The highlight games on Boxing Day for the next set of EPL matches are BURNLEY versus LIVERPOOL and MANCHESTER UNITED versus ASTON VILLA. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these and all game week 19 matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
Please note all prices quoted below were correct at the time of publication
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Another week in the Jungle with all these post-Christmas fixtures appearing live on Amazon Prime.
It was mentioned a couple of weeks back that Amazon Prime would be bidding for more live football in the next auction for the Television Rights.
As it turned out, the opposite occurred with Amazon deciding to pull away from streaming the Premier League games, leaving Sky Sports, TNT Sport and the BBC
with all three agreements covering the four years starting at the beginning of the 2025/26 campaign.
The BBC will show the highlights, with the other two having the live coverage.
Expect the subscription prices for Sky Sports and TNT Sport to increase over the next few years.
The phenomenon regarding this set of fixtures is once they are over, can one believe that half of the 2023/24 Premier League season has come and gone?
It doesn’t seem 2 minutes ago since the campaign kicked off.
NEWCASTLE v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
12.30 in England
As this is Boxing Day, it’s only right to include the story that appears in this EveryTip column at this time of year, enjoy.
Probably the best day of the year to watch football.
In 2020, going to the Boxing Day football was put on hold due to the pandemic meaning everyone stayed indoors, watching the telly.
Let’s hope, all who want to can now go to a game.
As George Michael once said,
‘This year, to save us from tears, everyone’s going to the football.’
Hopefully, the stadiums will be full, (that includes the Etihad).
Boxing Day is a day to get out of the house having spent the previous day indoors, putting batteries in Toys that had ‘Batteries Not Included’ on the box.
The kids would be shouting, ‘Daaa-d there’s no batteries in this Evel Knievel bike!’
The best toy of the 1970s!
So Dad, having been given the clue of ‘Batteries Not Included’ but choosing not to heed that warning, has to nip down to the local shop, that he knows will be open on Christmas morning in the hope of finding some Double AA batteries.
The shopkeepers are aware of this phenomenon and the normally £2.99-4-pack of Double AA batteries, are now £8.99 for 2, as the shopkeeper knows that Dad’s life isn’t worth living if he returns home, without the batteries.
This phenomenon only happens on Christmas morning.
Come Boxing Day, Mum and Dad (other combinations of parenting are available in this ever-evolving Cosmopolitan world we live in!) are ready for the boozer and a few liveners, talking with their mates as one is fed-up with talking to the wife/husband, wife/wife, husband/husband (or Gender Neutral/Neutral) and kids, then a stroll down to the ground to watch their beloved team lose.
No one is bothered that the Manager picks the wrong formation or only uses 2-Subs, not the permitted 3, leaving the star-Striker on the bench because the lad has indulged in a bit too much Turkey the day before.
The Midfield General is in the stands, not able to play, because he picked up his 5th-booking of the campaign, in the previous game, knowing that the 1-match ban would allow him to have a good Christmas Eve in the local nightclub, ‘Japanese Whispers’ and Christmas Day on the food and drink.
‘Sorry boss’ he says with a wink, as he walks off the pitch, in that last outing, with the thought in his head that he’s not playing on Boxing Day.
The parents are still happy, back in the boozer asking who’s won the King George VI at Kempton and realise the horse that was backed at 20/1 fell at the final fence whilst 50 yards in front of the rest and after cursing the said horse and its jockey,
‘The useless little..’
They order another few pick-me-ups to take away the hurt of going back home to the in-laws and kids.
After the cold Turkey from the day before, has been warmed up and turned into a Turkey Biriyani and a few glasses of Sherry, just to be polite, the Christmas Special of Call The Midwife is on the 55-inch.
The good old days.
Both teams come into this post-Christmas game off the back of defeats with Newcastle suffering a loss against Luton at Kenilworth Rd by a 1-0 away day score.
