There were many Christmas miracles over the last couple of weeks. Louis Van Gaal managed to keep his job, Chelsea players suddenly remembered that they were meant to be good, and Newcastle managed to somehow go three games unbeaten! But more matches mean better odds, and I’ve a monster accumulator to fund the sales.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth – 17:30
Arsenal are one of the two teams that appear to want to win the Premier League. After Leicester’s defeat to Liverpool the Gunners have the chance to keep pace at the top by beating Bournemouth tonight.
- Arsenal have the highest pass accuracy in the Premier League at 85%
- Three Arsenal midfielders sit in the top five for accuracy – Coquelin, Ozil and Cazorla
- Bournemouth have scored the most goals away from home of the bottom half – 12
- The sides have only met once before in London – a 3-0 win for the Gunners in 1987
Arsenal are usually good in the period directly after Christmas. It’s normally around February that everything starts going awry. I think they’ll be too good for the Cherries. Arsenal win at
West Brom vs Newcastle – 15:00
West Brom are stuck in a rut. Just one win in their last six, 17 goals in just 17 games, and they have picked up more cards than any other side in the Premier League. Newcastle on the other hand were doomed a few weeks ago, but back to back wins against Spurs and Liverpool were followed up by a draw at home to Villa.
- West Brom have only won once in the last eight games vs Newcastle
- Newcastle have created the fewest chances away from home, West Brom have created the fewest at home
This one is going to be scrappy, but I think Newcastle have enough confidence about them to unlock the Tony Pulis rearguard. Newcastle win at
Everton vs Stoke – 15:00
Stoke have really shed their rugby image, beating both Manchester clubs in December, playing the pair of them off the pitch. The Potteries are in the hunt for a European place, sitting three points off at time of writing. They come up against an Everton side who are scoring for fun, particularly Romelu Lukaku. The Toffees are in top form, losing just one of their last nine Premier League games
- Stoke have kept eight clean sheets so far this year, one behind Manchester United
- Everton have yet to put back to back wins together this season
- Stoke’s last two wins at Goodison have been by the same scoreline – 1-0
Stoke dealt well with another strong player in Fellaini at the weekend, but Lukaku is a different machine, I think he’ll help Everton to victory
- Ring in the New Year by checking out our latest football odds Mobile|Desktop
Norwich vs Aston Villa
Aston Villa will not have a better chance to kick start their season than this one. They’ve drawn 1-1 in their last two games, but have come from behind to do so in both. Norwich did beat Man United a couple of weeks ago, but that’s their only win in their last nine games, and let’s face it, who isn’t able to beat Man U these days?
- Villa play the side directly above them – Sunderland – next, so a win here would close the gap
- Norwich have only kept one clean sheet all season long, even their bottom placed opponents have more
- Three of the bottom four have conceded over 32 goals so far this year
Both of these managers are under serious pressure to perform. Norwich were very poor against Spurs, while Villa are starting to fight (which they have to do). Neither boss will be happy but I think this one will be a draw
Crystal Palace vs Swansea
If you had told Crystal Palace fans that they’d be 5th, above United, Chelsea and Liverpool at Christmas, they’d have laughed at you, but Alan Pardew has his Eagles flying (pun intended). Victory over a Swansea side , who grabbed a much needed win on Saturday, could see Palace into the Champions League places as we head into 2016.
- Swansea only have one away win, the joint worst record in the division
- When Palace score first, they go onto win the game 60% of the time (based on last three seasons)
- After hitting four in his first four, Bafetimbi Gomis has only one goal since
- Both of these sides top scorers are midfielders (Cabaye and Ayew)
Palace are tough to beat at Selhurst Park, and even though Swansea did win on Saturday, they won’t make it two in a row. Palace to win at