Game-week 19 kicks-off at Craven Cottage, where struggling Fulham are up against a Wolves team that has shown real intent, so far in the campaign. Can Claudio Ranieri build on the goal-less draw up at Newcastle and deliver a much needed victory, for the home supporters? John Newsome analyses all ten games and wishes you all a very Merry Xmas! You can view all previous analysis from John’s weekly column here – English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
FULHAM v WOLVES
Early Boxing Day Football live on Sky Sports sees these 2 teams reconvene in the Premier League after competing in the Championship last term.
Fulham remain rock bottom of the Premier League despite the great point earned at Newcastle on Saturday. It was a long trip North for the Cottages but that point will have made the journey a little bit better for the fans.
Wolves were well beaten on Friday Night against Liverpool losing 2-0 in front of their own fans. Liverpool are Top of the Premier League so that defeat was no disgrace and Wolves will put that to bed and move on.
Bet 365 offer Fulham at 11/5, the Draw at 9/4 and 5/4 for Wolves to come away from the Capital with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 5/2 that there will be Over 3.5 Goals and 11/2 for Alexandar Mitrovic to Score the First Goal.
Away Win 0-2
TOTTENHAM v BOURNEMOUTH
Tottenham blitzed Everton on Sunday beating the Toffees 6-2 even giving Everton a 1-0 start. Tottenham then took over and goals from Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli and Harry Kane gave them a 3-1 lead at the break. Christian Eriksen got the 4th before Gylfi Sigurdsson had pulled a goal back for Everton. Son and Harry made it 6 for Spurs keeping them in 3rd spot in the Premier League for Christmas. Speculation continues about Mauricio Pochettino and the Manchester United vacancy. There’s a long way to go yet and if Ole does a good job then he might just stay in the hot seat at Old Trafford. However, United will pursue Poch if they feel he is the right man for the job.
Bournemouth head to Wembley off the back of a great win against Brighton. David Brooks, who was a summer signing from Sheffield United, scored both goals in the 2-0 victory. Young David is a terrific player and is a real find For Eddie Howe and for that matter Ryan Giggs who has David in his Welsh team. The 1st goal was a superb left-foot strike and the 2nd was a sublime header giving the Brighton goalkeeper no chance. That’s the Cherries 1st win in 4 games and the 1st goals scored in those 4 games.
This game last season was played in the middle of October and finished 1-0 to Tottenham. Christian Eriksen getting the Solitary goal.
Bet 365 offer Tottenham at Odds On 1/3, the Draw at 4/1 and 15/2 for Bournemouth to come away from Wembley with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/2 that Dele Alli Scores the First Goal and 9/2 that David Brooks Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1
BURNLEY v EVERTON
Burnley come into this game off the back of another loss against Arsenal on Saturday. Ashley Barnes got a consolation goal in the 3-1 loss against the Gunners but the loss means Burnley will spend Christmas in the Bottom 3 of the Premier League. That’s just 1 Win in 11 now for Sean Dyche’s men who are still reeling from the Europa League experience.
Everton took the lead against Tottenham on Sunday but that goal from Theo Walcott was like a red rag to a bull and just sparked Tottenham into life. Gylfi Sigurdsson did manage a 2nd but the 6 Tottenham scored ultimately resulted in a loss for Marco Silva. Goodison Park has seen many fine games over the years, this being one of them, but Goodison Park will be no more in 4 years time as Everton have commenced proceedings on their new stadium. Maybe they’ll be in before Tottenham are in their new stadium.
This game last season was played at the beginning of March when the Beast of the East had hit Britain. It’s -5’ degrees at Turf Moor in August so the fans would have been very cold but the Turf Moor faithful will have been happy with the 2-1 win. Cenk Tosun had put the Toffees in front in the 1st-half but Burnley took control in the 2nd period with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood getting the all-important goals.
Bet 365 offer Burnley at 10/3, the Draw at 13/5 and Odds On 4/5 Everton to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 11/2 that Everton Score in Both Halves and 13/5 that Chris Wood Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v MAN CITY
Leicester come into this game off the back of a great 1-0 Win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy got the all-important goal to shock the Blues. Jamie was rested midweek in the Carabao Cup game against Man City which Leicester lost on penalties. Some had criticised Claud Puel for his team selection in that Cup game, but Claud surely was vindicated following the great win. Jamie is 32 years old at the beginning of January but if managed correctly, has a good few years left in him at Leicester.