The ex-Magpie Andros Townsend with the headed goal to stun his old employers.
Since the last EveryTip column, Steve Cooper has finally been relieved of his duties as Manager of Nottingham Forest with the ex-Wolves and Tottenham Boss, Nuno Espírito Santo taking over.
Unfortunately for the New Gaffer, Forest succumbed to an opening game defeat against Bournemouth by the same 3-2 scoreline that occurred in last season’s encounter at the City Ground.
Willy Boly was shown 2 Yellow Cards and the subsequent Red before 25 minutes were up on the clock, leaving Forest with 10 men for 65 minutes which eventually took its toll.
The strange anomaly to that is the 2nd Yellow shouldn’t have been given as it wasn’t a foul, however, the dreaded VAR cannot get involved if a Yellow is shown.
That has to be one of the most bizarre rules in the game.
Basically, it means, that if the on-field referee Rob Jones had shown a straight Red Card, the incident could have been looked at by the Stockley Park Brigade, however, because Rob showed a Yellow, which was a second for Willy Boly, resulting in a Red, then VAR won’t get involved.
The replay clearly showed that it was actually a foul on Willy, not by Willy.
After a goalless 1st-half, Anthony Elanga scored to give the home team a lead before Bournemouth notched twice.
Chris Wood equalised for the 10 Men and when it looked like a point would be earned, Bournemouth scored the winner in the 94th minute to knock the pre-Christmas stuffing out of the Forest faithful.
Newcastle sit in 7th place with 29 points with Nottingham Forest staying in 17th, just above the drop zone on 14 points.
If there is talk of Erik Ten Hag being under pressure, then surely there has to be a conversation about Eddie Howe being under pressure too.
Newcastle have been knocked out of the Champions League and failed to finish in 3rd to progress to the Europa League.
Added to that, the Magpies were knocked out of the Carabao Cup last week and have suffered a defeat in 4 of the last 7 Premier League games since the victory over Arsenal.
For the time being this EveryTip column will leave that thought on the back burner but a couple of defeats in the coming weeks will surely get the talk of a New Manager started.
At St James Park last season, this fixture was the opening game of the 2022/23 campaign.
After a goalless 1st-half, goals from Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson gave Newcastle the victory over Nottingham Forest by a 2-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Newcastle at Odds On 1/2, the draw at 16/5 and 6/1 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Home Win 2-0
BOURNEMOUTH v FULHAM
15.00 in England
Bournemouth played in great game against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, eventually coming away with all 3 Christmas Present points from a 3-2 away day score, which coincidentally, was the scoreline in last season’s fixture between the two in Nottingham.
After a goalless 1st-half that saw Forest bizarrely reduced to 10 Men, it was the home team that took the lead, however a hat-trick from Dominic Solanke gave the Cherries the victory.
Forest had equalised Dominic’s 2nd goal.
The sending-off was a result of a challenge on Adam Smith, however, it was actually Adam who committed the foul so shouldn’t have been a Yellow Card to the Forest Defender.
As mentioned in the above preview, the dreaded VAR cannot get involved for Yellow Cards so were unable to overturn the decision.
That simply doesn’t make sense.
The 2nd Yellow Card will probably be overturned on appeal but that doesn’t change the fact that Bournemouth gained a victory against 10 Men and not 11.
The win leaves Bournemouth in 12th place with the same 22 points as Wolves and Chelsea from 17 games completed.
Remember it is only 17 not 18 as the fixture against Luton will be replayed in the coming weeks.
Fulham surprisingly suffered a home defeat at Craven Cottage against Burnley on Saturday.
Marco Silva’s White and Blacks must have been too excited about the impending arrival of Santa Claus gifting Vincent Kompany’s Clarets a lovely pre-Christmas present of 3 points from a 2-0 scoreline.
The result leaves Fulham in 13th place with 21 points from 18 fixtures completed.
