Boxing Day Premier League Preview: Man City, Chelsea face easy opposition as Liverpool head to Stoke & Utd hosts Newcastle
After the 1-1 draw with Swansea, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will be looking to dismantle any opposition that comes their way and it will be Newcastle who could face the backlash. The match is being played at Old Trafford so we can surely see some fireworks from the red side of Manchester.
Here is the complete fixture list of the Boxing Day matches followed by betting previews of the important fixtures:
Stoke City v Liverpool
The Reds bounced back from a disappointing home defeat to Aston Villa with an impressive 4-0 thrashing of Fulham at Anfield last weekend, but face a side who are unbeaten in their last 8 English Premier League games.
Tony Pulis’ men have won four and drawn four in that period, but significantly three of those wins have come at home.
That suggests that they are going to be tough nuts to crack, especially as the stats are also not good for Liverpool as far as this fixture is concerned.
They have not won in the league at the Britannia since 1984/85, and the last three meetings in this fixture have resulted in a draw and two wins for the home side.
Liverpool have also failed to find the net in their last two visits in the league, going down 2-0 and 1-0.
That suggests they will need to be at their very best to secure victory, and given their unpredictability, the draw simply has to the the bet at the odds-on offer.
Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
The home side come into the game on the back of an 8-0 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and have won just two games at home this season.
By stark contrast, Spurs have lost just one of their last 8 games in all competitions (W5, D2) and have a decent record in this fixture.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side have not lost in the last four league meetings at Villa Park (W2, D2).
Both victories in that period have been by a 2-1 margin, and a repeat looks worth a wager at the 9 on offer with Betfred.
Jermaine Defoe tops the goalscoring charts in the Premier League for Spurs this season with an impressive tally 9 from 18 games, and looks a worthy favourite in the first goalscorer market at 6 with Betfred and Boylesports.
Another interesting stat is that in the last 8 league games between the two sides at Villa Park both sides have managed to find the back of the net.
That makes the 173 on offer with bet365 about both teams scoring look a cracking bet.
Manchester United v Newcastle United
The Red Devils performed well below their best in their 1-1 draw at Swansea on Sunday, and Sir Alex is sure to have read them the riot act after that game.
A backlash can be expected and in a game in which they traditionally do well Newcastle look likely to feel the full force.
United have not lost at home to the Magpies in the Premier League since 1971/72 and the last time they met back in October at St James’ ran out easy 3-0 winners.
A similar scoreline, or bigger, could be on the cards in this as Newcastle have been a shadow of their former selves this season and have won just 5 of their 18 games.
All of those wins have come at home, and they have been beaten on the road by the likes of Southampton and Fulham.
By stark contrast, table toppers United have lost just three games all season and had been banging in goals for fun prior to their first draw of the campaign against Reading.
Robin van Persie who was unlucky not to score when hitting the bar against Reading and looks massively overpriced at 4 with bet365 to net the opener given that he is as short as 2.75 with one firm to do so.
I think there will be plenty of goals in this, and over 2.5 looks a solid odds-on shot at 1.44 with Boylesports.
Sunderland v Manchester City
The Citizens haven’t won on their last three Premier League visits (L2, D1) and the Black Cats have beaten them 1-0 on their own patch in the last two seasons.
Martin O’Neill’s side also managed a 3-3 at the Etihad last season, but where comprehensively beaten 3-0 in the corresponding fixture when they last me back in October.
The Black Cats also come into the game having rediscovered their form with back-to-back wins in the top flight, and face a City side who were fortunate to beat Reading 1-0 at home as the weekend and haven’t been at their best on their travels this season.
Norwich City v Chelsea
The stats are certainly good as far as Chelsea are concerned as they have managed to put 14 past Norwich in their last 5 meetings (W4, D1) in the league, with the home side managing just three in reply.
The Blues beat them 4-1 at Carrow Road back in October, and will be hopeful of another wide margin victory following their 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Although everything suggests a comfortable win for Chelsea, it’s noting that the Canaries have been very good at home this season and managed to hold Chelsea to a 0-0 draw in the corresponding fixture last season.
However if Chelsea turn up in the same mood as they did against Villa then it’s hard to see them not coming away with all three points.
The other bet that looks a bit of value is for Chelsea to win to nil at 2.8 with Paddy Power.