Man City lost at the Etihad on Saturday. There are not many times that can be said of City over the past few seasons and they will be hurting heading to Leicester. Despite taking the lead against Crystal Palace through Ilkay Gundogan, City found themselves 3-1 down after 50 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne was introduced midway through the 2nd-half and got a great goal giving the Citizens hope. Palace held on for a memorable win and dent City’s Premier League title hopes leaving Pep’s boys 4 points behind Liverpool at the Top of the Table.
This game last season was played in the middle of November and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne gave Man City the 2-0 win.
Bet 365 offer Leicester at 7/1, the Draw at 19/4 and Odds On 3/10 for to City come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 17/2 that Jamie Vardy gets the First Goal and 6/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Away Win 1-4
LIVERPOOL v NEWCASTLE
Liverpool sit proudly at the Top of the Premier League at Christmas after beating Wolves 2-0 on Friday Night Football. That’s 7 straight wins in a row for Liverpool giving them a 4 point gap over City after City’s surprise loss against Crystal Palace. Mo Salah opened the scoring for the Reds in the 1st-half, no surprise there, the surprise was probably the identity of the 2nd goal scorer for Liverpool, Virgil Van Dijk. Big Virgil is not known for his goals but is certainly the signing of the year. Liverpool signed the Dutch defender last January and has rejuvenated the Reds making them serious title contenders. He is like a Rolls Royce at the back, knowing when to dive in, stay on his feet, go up for a header or let the ball go. Liverpool had a great defender in the 70s and 80s called Alan Hansen and Big Virgil is the modern day Alan Hansen. Super composed at all times.
Rafa Benitez takes his Newcastle team back to his old stomping ground Anfield off the back of a 0-0 draw against Fulham at St James Park on Saturday. In 1996 and 1997 these 2 teams played out 2 successive 4-3 results both in the favour of Liverpool. Both were tremendous games going down in history as 2 of the best Premier League games ever. It’s very unlikely that the Scoreline will be 4-3 in this game. It’s quite possible that Liverpool will get 4 goals but inconceivable that Newcastle will score 3. It could happen, but very unlikely.
This game last season was played in the Beast of the East at the beginning of March with Liverpool running out easy 2-0 winners. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane getting the goals for the Reds.
Bet 365 offer Liverpool at Odds On 1/7, the Draw at 7/1 and a massive 14/1 for Newcastle to come away from Anfield with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/5 that Mo Salah gets the First Goal and 125/1 that Liverpool Win 4-3.
Home Win 4-0
MANCHESTER UNITED v HUDDERSFIELD
United are back, United are back! That’s the rallying call of the United fans after the convincing 5-1 win against Cardiff. Attack, Attack, Attack was the order of the day from the new interim boss and United Legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has been given the top job at United until the end of the season. Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and 2 from Jesse Lingard gave the Red Devils the great win which will hopefully kick-start their lagging season.
Huddersfield lost their 5th game in a row on Saturday losing 3-1 at home against a resurgent Southampton. Philip Billing got the consolation goal for the Terriers who will surely be dreading this trip to Old Trafford.
This game last season was played at the beginning of February and finished 2-0 to United. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez scored the Red Devil’s goals that day.
Bet 365 offer United at Odds On 2/7, the Draw at 9/2 and a massive 9/1 for The Terriers to head back down the M62 with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 7/2 that there are Over 4.5 Goals and 9/2 that Marcus Rashford gets the First Goal.
Home Win 5-0
CRYSTAL PALACE v CARDIFF
Crystal Palace stunned the Football World going to the Etihad to take on Man City and come away with all 3 points after a fantastic 3-2 victory. Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic got the all-important goals for Palace. Andros Townsend got what could be an early contender for Goal of the Season. He hit superb left foot volley which gained speed and flew into the back of the City net giving Ederson no chance. What a goal.
Cardiff were the unlucky opponents of the Post-Jose Manchester United team and were always going to be up against it at the Cardiff City Stadium. Victor Camarasa got a consolation goal for the Bluebirds in the 5-1 loss to United. This will be another tough game in the Capital for Neil Warnock and his Cardiff men.
Bet 365 offer Crystal Palace at slight Odds On 2/3, the Draw at 3/1 and 15/4 for Cardiff to come away from the Capital with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals and 9/4
that Andros Townsend Scores Anytime.
Home Win 2-0
BRIGHTON v ARSENAL
Late Boxing Day action live on Sky Sports.
Brighton were beaten 2-0 away at Bournemouth on Saturday. That’s 3 defeats in a row for the Seagulls and Chris Hughton will want to stop the rot but may find this visit of Arsenal a tough ask. They will be without the services of Big defender Lewis Dunk who was given 2 yellow cards and ultimately a red against Bournemouth. It appeared his 1st yellow was a case of mistaken identity as he was shown the card for a foul on David Brooks when in fact it was his teammate Yves Bissouma who committed the foul. The strange thing about the Premier League rules is that a team can’t contest a yellow card but can contest a red card. So Lewis won’t be able to argue the sending off and will miss this game against the Gunners.