In last season’s encounter between these two at the Vitality, it was Bournemouth that gained the home victory over Fulham by a 2-1 scoreline.
Andreas Pereira scored in the 1st-half to give the away team a lead at the break.
Marcus Tavernier and Dominic Solanke got the goals to give Gary O’Neils Cherries the win over Marco Silva’s Cottagers.
Betfred offer Bournemouth at 23/20, the draw at 5/2 and 11/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Home Win 2-1
SHEFFIELD UNITED v LUTON
15.00 in England
Sheffield United shocked everyone on Friday by taking the lead against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Cameron Archer scored in the 87th minute and when it looked like a surprise victory was on the cards, unfortunately for the travelling Blades and those watching at home, Villa equalised in the 97th minute to give both teams a share of the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
John Newsome was in contact with James from Swinton, nowhere near Bramall Lane and stated that if it was a Boxing Match, the referee would have stopped the fight at half-time, with Aston Villa battering Sheffield United.
That said, Villa couldn’t score (apart from one that the dreaded VAR disallowed) so all the Blades had to do was hang on in there on the ropes and hope for a lucky punch, which came when Cameron scored.
Although in the end, it was a draw, it was a great point gained that temporarily lifted United off the bottom of the table swapping places with Burnley, leaving the Blades with the same 9 points as Luton.
Unfortunately for the Blunts, both Burnley and Luton gained a victory the day after, which dropped Sheffield United back to the bottom of the Premier League.
As for Little Jimbo, the lad was last seen running around the Avenue waving his Blunt Jersey in the air, shouting,
‘3 more sleeps until Santa and the Spanner turn up!’
As mentioned, Luton gained a victory on Saturday over Newcastle at Kenilworth Rd, with the ex-Magpie Andros Townsend heading home the solitary winning goal to give the Hatters all 3 points from a 1-0 scoreline.
After last week’s emotional game against Bournemouth which saw the Captain, Tom Lockyer suffer a Cardiac Arrest on the pitch, the goal was celebrated with Andros lifting a Luton shirt with Lockyer on the back.
Tom is recovering well and has had an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) fitted which is similar to the one Christian Eriksen has, so it is possible that Mr Lockyer will be back playing later on in the campaign.
Take it easy Tom.
Despite the brilliant victory, Luton stay in the drop zone sitting in 18th place with 12 points, however, the gap between themselves and the safe team Nottingham Forest is now just 2 points.
Also, remember, Luton still have the fixture against Bournemouth to play again, which was abandoned last week.
These two met at Bramall Lane last season, however, the game was a Championship affair with the ex-Barnsley Boy Carlton Morris scoring the only goal of the game to give Luton the victory over Sheffield United by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Sheffield United at 13/10, the draw at 9/4 and 21/10 for Luton to come away with all 3-points.
Home Win 2-1
BURNLEY v LIVERPOOL
After seeing Sheffield United gain a great point the day before, Burnley needed to try and at least match that in the fixture against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
As it turned out, Vincent’s Clarets produced a great performance that resulted in a victory over Marco’s Cottagers by a 2-0 scoreline.
Second-half goals by Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge gave Burnley the brilliant away day pre-Christmas presents.
The faithful also picked up a few last-minute gifts in Harrods for the partners left at home.
(If one can call carrier bags gifts!)
The Burnley Boys and Girls were scratching their heads at the prices in the ex-Fulham owners Corner Shop.
Burnley had temporarily dropped to the foot of the table following Sheffield United’s draw on Friday but the victory lifted the Clarets back to 19th now with 11 points from 18 games played.
Liverpool played in a great game against Arsenal at Anfield in the late Saturday Afternoon kick-off.
After conceding an early Gunners goal, Mo Salah did what Mo Salah does and scored a brilliant individual effort to leave both teams level at the break.
Despite a few chances from both teams in the 2nd-half, the game finished in a draw by a 1-1 score, leaving Liverpool in 2nd place with the same 39 points as Aston Villa both a point adrift of Arsenal at the summit.
