Premier League clubs are all set for Boxing Day showdown as 14 teams take to the field on Monday, with the remaining 6 playing on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the choicest fixtures from the next two days and the best betting odds for them.
Stoke City v Aston Villa
Stoke play host to Aston Villa in Sky’s televised match on Boxing Day (7.45pm KO) and the Potters look a terrific punt at 1.91 to maintain their terrific record against the Villans.
The Britannia has not been a happy hunting ground for Villa who have won only four times their in 26 attempts since World war II! Tony Pulis’ men have also won two of the three home meetings between the two sides since they got promoted back to the top flight in 2008, and really should prove too strong for a Villa side who have registered just one win on the road this season.
That victory came against lowly Bolton and shows just how hard they find life away from their own patch.
So given that Stoke have drawn with Chelsea and Man United and beaten Liverpool and Spurs at home this season this encounter should hold no fears for them whatsoever.
Peter crouch is the type of player who could cause the Villa defence all sorts of problems, and at 6.5 with Paddy Power who looks the value bet to score first and fire Stoke to victory.
Manchester United v Wigan
Manchester United are beginning to bang in the goals again, and I can’t envisage anything other than a goal fest in their match against Wigan at old Trafford.
Bookmakers are not surprisingly offering a best price of just 1.17 about them after impressive victories over QPR and Fulham in their last two games and they simply cannot be opposed.
Victory at Craven Cottage meant that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have now won all 8 games against bottom-half opposition this season, and they look certainties to make it nine in his one.
With Wayne Rooney back to his very best the Latics are likely to be in for a thrashing, and United’s talisman makes plenty of appeal at 3.75 with bet365 to open the scoring – and the floodgates.
I fancy United to put three or four past Wigan without reply, and you can get decent odds on both outcomes with Boylesports. The Irish firm go a standout 7.5 on 3-0 and are also top priced 10 about a 4-0 mauling.
Liverpool v Blackburn
Liverpool are 1.29 shots to take care of Blackburn in their clash at Anfield, and they really should stroll to victory against the Premiership whipping boys.
Rovers have actually scored more goals than the Reds, but they have also been leaking at an alarming rate and have let in 38 so far this season. Their defending has become horrific, and Kenny Dalglish’s men will surely take advantage and hammer home a comfortable wide margin win.
Luis Suarez has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and the Uruguayan striker will surely be keen to put that right by getting on the score sheet. He is a 4 chance with Paddy Power to let his feet do the talking and score the opener, and that looks a cracking punt.
You can also get 1.67 with Betfred and Boylesports about him netting anytime during the 90 minutes, and that could be better value than backing Liverpool in the outright market at 1.29 if you like to play at odds-on.
Chelsea v Fulham
Chelsea are 1.3 shots to get back on the winning trail and beat Fulham, and if the stats are anything to go by then a comfortable home win looks on the cards.
After looking back to their best, AVB’s men have failed to maintain the momentum in their last two games – drawing 1-1 away at Wigan and Spurs.
However they haven’t lost any of their last 11 matches against the Cottagers, who have managed just four goals on their travels this season and come into this on the back of a 5-0 thrashing at home by Manchester united.
Martin Jol’s side have also failed to score in 11 away games, and simply don’t have enough backbone or fight to pose a threat to Chelsea.
It really should be a case of how many Chelsea win by, and I fancy them to keep a clean sheet in the process. They are even money (2) to do so with bet365 and Paddy Power and that looks a fair price given Fulham’s goal scoring record.
In the first goal scorer Frank Lampard looks worth a punt at a standout 7 with bet365.