We preview all three televised Premier League games on Boxing Day, kicking off with Manchester United’s visit to the Britannia Stadium to face Mark Hughes’s Stoke.
Stoke v Manchester United
Saturday 24th December / 12.45pm
|Stoke||Draw No Bet||11/8||BetVictor|
|Stoke 1-0||Correct Score||17/2||BetVictor|
|United 1-0||Correct Score||13/2||BetVictor|
|Marko Arnautovic||Anytime Goalscorer||7/2||Stan James|
Stoke have not started the season brilliantly at the Britannia, winning only three of eight games and scoring just 8 goals; only Aston Villa have scored fewer at home (5).
But they began last season in a similar fashion (losing 3 of their first 6 home games), yet ended the season with a W10, D3, L6 home record – exactly the same as Spurs.
They face a struggling United who have lost their last two league games (to Norwich and Bournemouth) and have won none of their last six matches in all competitions.
United have also failed to win in either of their last two league visits to the Britannia – drawing here 1-1 last season and losing 2-1 the season beforehand.
Admittedly 7/5 on United is longer than usual for this fixture, but that still reflects a 42% probability of them winning, which does not look right based upon recent form.
We would, therefore, much prefer to back the draw at that best price of 9/4 or Stoke in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market at 11/8 with BetVictor.
Given that Stoke are scoring an average of one goal a game at home (and conceding 1.1 per game), while United are scoring an average of 1.3 per game away from home (and conceding 1.2 per game), odds of 6/1 on a repeat of last season’s 1-1 look fair.
But we also suggest savers on both sides to win 1-0, especially given that Stoke have scored either once or none in 13 of their 17 league games this season, while United have only managed to score more than one goal twice in their last 8 league games.
Finally, Marko Arnautovic has scored for Stoke in wins over both Chelsea and Man City at the Britannia recently and the Austrian striker is available at stand-out odds of 7/2 with Stan James to score at any time in this game (as short as 2/1 elsewhere).
Newcastle v Everton
Saturday 24th December / 5.30pm
|Over 2.5||Total Goals||4/5||BetVictor|
|Yes||Both Teams To Score||4/6||10Bet|
|Newcastle 3-2||Correct Score||31/1||888sport|
|Everton 3-2||Correct Score||28/1||BetVictor|
|Ross Barkley (ew)||First Goalscorer||8/1||Bet365|
Newcastle’s recent return to form has received a lot of media attention – but they have still only won seven points from their last five games, albeit that is one point more than Everton have collected over the same period.
The Magpies may have won this fixture 3-2 last season, courtesy of a 94th minute winner, but that was their only win over the Toffees in their last seven meetings (D1, L5), while Everton have won here three times in the last five seasons.
Everton have only lost once on the road this season (at Arsenal), but have drawn their last 3 away games, so we cannot recommend backing them at best odds of 27/20 (Coral) with too much confidence and prefer BetVictor‘s 13/5 on the draw.
Games between these sides usually bring goals – their last nine meetings have all seen at least three, including the last five at St James’ Park, so we will also suggest heading to BetVictor for best odds of 4/5 on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’.
Given that Everton have scored in their last eight consecutive league games, we like the look of both teams scoring here at stand-out odds of 4/6 with 10Bet.
As we anticipate goals, we’ll also plump for a 2-2 scoreline at a stand-out 13/1 with BetVictor, while as two of the last four matches between these sides have finished 3-2 or 2-3, let’s back both at best odds of 31/1 and 28/1 respectively.
Finally, Ross Barkley has scored in three of the last four games between these sides and was a second-half substitute in the other. He is 8/1 with Bet365 to score first.
Southampton v Arsenal
Saturday 24th December / 7.45pm
|Southampton (+0.5)||Asian Handicap||5/6||BetVictor|
|Dusan Tadic||Anytime Goalscorer||15/4||Bet365|
|Aaran Ramsey||Anytime Goalscorer||15/4||Bet365|
Southampton have won none of their last four games, losing three and scoring just twice in the process, while Arsenal will arrive at St Mary’s as the new Premier League favourites (11/10 Paddy Power) following Monday’s 2-1 win over Manchester City.
However, we are yet to be convinced that the Gunners can win the title for the first time since 2003/04 – they haven’t even finished in the top two since 2004/05.
Indeed, with the market favouring an away win, but with Arsenal failing to win on their last four visits here, we think that this might be the time to be with the Saints, who are available at a generous looking 11/4 to win and at 5/6 with a 0.5 goal start.
Southampton won this fixture 2-0 last season, with three previous draws here. Two of those finished 1-1 – which is available at best odds of 13/2 with Unibet, who also refund losing Correct Score bets, up to £50, if a goal is scored after the 90th minute.
Dusan Tadic has scored in two of the last three games between these sides and is a generous looking 15/4 to do so again with Bet365, who also offer the same odds on the in-form Aaran Ramsey; the Welshman has scored in two of his last three games.