There was a controversial incident where Martin (Kobe Bryant) Odegaard handled the ball in the area.
Gary Neville, who was the Co-Commentator for Sky Sports, stated that the handball (which only touched Martin’s hand twice) was because the Gunner was falling over.
Firstly GNev, the reason Martin handled the ball was because he was falling over and if he hadn’t, the ball would have gone through to Mo Salah.
Secondly, Martin didn’t actually fall over and never touched the ground with his hand, only touching the ball (twice) with the hand, reminiscent of the great Kobe in his hay day for the LA Lakers.
In this era of ambiguous handball decisions, that one was a more straightforward decision and should have at least warranted the dreaded VAR to get involved.
Probably the winners of the weekend were Man City who didn’t play in the Premier League with all of Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa only managing to gain a point.
It’s been a couple of years since the Anfield Rappers ventured up the road to Turf Moor to take on the Clarets.
Fabinho scored the only goal of the game just before the half-time cup of tea to give Liverpool the victory over Burnley by a 1-0 score.
Betfred offer Burnley at 13/2, the draw at 4/1 and Odds On 4/11 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Away Win 0-2
MANCHESTER UNITED v ASTON VILLA
20.00 in England
Erik Ten Hag threw in a curveball on Saturday by including the 19-year-old French Defender Willy Kambwala in the starting lineup, giving Little Willy Willy his debut in a United shirt having played the odd times for the Under’s (18/19/21 etc).
A few years ago, Sir Alex Ferguson introduced another French Willy over the Christmas period, giving William Prunier his debut against Queens Park Rangers on the 30th of December 1995.
William didn’t do too bad, with United getting the victory at Old Trafford, however, a couple of days later on New Year’s Day 1996, Fergie again picked Mr Prunier for a game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
United suffered a defeat that day by a 4-1 score and Young William wasn’t seen again.
Unfortunately for Erik and the rest, especially Young Willy Kambwala, United suffered a defeat against West Ham by a 2-0 score, with Willy getting the hook in the 82nd minute.
That’s not only 3 defeats from the last 5 Premier League games but also the 4th from the last 5 where United haven’t scored.
Added to that there was the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich where United failed to score and also lost.
United have only scored 18 goals this term, 3 other teams have scored 18 and only 1 team has scored less.
Three are in the relegation zone and the other sits in 15th.
Crystal Palace-18 goals, Luton-18 goals, Burnley-18 goals and Sheffield United-13 goals.
Erik’s Red Devils dropped down to 8th in the table, still with 28 points from 18 games played, the Hammers jumping above United following Saturday’s win.
There will be the usual talk that it’s time to get rid of Erik Ten Hag and whilst John Newsome doesn’t necessarily agree with sacking Erik, there’s only so much that the United faithful will put up with.
As Gary Neville always says,
‘This is Manchester United!’
There was speculation that when Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival is confirmed then his INEOS Group would want to get rid and bring in Graham Potter.
All John will say regarding that is, if Mr Potter replaces Erik then United could probably be in the Championship in the next couple of years.
That said, if Erik Ten Bob stays at Old Trafford, the Championship is beckoning anyway.
One has mentioned this over the past few years, that being, the various United Managers over the past few years are relying on Scott McTominay being the go-to Midfield General.
It was Fred and Scott but the Brazilian has gone leaving his mate to hold the Fort.
The problem then is, that the Fort is being invaded week in and week out whilst Scott is in the team.
Granted the lad plays decent for Scotland but to be fair, there is an overweight 54-year-old who writes this column that could hold his own in a Scotland jersey.
(He’d have to wear an England shirt underneath though!)
Not to dig out Scott too much, United are simply not performing at the moment with the players coming in for the injured players not good enough.
Erik has said that Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro should be back in mid-January.
