Christmas is well and truly here!!! GET IN THERE!!!!
For me, Christmas is all about lovely grub, a few drinks with my friends and family and of course, the unbelievable amount of football that’s on over the next few weeks – what better way to kick things off than the Friday night game at The Emirates…
Arsenal v Liverpool
What a cracking start to the festive fixtures this is!! A lovely battle between 4th and 5th to kick things off at Christmas!
As I’ve always said, when Arsenal are winning they go under the radar and no one makes a big deal about the playing well. The Gooners are in a decent enough bit of form coming into this fixture, and I tell you what: Liverpool will have to be careful here.
People bang on about how good Spurs are, they talk about the players that United have at their disposal, but trust me when I say this: out of those top 5 clubs, it’s Arsenal who are the only ones that are capable of beating Man City at the minute.
Arsenal have got the players to cause Liverpool a lot of agg and if I’m honest, Klopp’s side are too in-and-out for me to be backing them.
Salah has been unbelievable for Liverpool – he and Coutinho, at the minute, are so dangerous. The Ox has come on a bit too, showing how much of a powerful player he can be, but the thing is, I just look at the big dope at the back, Lovren, who has cost them so many points this season and will be a complete liability against the attacking forces at Arsenal’s disposal.
Arsenal are rightly favourites at 7/5, so I’m sticking them in my weekend Acca, for sure!
Everton v Chelsea
I bet Chelsea wish they were playing these lot six weeks ago!!
Sam’s just bolstered things up at Everton, with a more secure approach to the game, bringing things back to basics. The trouble is, they still struggle to score goals!!
It’ll be another good game, and it won’t be easy for Chelsea, as Goodison is a tough old place to play.
The Blues will have too much for them this weekend and deep down, Conte’s boys know that they need to win virtually every game from now until the end of the season to even have a hope of retaining the title – one more loss and I’m afraid it’s game over.
I’m going for a Chelsea win and BTTS which is 14/5 with BetBright!
Brighton v Watford
Watford have hit a brick wall haven’t they?!! Pressure in football is massive and it can have a huge effect on confidence. Look at the Watford side at the start of the season: they were mixing it with the best in the league.
Now they’ve found themselves in a rut, losing four of their last five and look like a very beatable side for Brighton to take on.
When you talk about confidence all you need to do is look at West Ham. They beat Chelsea a couple of weeks ago and now they look a completely different side, as there’s a lot less pressure on the players. The same goes for Everton and Palace who are completely different animals.
If you’re a betting man, I’d always advise looking at previous results, because confidence and momentum have such a big impact on the way a team plays.
As a player, I’d look at my opposition’s form and if they were on a bit of a dip, all the lads in the changing room would look at each other, smell blood and think ‘yeah, these are beatable today!’.
For that reason, I’ve got to be putting Brighton in my Acca here at 8/5, but if you want a nice single to pay for a few Christmas presents, then get on Brighton and BTTS at 9/2… nice little bet, that!!
Manchester City v Bournemouth
If Bournemouth go there, try and play football and do it properly, then it may not be the mauling that many people and the betting markets (City are 1/9 – wow!) suggest because they do play well when they want to.
They’ll have more of a chance than the likes of West Brom or Brighton, who’d go to this fixture by sitting in and trying to defend their way towards a result, but when the likes of de Bruyne, Silva and Aguero are coming at you full steam ahead, then there’s only one winner.
Bournemouth will go out and try and give City a game, but the question is: how well can they do it? If they play to their best, it will not be the smashing that most people are suggesting, however, if they leave their A-Game on the South Coast – forget about it.
City are so short it’s not even worth putting them in your acca any more, so how about this one then; Raheem Sterling, First goal scorer: 4/1. Back of the net!!!
Southampton v Huddersfield
I fancy The Saints in this one. I’ve watched them quite a bit recently and you know what, they’re a tidy little outfit.
They’ve lost a lot of games by the odd goal, but they play some good stuff – on a different day they could have picked up a few more points, if they got the rub of the green.
I used to view them as a bit of a powder puff side, but after closer inspection, you can see that this gaffer knows exactly what he’s doing. If he could bring two world class players to the team – one in the middle of the park and two up-top – then they’d be a dangerous outfit. The trouble is, one world class player now a days is going to cost you at least £50m, which they just don’t have.
The football he’s got them playing is brilliant and it won’t be long before the bigger clubs start looking at Pellegrino, I tell you.
Huddersfield do play some nice stuff, but on the ball, they don’t do it as well as Southampton. Back the Saints to win 2-0 in this one, at 11/2.
Stoke v West Brom
I’ve got to go for the home team here. You want to know why I’m backing Stoke…?
