Premier League Preview | Matchday 19 | Odds & Spreads
Premier League Matchday 19: Boxing Day Betting Preview
Dust the brussel sprouts and christmas pudding off your lap, pull the batteries out of all the new toys and round off your Christmas with another year of high stakes, adrenaline-pumping Boxing Day football. Liverpool's time skirting around their Fifa 20-worthy fixture list has mercifully come to a close and their back in league action against high-flying Leicester. Their encounter at Anfield in October was seriously firey, and the stakes have only been raised higher coming into Matchday 19.
At the bottom end of the table, struggling sides Watford and Southampton picked up key wins, but Norwich and Aston Villa were pulled further into trouble last time out. They kick off in some incredibly tasty-looking fixtures over this year's Boxing Day matchday.
Spurs vs. Brighton and Hove Albion - Can Spurs Get Revenge?
Tottenham's 3-0 loss at Brighton in October coincided with the worst run of Mauricio Pochettino's reign in North London and the result went a long way in Daniel Levy eventually deciding his fate. Since the last time these two sides met however, Spurs have been energised by the arrival of Jose Mourinho and are right in the midst of a fierce top four battle. Whilst their clean sheet record is still something to work at, Spurs look increasingly like a good bet for a top four finish, despite some Mourinho-esque capitulation against Chelsea last weekend.
Brighton produced one of their worst performances of the season at home against Chris Wilder's Europe-chasing side. The Seagulls' more attacking brand of football this season has certainly been more pleasing on the eye, however their xG (Expected Goals) of +5.25 against the 14 goals they have scored from open play this season shows that they aren't quite the well oiled machine Graham Potter might have expected them to be at this point just yet.
Spurs vs. Brighton and Hove Albion - Odds & Spreads
Both these sides endured pretty torrid displays at the weekend, however Spurs' undeniable quality and home advantage sees them emerge as our comfortable favourites at 8/15. A draw between the two sides then comes in at 7/2, with an away Brighton win currently at 9/2. Our spreads have given Spurs a Win Index 17-18.5 against Brighton's 5.75-7, with Total Goals for the game priced at 3-3.2 and a First Goal Time of 30.5-33.5. You can find spreads on Rainbow Goals at 8.5-10 and Total Goals Minutes at 155-165.
Bournemouth vs. Arsenal - Can Arteta Hit The Ground Running?
Having only lost once all season at home going into the end of November, last weekend's last gasp loss to Burnley marked three games in a row that Eddie Howe's Bournemouth side have lost at the Vitality. In fact, Bournemouth's record now reads just two wins in twelve and six losses out of their previous seven matches. Quite how they were able to steal three points at Stamford Bridge is quite beyond us at this point. Injuries are rife and confidence surely has to have taken a knock as the Cherries now find themselves down in 14th and four points off the drop zone.
Mikel Arteta's first `technical' game in charge of Arsenal was perhaps one of the most drab and despairing games of football we've all seen for a long time. The 0-0 draw at Goodison was just their third clean sheet of the campaign, however it extended their dismal run of just one win in their previous ten games. With Arteta taking the reins from the dugout for the first time against the Cherries, the Gunners still find themselves in 11th having conceded 27 times with an xGA (Expected Goals Against) of -0.91.
Bournemouth vs. Arsenal - Odds & Spreads
Mikel Arteta looks set to mark his first game from the dugout with a win, with our football markets marking them out as favourites at 20/21. A home win for Bournemouth just edges out a draw as the next favourite at 5/2 and 11/4 respectively.
Both of these sides could really do with bringing a win to their fans for Christmas, though the Gunners certainly look the more likely of the two with a Win Index of 14-15.5 against Bournemouth's 8.25-9.75. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 3.05-3.25, with a First Goal Time currently at 30-33.
Aston Villa vs. Norwich - Big Three Points Up For Grabs For These Relegation Occupants
Aston Villa were dealt a crash course lesson in Premier League survival last week as they crashed to a 1-3 defeat at home to Southampton, slipping into the bottom three for the first time since matchday 7 in September. A couple weeks ago, we made a point of saying that Villa were running into `crunch time¿ in their season, with some particularly crucial games coming at them thick and fast. Back to back losses against Sheffield United and Southampton is not the start they would have wanted in what has to be the deciding point of their season.
Norwich were thumped 1-5 at home against Villa earlier in the season in what marked the Canaries' lowest point of their campaign so far. Though the Canaries are still sitting with just one win in their last thirteen, the performances on the whole haven't been too bad. A couple rookie errors has seriously cost Daniel Farke and co. so far, and their xGA of just -2.11 off from the 37 goals conceded they've had suggests defence remains their key weakness.
Aston Villa vs. Norwich - Odds & Spreads
Despite their slump in form, our markets have priced out Dean Smith and co. as clear favourites here at 11/10. Norwich come in pretty clearly as next favourites at 43/20, with a draw the outsider at 11/4.