Aston Villa had the chance to sit at the summit of the Premier League, if only for 24 hours if a victory was achieved over Sheffield United on Friday Night Football.
Unfortunately, despite being the dominant team for most of the game, the Blades frustrated Villa and actually took the lead in the 87th minute.
With an extra 9 minutes added, Nicolo Zaniolo scored the equaliser in the dying seconds to gain a draw from the jaws of defeat.
As everyone knows, it is still a point gained for Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues that leaves Villa in 3rd place with the same 39 points as Liverpool from the opening 18 games.
Both are a point adrift of Christmas Table Toppers Arsenal.
What’s meant by a ‘point gained’ is some say that it’s ‘2 points lost!’
However, that is a myth as Aston Villa started the game against Sheffield United with 38 points, drew the game and now have 39.
Villa didn’t have 41 points, then because of not winning, now have 39, which is what would have been if they had ‘lost 2 points!’
So when someone says,
‘It’s 2 points lost for so and so!’
That can’t happen and is just a myth.
A draw, whichever teams are playing against each other, is always ‘a point gained!’
The Arm Thrower, Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of the game in last season’s meeting between these two at Old Trafford giving United the victory over Villa by a 1-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and 21/10 that Aston Villa Score in Both Halves.
Away Win 0-2
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Guglielmo Vicario- Tottenham
RIGHT-BACK- Teden Mengi- Luton
CENTRE-BACK- Kurt Zouma- West Ham
CENTRE-BACK- Mario Lemina- Wolves
LEFT-BACK- Andros Townsend- Luton
MIDFIELDER- Lucas Paqueta- West Ham
MIDFIELDER- Ross Barkley- Luton
MIDFIELDER- Son Heung-Min- Tottenham
FORWARD- Mo Salah- Liverpool
FORWARD- Jarrod Bowen- West Ham
FORWARD- Cameron Archer- Sheffield United
STAR MAN- Lucas Paqueta- West Ham
BRENTFORD v WOLVES
19.30 in England
Brentford will have had 10 days off since the last outing due to the fixture against Man City being postponed.
The Bees suffered their 3rd defeat in a row last time out, succumbing to a loss against Aston Villa by a 2-1 scoreline.
Keane Lewis-Potter did score on the stroke of half-time to give Brentford a lead at the break, however, Villa scored twice in the 2nd-half to run out winners.
Brentford sit in 14th place with 19 points from 17 fixtures completed.
Wolves gained one of the best results of the weekend coincidentally on Christmas Eve, getting the early presents by inflicting a defeat on Chelsea by a 2-1 scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half, goals from Mario Lemina and Matt Doherty gave Wolves the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Leaving Wolves in 11th place with the same 22 points as the West Londoners, Chelsea and Brentford.
Gold and Black Army!
Both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score when Wolves ventured down to Brentford for last season’s clash.
Ben Mee scored for the home team just after the interval before Ruben Neves replied to give the travelling faithful something to cheer.
Betfred offer 5/2 that Hwang-Hee Chan Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 5/6 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
CHELSEA v CRYSTAL PALACE
19.30 in England
‘It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one.
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you.
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you.
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true.
They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old.
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me.
You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more.
Sinatra was swinging
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night.
The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day.
I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you.
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you.
The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas Day.’
Rest in peace Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl.
It was Christmas Eve, when Chelsea headed up to Molineux to take on Wolves in a rare December the 24th affair.
Unfortunately for the Blues faithful who made the long trip North on the day before Christmas, Chelsea suffered a defeat by a 2-1 away day scoreline.
Christopher Nkunku did score a late consolation when the home team were 2 goals up but time ran out meaning Chelsea suffered the away day defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
Newcastle have been referred to as the Chelsea of the North.
Manchester United could be included in that conversation.
Both are shocking at the moment.
In the last EveryTip column that previewed Game Week-18, it was mentioned that Crystal Palace v Brighton should be known as the ‘1-1 Derby’ with 5 of the previous 8 results ending in a draw by that particular score.