Well, I’ll tell you… One man who is a little magician on the ball and that’s Shaqiri, Shaqiri!! His Hips Don’t Lie!!!!
Two cheeky little bets for you here: back Stoke to win 1-0 (5/1) and Shaqiri to score first (7/1). When it’s a moody little game like this, he’s the sort of bloke who can make a difference and he’s absolutely top drawer!
I did the same with Crouchy a month or so ago and we were all doing the Robot round the living room, so trust me on this one – Shaqiri is the man!
Swansea v Crystal Palace
So, Paul Clement is no longer Swansea Manager. That’s no real shock going by their form, but having Bilic and Koeman linked with the job is just a f****g joke in all honesty (excuse my French).
It’s the same old merry-go-round, with the same old dinosaurs and I’m getting sick of repeating myself: GIVE A YOUNG MANAGER A CHANCE!!!!! WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF??!!
These chairmen need to broaden their horizons, open their eyes and get some decent directors of football into their clubs. There are 101 different managers out there who know what they’re doing, know how they want to play and don’t change for anything.
I’ll give you Allardyce at Everton and Hodgson at Palace, because they’ve got proven records of keeping clubs up – but even they won’t be there in a couple of years.
Why did Swansea get Clement in the first place?! To save them from relegation. And what did he do?! Save them from relegation!!! And by the way, he came in well after Christmas!!
I’ve got back Palace here. It’s there for the taking: Swansea have Leon Britton as their interim manager which will be unusual for them, the players wont be up for it and The Eagles have started to spread their wings, their ears are pricked and at 7/5, they’ll be in my acca all day long.
West Ham v Newcastle
West Ham are on a little run now and I fancy us to beat the Geordies here – quite comfortably as well, to be fair. Since The Hammers beat Chelsea, they look a different side and I really feel like they’ve turned a corner now.
There should be a great atmosphere at the London Stadium as being such a big club, Newcastle will be bringing their away fans down who are all going to be in fantastic festive spirits.
Newcastle are in a world of trouble down in the relegation zone and have lost their last four games, so I reckon West Ham will smell blood and beat them 2-0 (8/1).
Burnley v Spurs
It’s ridiculous that no clubs have come in for Sean Dyche, bearing in mind how well he’s done at Burnley.
At the start of the year, if you’d have told me Burnley would be in sixth place, I’d have asked you to get your head checked, but for this fixture to be fifth vs sixth in the league and for The Claret and Blues to be above Spurs… it’s just mental!!
Dyche has got a nice, traditionally British feel about the way his side play football which is nice to see. They’ll have a proper go against Spurs in this one, but I think it’ll be a bridge too far for them against Poch’s side.
Spurs will have to really roll their sleeves up though because it’s not the nicest of places to go at Christmas time as an away team, it’ll probably be tipping it down with rain, so the conditions won’t be the best.
I’m going for a 2-1 win to Spurs and I reckon they will get the first goal from a scrappy corner, so have a look at Eric Dier to bag first at 20/1!!
That’ll give you some breathing room in January!!!
Leicester v Manchester United
I tell you what, Leicester will fancy this… keep an eye out for my WILDCARD BET!!!!
United looked like a pile-of against City the other week and they were even worse against Bristol City in the League Cup!! They can’t string more than five passes together – they kept clipping it off the park and Jose didn’t even bat an eye lid – that sort of thing does my nut in!!
So, my Wildcard bet of the weekend is for Leicester to win here… or is it so much of a wildcard with the way United are playing at the moment… that is the question!!
United look like a Championship side at the moment. Pogba and the big man, Zlatan, haven’t produced, in my opinion.
Is Pogba worth £89.3m? Not in a million years – don’t see it, never has been. Don’t get me wrong, he has shown glimpses of excellence, but I’ve never seen him grab a game by the scruff of the neck and completely dominate a midfield, he doesn’t score enough goals – he’s what you get for £30m these days.
I’d like to see him played as a number 4, grabbing the ball from the defence and setting the tone of the game. That’s where I think he might be more effective, because at the moment, we just haven’t seen a player worth that much money – United have been done by the Italian press, social media and his dodgy hair styles: pants well and truly pulled down.
Anyway, back to the game at the King Power and I’ve to go for Leicester in this one, going on what I’ve seen of Jose’s side in the last two games – Fergie will be tearing his hair out watching that.
Back Leicester to in at 16/5 as my Wildcard bet, over at BetBright!!!
Hopefully that gives you all a bit of help with your weekend bets! Have a very Merry Christmas guys and don’t miss my Boxing Day predictions on Tuesday!!!
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.