 in the Premier League. They will be buoyed by the return of defender Shkodran Mustafi for Friday night’s game though. But the bad news is that super sub Olivier Giroud will miss the game due to an ankle injury, and could be out for a while.
Arsenal played in midweek, so Liverpool have a slight advantage with a week to prepare for this game. They have no new injury concerns to worry about so Klopp is expected to name an unchanged side to the one that beat Bournemouth 4-0 last weekend.
One thing that stands out about this game from a stat perspective, is that goals should arrive by the hatfull. Liverpool have scored at least 3 goals in each of their 4 away matches. They’ve also scored 3 goals in their last 4 matches against Arsenal. While Arsenal have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches against Liverpool.
We’re expecting this one of our Premier League tips to get Christmas off to a bang.
Premier League Tips – There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Burnley’s last 9 home games (Premier League)
If the season was top stop today, it’s likely that Pep Guardiola would receive the manager of the year award. But arguably, with all aspects such as club size, and budget are considered, there is one man who has done even better so far. That man is Sean Dyche.
If someone had have said that the match to mark the midway point between Burnley and Tottenham would be a class between top 4 challengers, you would have been sent off in a straight jacket. It may well turn out that Burnley aren’t still close to a Champions League place at the end of the season, but they’re certainly giving it a go.
And on paper, Burnley are a ridiculous price to win the match on Saturday. They currently stand at 6/1 at home, against a team that have failed to win in 5 away matches. Tottenham may possess a team with greater talent, but this isn’t going to be as easy as the odds suggest. For a start, Burnley have kept a clean sheet in 6 of the last 8 home matches.
Burnley do have a few injury concerns though. Tom Heaton, Robbie BRady, Dean Marney, Jon Walters and Stephen Ward are out.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be well aware that his side need to find some form and kick-start their season in the Premier League. However, in past seasons, the Christmas period is where his sides come alive.
Another man with an added motivation going into this fixture is Harry Kane. After firing blanks in his past 2 matches, he now has just 2 games to score the 4 goals needed to break Alan Shearer’s record of goals in a calendar year. That may seem like a tough task, but if someone can do that, Harry Kane can.
Tottenham are now only without Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld, with the former nearing a return to the team. Davinson Sanchez returns after serving a 3 match suspension to boost the Tottenham backline that conceded 4 against Man City.
Burnley frustrated Tottenham in their opening encounter this season with a 1-1 draw. But they may be expected to be a bit more attacking at home, which is where Tottenham might find some joy.
Premier League Tips – Manchester United have won 6 of their last 7 matches (Premier League)
Jose Mourinho’s side go into every game now knowing they have to win, which is a lot of pressure. But if there is one manager that has the experience needed to keep his side going during testing times, it is Jose Mourinho.
Since their defeat to Manchester City they have registered back to back wins. Although they weren’t pretty victories, they got the job done, which is all you can ask.
Also, striker Romelu Lukaku is back to scoring ways after bagging goals in his last two games. He will spearhead the United attack, and will likely be supported by Paul Pogba. Pogba is set to return from a 3 match suspension, which will give United an extra dimension.
Leicester’s recent good form his a surprise bump in the road last weekend. They were convincingly beaten at home 3-0 against relegation strugglers Crystal Palace.
Leicester also received a blow in midweek. They were beaten on penalties by Manchester City and knocked out of the League Cup.
This match is likely to be a cagey affair, with both teams preferring to defend deep and hit teams on the counter with pacy attacks.
Premier League Tips: Recommended Bets
|Arsenal vs. Liverpool||Liverpool win and BTTS||4.33*|
|Burnley vs. Tottenham||Scorecast – 2-1 Tottenham & Harry Kane to score first||22.0*|
|Leicester vs. Manchester United||Manchester United win||1.8*|
*Odds at publication. Subject to change.