On Thursday, Jordan Ayew scored on the stroke of half-time to give Palace a lead at the break.
Brighton equalised in the 82nd minute and with no further goals, the predicted draw by a 1-1 score, materialised for the 6th time in 9.
It’s hoped some out there gained a few quid from the game at Selhurst Park.
The point achieved leaves Crystal Palace in 15th place with 18 points from 18 fixtures basically gaining a point a game so far.
A single Kai Havertz goal gave Chelsea the victory by a 1-0 score over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge last season.
Graham Potter and Patrick Vieira were in charge of the respective teams back in January 2023.
Betfred offer Chelsea at Odds On 4/7, the draw at 3/1 and 5/1 for Crystal Palace to come away with all 3-points.
Home Win 2-1
EVERTON v MAN CITY
20.15 in England
Man City come into this fixture against Everton at Goodison Park after winning the World Club Cup in Saudi Arabia.
City gained a victory over the Brazilian team Fluminense by a 4-0 scoreline.
One slight negative to that brilliant win to become the Champions of the World was that Rodri picked up an injury.
It’s been shown this season that without the Spanish Midfielder then Man City are not the same team.
Rodri may be ok and could be in tonight’s starting lineup but it might be worth delaying having a punt until the team sheet is in.
If the lad is missing for any amount of time then it could put an end to City’s Title Retention.
In the last outing against Crystal Palace before the jaunt to Saudi, City snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.
After being the dominant team that saw goals from Jack Grealish and Ricoh Lewis give Pep’s Blues a 2 goal lead, Palace pulled a goal back before Phil Foden kicked an Eagle player in the 93rd minute to give away a penalty and gift Crystal Palace a point.
That’s the 4th draw of the campaign, along with the 3 losses, which isn’t Title Winning behaviour.
That said, despite the trip to Saudi Arabia and missing a Premier League game, Pep’s High Flying Blues actually had a good weekend with all of Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa failing to win meaning City, with 34 points, dropped a place to 5th due to Tottenham winning but are only 6 points adrift of Arsenal who sit at the summit and now have the game in hand over the rest.
As the great Micky Flanagan would say,
‘Man City are back in the game!’
Following 4 straight victories, Everton suffered an away day defeat against Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
After conceding 2 early goals and trailing at the break, the Forgotten Toffee Andre Gomes scored in the 82nd minute to give the travelling faithful hopes of a comeback.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be and Everton suffered the defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
That leaves Sean Dyche’s Blues in 16th place with 16 points from 18 games played.
Man City gained the away day victory over Everton at Goodison Park back in May on the way to winning the title with the fixture being a Game Week-36 affair.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan (2) and Erling Haaland gave Pep’s High Flying Blues the points from a 3-0 scoreline.
Betfred offer Everton at 9/2, the draw at 16/5 and Odds On 4/7 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Away Win 1-3
BRIGHTON v TOTTENHAM
19.30 in England
Brighton will have had 7 days to prepare for the visit of Tottenham having played last Thursday against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The prediction from this EveryTip column was a draw by a 1-1 score.
After conceding a Palace goal on the stroke of half-time, Danny Welbeck scored the equaliser in the 82nd minute to give both teams a share of the points from the predicted 1-1 scoreline.
Brighton sit in 9th place with 27 points from the 18 games completed.
Tottenham gained a professional victory over Everton on Saturday with 1st-half goals from Richarlison and Son Heung-Min giving Ange’s Spurs the points from a 2-1 scoreline.
Everton did pull a goal back late on but ultimately that turned out to be a consolation.
After 4 defeats in 5 games with a draw from the other, meaning just 1 point from a possible 15, Tottenham have now won 3 in a row to get back on track.
With Man City away in Saudi Arabia, Tottenham jumped up to 4th place with 36 points, 4 adrift of Arsenal at the summit and 2 more than City, however, like Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa, have played a game more than Pep’s World Champions.