Villa currently boast a Win Index of 13-14.5 in our betting spreads, with Norwich just coming in shy at 9.25-10.75. Both these sides have demonstrated some decent capabilities in front of goal so far this season, and we have pricing on First Aston Villa Goal and First Norwich Goal at 44-47 and 50-53 minutes respectively.
Chelsea vs. Southampton - Blues Back On Track?
A recent run of four losses from five games left Frank Lampard's Chelsea side looking ever so slightly over their shoulders at their top four rivals, however they turned out one of the performances of their campaign last weekend away to former boss Mourinho's Tottenhm. It was a serious statement of intent from the Blues and restored their six point gap over Spurs. Though they recovered well against Tottenham, Chelsea's recent dip in form has seen their xG drop to +3.30 more than what they should have scored and their xGA rise to -4.02 against what they should have conceded, which suggests there is still more to come from the Blues.
Southampton took a huge leap towards Premier League survival with their triumph over Villa last weekend. The Saints have won three of their last five games, with those three wins coming absolutely crucially against Watford, Norwich and now Villa. A perfect record against your relegation rivals is the key to survival in this league, and Southampton are becoming the masters at it. Outside of that however, their record remains pretty woeful, sitting at an xG of +6.64 and an xGA of -8.49 against what they should have amassed.
Chelsea vs. Southampton - Odds & Spreads
With both sides riding high following on from their hugely respective wins last weekend, Chelsea emerge as our leading favourites at 1/ 3. A draw comes in at 9/2, with Southampton's odds lagging behind at 13/2.
Chelsea's Win Index is certainly looking imperious at 19-20.25 against Southampton¿s 4-5.25 and we have priced the West London side to score 1, 2, 3 and 4+ and win at 9-12, 14-17, 11-14 and 10-13 respectively. Total Goals has been set at 3.25-3.45 with a First Goal Time of 28.5-31 minutes on the clock.
Crystal Palace vs. West Ham - Pellegrini Soldiers On
Four games without a loss came to an end last weekend for Roy Hodgson's Palace side last time out against Newcastle. The Eagles still remain in 12th on 23 points, with almost all of that credit going to their defence this season. Palace's 15 goals this year is only better than Watford's record this season, however 20 goals conceded at an xGA of +8.80 shows off the imperious form of the likes of Vincent Guaita, Martin Kelly, Joel Ward and Gary Cahill so far this season.
One win in nine seemingly had West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini lined up for the chopping block, however a crucial win against Southampton in mid-December has kept the Argentine in a job a little bit longer. Still sat in 16th having missed out on their fixture against Liverpool last week, what might be most concerning for Hammers fans is the fact that West Ham are actually overperforming in their xPTS (Expected Points) for the season, with their 19 points so far -4.60 better than what they `should' be on.
Crystal Palace vs. West Ham - Odds & Spreads
Palace's relative stability in comparison to the Hammers, plus their home advantage, sees them priced as our favourites at 5/4. Pellegrini and co. come up slightly shorter at 21/10, with a draw the outsider at 12/5.
Our spreads tell a similar story, with Palace's Win Index of 12.5-14 eclipsing West Ham's 9.5-11. Our traders have priced Total Goals for the game at 2.65-2.85 with a First Match Goal timed at 34-37 minutes.
Everton vs. Burnley - Ancelotti Is Back
The fact that Duncan Ferguson ends his time in charge of Everton unbeaten in three games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal is baffling and yet somehow slightly heartwarming. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti by Everton is perhaps on par with Mikel Arteta for football's worst kept secret, however there's no denying the capability of the Italian as a manager. It looks like quite the coup for the Blue side of Merseyside and will be fascinating to see how the side manage under the three time Champions League winner.
Another year, another solid return from Sean Dyche and Burnley Football Club. Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez have all chipped in with the goals, and the Clarets rose to 23 for the season in their win over Bournemouth last weekend. Their defence has been uncharacteristically leaky however this campaign, conceding the joint worst amount of goals of any side outside the drop zone at an alarming xGA of -6.61.
Everton vs. Burnley - Odds & Spreads
New manager bounces are always tough to call, however our football betting markets have priced out Carlo Ancelotti's new side as pretty heavy favourites here at 4/6. Burnley come out as the heavy outsiders here at 17/4, with a draw sandwiched in-between both sides at 11/4.
Everton's odds currently translate to a Win Index of 16-17.5 against Burnley's 6.5-7.75. These two sides currently boast the joint worst record of any side outside the relegation zone, both conceding 29 over the campaign, and Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.65-2.85.
Sheffield United vs. Watford - Pearson Looks To Make It Two In Two
Chris Wilder's Sheffield United side did an absolute number on Brighton last weekend, producing one of the most organised and well drilled defensive performances of the season. The Seagulls weren't the first team to come unstuck against Wilder and co. however, and the Blades' 5th place position reflects their amazing return so far. United's xGA of +5.49 still remains better than the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolves, Tottenham and Manchester United by some margin.