Arsenal head to the Amex off the back of a great 3-1 win against Burnley at the Empty-rates and find themselves in 5th place in the Premier League but in the same 37 points as Chelsea. The fans failed to turn up for the early kick-off and must have been out getting some last-minute Christmas shopping. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got a couple and Alex Iwobi added the 3rd to give the Gunners the win and get them back on track after the surprise loss against Southampton. Mesut Ozil was recalled to the starting lineup and was Captain for the day. He needs to up his game if he wants to stay in Unai’s team.
This game last season was played in the cold of early March and Brighton got the better of Arsenal. Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray got the Seagulls goals with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replying for the Gunners in an entertaining 1st-half. The 2nd-half didn’t see any goals and Brighton held on for the vital win.
Bet 365 offer Brighton at 19/4 to repeat the win, the Draw at 11/4 and Odds On 3/5 for Arsenal to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer 13/5 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will get the First Goal and 2/1 that Glenn Murray Scores Anytime.
Away Win 1-2
WATFORD v CHELSEA
Evening Football brings the Boxing Day proceedings to a close live on Sky Sports.
Watford got a great result at the London Stadium on Saturday beating West Ham 2-0. Big Troy Deeney got the opening goal by way of a penalty and Gerard Deulofeu added the 2nd late on to give the Hornets all 3 points. Big Troy is key to how Watford progress this year and is a superb player who wouldn’t look out of place in a Top 4 side.
Chelsea suffered a surprise loss at home on Saturday losing 1-0 against Leicester. That loss is the 2nd defeat in December for the Blues and Maurizio Sarri will want to re-address the balance and finish the year strong to remain in the Top 4 with Arsenal on their tails. Eden Hazard is playing a more advanced role known nowadays as a ‘false Number 9’ maybe Sarri needs to get a ‘real Number 9’ and let Eden play in his more natural position of Number 10.
This game last season was played at the beginning of February and surprisingly finished 4-1 to Watford.
Troy Deeney, as he did against West Ham, opened the scoring with a penalty in the 1st-half. Before Troy got the goal, Chelsea were reduced to 10-men when Tiemoue Bakayoko received 2 yellow cards in quick succession resulting in the defender getting his marching orders. Eden Hazard equalised for Chelsea in the 82nd minute which makes the scoreline of 4-1 more surprising. Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra blitzed the Blues in the last 6 minutes giving the Hornets the surprise win.
Bet 365 offer Watford at 9/2, the Draw at 11/4 and Odds On 3/5 for Chelsea to avenge that result in February.
Bet 365 offer 17/2 that Troy Deeney gets the First Goal and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Away Win 1-3
SOUTHAMPTON v WEST HAM
Live Thursday Night Football on Sky Sports.
Southampton got another great result away in West Yorkshire beating Huddersfield 3-1. That’s 2 straight wins for Ralph Hasenhüttl who has certainly reinvigorated the Saints after Mark Hughes sucked the life out of the team in his brief time at St Mary’s. Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings and new Saints starlet Michael Obafemi got the goals against Huddersfield. Young Michael is only 18 but is seen as a future star and Wreck-it Ralph certainly has no objection to giving Michael game time. Young Obafemi has also played International Football for the Republic of Ireland with Martin O’Neil selecting him before being sacked from his job as boss of the Republic.
West Ham were beaten 2-0 against Watford at home on Saturday which was the 1st loss in 5 games. The Hammers will regroup and come again. Andy Carroll got another 35 minutes under his belt after coming on as a 2nd-half substitute. That’s valuable game time for Big Andy who has featured in the last 4 games and must be pushing for a start against the Saints. After the loss against Watford, Manuel Pellegrini may just pick Big Andy to mix-up the starting 11.
This game last season was one of the earlier games played in mid-August and finished 3-2 to the Saints. Manolo Gabbiadini, Dusan Tadic and Charlie Austin got the goals for Southampton with a couple from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez replying for the Hammers. A quick note on that game was Marco Arnautovic was sent off in the 1st-half whilst the score was only 1-0 to Southampton and Charlie Austin got the winner by way of a penalty in the 93rd minute.
Bet 365 offer Southampton at 16/11, the Draw at 9/4 and 15/8 for West Ham to come away with all 3 points.
Bet 365 offer that 2/1 there are Over 3.5 Goals and 2/1 Andy Carroll Scores Anytime.
Home Win 3-1