We preview all three of the televised Premier League games in-between Boxing Day and New Year, starting with a Christmas Cracker at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
Manchester United v Chelsea
Monday 28th December / 5.30pm
|Chelsea||Draw No Bet||22/19||888sport|
|Chelsea 2-1||Correct Score||11/1||Bet365|
|Eden Hazard||First Goalscorer||9/1||William Hill, Betfair|
|Branislav Ivanovic||Anytime Goalscorer||14/1||Bet365|
United are hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive league defeat, but are still slight favourites against a side who have won just one of eight away games this season.
Six of the last eight games between these sides at Old Trafford have ended with both teams scoring and we fancy both to do so again – United have conceded two goals in each of their last 3 league games and Chelsea at least twice in their last 3.
But Chelsea are unbeaten in their last three league visits here (W1, D2) and have not lost to United in any of their last eight meetings in all competitions (W4, D4).
So, Guus Hiddink’s side will see this as an ideal opportunity to kick-start their season and can be backed at a tempting 22/19 with 888sport in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market.
Let’s also back the 1-2 away win and the 1-1 with Bet365 – who refund losing Correct Score bets on all matches that finish 0-0 (the score in this fixture two seasons ago).
Bet365 are also offering their popular risk free £50 In-Play bet on this game – if you place a £50 pre-match bet. It is worth noting here that they are a stand-out best price of 14/1 on Branislav Ivanovic to score in the game (as short as 7/1 elsewhere).
With Diego Costa suspended, Hiddink will likely either play Loic Remy up-front, or perhaps start Eden Hazard as his most advanced player. Hazard would be a cracking bet to score first at 9/1 with William Hill or Betfair if he assumes Costa’s role.
Leicester v Manchester City
Tuesday 29th December / 7.45pm
|Yes||Both Score No Draw||5/4||William Hill|
|Leicester 2-1||Correct Score||10/1||Bet365|
|Leicester 3-1||Correct Score||33/1||Bet365|
|Riyad Mahrez (ew)||First Goalscorer||8/1||Bet365|
Who would have thought that Leicester would be top of the Premier League table at Christmas, having been marooned at the bottom of the table this time last year?
Then again, they did win seven of their final nine league games last season (D1, L1).
Bet365 offer the best odds of 16/5 on the Foxes and that looks a cracking price for a team that has won six of their ten home games this season, against a side that have not won away from home in the league since mid-September.
Manchester City are just 10/11 (generally), despite having lost their last two league away games (0-2 at Stoke and 1-2 at Arsenal), while the draw is 3/1 with BetVictor.
One interesting option for this game is the increasingly popular Both Score No Draw market – where you are backing both teams to score and for either to win.
That has occurred in 18 of Manchester City’s last 22 games in all competitions and you can get 5/4 that it becomes 19 of 23 at the King Power Stadium.
We also recommend backing the 2-1 and 3-1 home wins at best price 10/1 and 33/1 respectively with Bet365 and their money-back insurance if the game ends 0-0.
Finally, with Jamie Vardy a doubt for the hosts, we suggest backing Riyad Mahrez (6 goals in his last 4 league games) each-way to score the first goal at 8/1 with Bet365.
Sunderland v Liverpool
Wednesday 30th December / 7.45pm
|Under 2.5||Total Goals||10/11||Betfair|
|Sunderland 1-0||Correct Score||14/1||Bet365|
|Liverpool 1-0||Correct Score||6/1||Bet365|
|Fabio Borini (ew)||First Goalscorer||10/1||Bet365|
Liverpool look a little too short in the betting at best price 8/11, given that they have lost their last two league games on the road (0-2 at Newcastle and 0-3 at Watford).
Sunderland were dreadful at Manchester City on Boxing Day (losing 1-4), but have at least won two of their last four home games, and can be backed at 9/2 with Bet365.
Despite sitting second bottom of the table, Sunderland have not conceded too many goals in front of their own fans this season – just nine in eight home games so far, but the problem is they have only scored nine themselves at the Stadium of Light.
The last three games here have seen less than three goals and with Liverpool failing to score in their last two away games, we suggest backing Under 2.5 Goals at 10/11.
Given the way the game may be played – tight and contained – we also want to be on both 1-0 scorelines with Bet365, with that Correct Score refund on 0-0 games.
Finally, Fabio Borini has scored in both of Sunderland’s last two games and wants to score against his former employers “more than anyone else”. He’s 10/1 to score first.