If one were to ask who scored the Tottenham goal at the Amex in last season’s clash when Spurs gained the victory by a 1-0 scoreline, most would probably say ‘Harry Kane’.
Harry scored in the 22nd minute with the surprise being there were no further goals in the remaining 70 or so.
Betfred offer Brighton at 6/4, the draw at 13/5 and 8/5 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
ARSENAL v WEST HAM
20.15 in England
Arsenal sit at the summit of the Premier League at Christmas for the 2nd consecutive year following the weekend’s results.
An early goal by one of the three Angels, gave Mikel’s Young Guns a lead against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, with the Big Defender Gabriel heading home.
Liverpool did equalise to take both teams in level at the break and with no further goals both teams shared the points from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Arsenal could consider themselves lucky not to concede a penalty when Martin Odegaard handled in the area but despite protests from the Liverpool players, the referee refused to award the spot kick.
As mentioned, Arsenal sit at the Top of the Premier League Table with 40 points from 18 games played.
Liverpool and Aston Villa have 39 points, Tottenham have 36 and Man City have 34 but now have a game in hand over the other 4.
What Mikel Arteta will need to do is find a way to improve from last season when although being Top at Christmas, eventually finished 2nd in May.
Man City are renowned for being stronger in the later months and Pep Guardiola will know that despite it being Christmas, the Premier League presents are handed out in May not December.
West Ham hammered Manchester United on Saturday in the early afternoon kick-off at the London Stadium.
After a goalless 1st-half, Jarrod Bowen scored following a superb assist from Lucas Paqueta.
Lucas then played In Mohammed Kudos who notched to give the Hammers a great victory by a 2-0 scoreline.
That’s the 5th Premier League goal in succession that Mr Paqueta has supplied the assist.
Despite losing by 5 goals to nil against Fulham in the Premier League and 5 goals to 1 in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool, the victory against a poor set of Red Devils sees West Ham jump above United in to 6th in the table now with 30 points.
That will definitely please David Moyes, who will always like to get one over his old employers.
By the merest of coincidences, this fixture between these two Londoners took place on Boxing Day in 2022 and just over 12 months later both sets of fans don’t have far to travel for their post-Christmas Football rush.
Second-half goals from Bukaya Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah gave Mikel’s Young Guns the victory by a 3-1 scoreline.
Said Benrahme had scored in the 1st-half to give David’s Hammers the lead at the break.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Gabriel Jesus Scores First and slight Odds On 10/11 that Arsenal Score in Both Halves.
Home Win 3-1
The Scottish Premier League sees Celtic remain at the summit following their victory over Livingston (who?) Doctor one presumes on Saturday.
Rangers gained their victory on Sunday, with the Teddy Bears inflicting a defeat on Motherwell (who?) to remain 2 points adrift of the Green and White Hoops, however, do have a game in hand, which would mean that a victory from that extra game would see the Blue Noses jump to the Top of the Pub League.
Both teams play again with Celtic back out on Boxing Day and Rangers on the 27th then it’s the little matter of the ‘Old Firm Derby’ with Celtic taking on Rangers at Celtic Park on the 30th of December.
The significance of that game is if Celtic get the win, the game in hand that Rangers currently have won’t matter too much (at the moment) as the gap between the two clubs will be 5 points (that’s assuming both get the victory in the post-Christmas fixtures before the Derby).
However, there are all sorts of scenarios that can happen over the next few months that will decide the outcome of the Pub League.
Technically, Rangers could be at the summit before the Old Firm Derby on Saturday if they win and Celtic lose on Boxing Day.
The loveable OzScot will be enjoying Christmas in the Melbourne Sun, throwing a Turkey on the Barbie or whatever they do Down Under.
Braveheart has had trouble with a Barbie before, which saw a confrontation against Ken but that story is for another time.