The Nigel Pearson era at Vicarage Road got off the ground last weekend with a formality win over Manchester United. It was only the third time the Hornets had mustered two goals all season, with their 11 goals at an xG of +10.07 than what they should have scored miles behind the rest of the league. It's arguably the point that lost Quique Sanches Flores his job in early December and the root of Pearson's issues.
Sheffield United vs. Watford - Odds & Spreads
Sheffield United are our favourites for this match up, currently priced at 4/ 5 against Watford's 10/3 odds. A stalemate between the two sides is currently set at 13/5.
Sheffield United's Win Index has been set at 15.25-16.75, with Watford falling shorter at 7-8.5. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.4-2.6, with a First Goal Time for both clubs priced at 47-50 and 60.5-63.5 minutes respectively.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle - Can United Finally Find Some Consistency?
Manchester United are a complete shambles when it comes to form and consistency. Whilst their loss against the worst team in the league by a country mile might have looked like a shock, it was arguably the weekend's most predictable result. Just the latest in an increasingly long line of dropped points against the division's most bottom placed sides, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's inability to beat teams that sit deep will arguably be the number one reason for his side to go another year without Champions League football.
For Newcastle, the good times just keep on rolling. Miguel Almirion finally got his first goal for the Toon as they made it three wins from four games, climbing up to 9th in the table and level on points with Manchester United. Their xPTS tally for the season is currently at a whopping -11.41 against what they achieved, showing their increasing ability to grind out key results. For comparison, only Liverpool's xPTS of -14.85 can beat Steve Bruce's haul so far.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle - Odds & Spreads
Whilst they might be on a mission to drop as many points against the division's worst teams as possible, Manchester United are our traders' favourites at 4/11. A draw between the two sides edges out Newcastle as the next favourites at 15/4 and 15/2 respectively.
Solskjaer and co. are in desperate need of a win and boast a healthy Win Index of 19-20.25 against Newcastle's 3.75-5. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 2.85-3.05, with Total Goal Minutes currently priced in our Premier League spreads at 147-157 and Goal Rush at 35-38.
Leicester City vs. Liverpool - Can Rodgers Keep Pace?
Leicester's role as Liverpool's only real title rivals took a slight dent last time out as they let a lead slip away at the Etihad last weekend. It was just their third defeat of the season however and they remain one point ahead of the Cityzens and ten behind their opponents for this match. 41 goals in 18 games is a formidable return on its own, however their xG of -11.18 against what they have scored is easily the league's best and highlights the exceptional form enjoyed by the likes of Jamie Vardy, who is head and shoulders above the league in terms of goals scored.
Liverpool missed out on Premier League action last week as the hoovered up yet another trophy, yet they still sit miles atop the table and still without a loss to their name. However, they have conceded the same amount of goals as Leicester and only scored one more so far this campaign; it's their xPTS tally of -14.85 against what they `should' have registered that marks them out as soon-to-be champions.
Leicester City vs. Liverpool - Odds & Spreads
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Liverpool are priced as our favourites for this fixture at 21/20 against Leicester's 12/5 and the draw's 13/5 odds.
Brendan Rodgers' home side have a Win Index of 8.25-9.75 against the champions-elect's Win Index of 14-15.5. We have Total Goals for the game priced at 2.9-3.1, with Total Goal Minutes totalling 151-161. Buy or sell on Shirt Numbers at 34-37, Corners 10.1-10.6 and Bookings at 36-40.
Wolves vs. Manchester City - Will Pep Make Up On Lost Ground?
Whilst they were easily far from their best against Norwich last time out, Wolves returned to winning ways with their 1-2 win. Though they're still sitting nicely in 6th place, that was surprisingly just their sixth win in their 18 games, drawing 9 and losing the other 3 games. Nuno Espirito Santo's side are yet to score three times in a game this season and have dropped points in six of their nine home games.
Pep Guardiola mourned the loss of his assistant with a mightily invaluable win against Leicester at the Etihad, dropping the gap between the two sides to just a single point again. The Cityzens remain the league's most prolific side, having scored 50 goals so far at an xG of +1.18. They've underperformed in defence as well however, conceding 20 goals at an xGA of -2.07 from what they should have conceded. This underperforming across the board has resulted in Pep's side's xPTS dropping to +4.47 against the 38 they find themselves on.
Wolves vs. Manchester City - Odds & Spreads
Our traders have made Manchester City pretty clear favourites with odds of 2/ 5 against Wolves' 7/1 and a draw's 7/2 pricing.
Manchester City's Win Index is also looking pretty healthy at 19-20.25 against Wolves' 4-5.25. Total Goals for the game has been priced at 3-3.2 with Total Goal Minutes coming to 155-165. You can find pricing on First Manchester City Goal at 37-40 minutes and First Wolves Goal at 62.5-65.5 minutes.
What will the top and bottom of the table look like at the end of this year's Christmas period? Should we just hand Liverpool the title now? Check out all of our Premier League spread betting and football markets for all the latest odds and offers from the world of sport.