Six midweek fixtures get us back into the swing of things after the Premier League clubs took an FA Cup detour over the weekend.
Manchester United has a chance to take over top spot on the Premier League table this weekend while several other sides continue to position themselves for a run in the back end of the season.
Check out all of our match previews below.
Wednesday 13 January, 5:00am, Brammall Lane
Sheffield United 1 – Newcastle 0
The Blades might have collected their first win of the new season when they defeated Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the FA Cup but I can’t bring myself to back them, even against Newcastle.
As we have seen numerous times, Cup football is a whole different animal to the Premier League and Sheffield still is the worst side in the latter competition.
Newcastle’s form is a cause for concern, winless in their last seven in all competitions but at this price, I’ll back them to get back to winning form.
Back Newcastle to Win @ $3.10
Wednesday 13 January, 7:15am, Turf Moor
Burnley 0 – Manchester United 1
A catch up match from Matchweek 1 in the Premier League, Manchester United can go top of the table ahead of this weekend’s clash with defending champions Liverpool.
Burnley is starting to put together a strong run, taking 10 points from their last 15 in the Premier League which has lifted them five points clear of the relegation zone as the season approaches its midway point.
Unfortunately for them, goals are still few and far between so I’ll back a confidence boosting clean sheet victory for United here.
Back Manchester United to Win to Nil @ $2.45
Wednesday 13 January, 7:15am, Molineux Stadium
Wolves 1 – Everton 2
Both of these sides scraped through the FA Cup Third Round in differing fashion with Wolves edging out Crystal Palace 1-0 while Everton’s fringe players needed extra time to get by Rotherham.
As for their Premier League form, the Toffees have clearly been the better side on the year however Wolves are the perennial tease side showing flashes of potential but ultimately frustrating punters.
Having been able to rest some of their key players during the FA Cup weekend is what swings this game towards the visitors for me.
Back Everton to Win @ $3.00
Brighton And Hove Albion
Thursday 14 January, 5:00am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 1 – Brighton 0
COVID has wreaked havoc throughout the Manchester City team over the last week or so, and it will not be enough to stop them picking up another three points when they take on Brighton.
With all due respect to the Seagulls, they are simply not at the level of City’s second or possibly even third team.
Sure they have fought to a trio of draws in their last four league matches but this is a severely limited side that you have to back against at all costs.
Back Manchester City to Win & Over 2.5 Goals @ $1.62
Thursday 14 January, 7:15am, Tottenham Stadium
Tottenham 1 – Fulham 1
New opponent, same projection for Spurs as their midweek match has been rearranged after a COVID outbreak at Aston Villa.
They still should have minimal trouble with Fulham in their catch up from Matchweek 16 as the Cottagers face the unenviable prospect of trying to end a five match winless run in the Premier League.
During that run they have taken a point from Liverpool and Southampton but also were held scoreless by Brighton and Southampton.
Their form in front of goal is quite troubling, failing to score in 90 minutes in four of their last six including their FA Cup Third Round tie with QPR.
Spurs should still find them a step up from eighth tier Marine FC whom they dispatched 5-0 in the FA Cup.
They are looking for their third consecutive clean sheet in all competitions and there is no reason to think they won’t achieve that here.
Back Tottenham to Win to Nil @ $2.38
Friday 15 January, 7:00am, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 0 – Crystal Palace 0
Perhaps the festive period was just what Mikel Arteta needed to get the best out of his side.
A third consecutive clean sheet and fourth straight win saw Arsenal through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
It’s not like they have come up against a murderer’s row after defeating Chelsea 3-1, but considering where they were before Christmas, this is an encouraging sign in North London.
Chances are they will not blow out Crystal Palace who have been somewhat stout defensively, giving up just two goals in their last three matches but they should have enough to get over the line.
Back Arsenal to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ $2.25
There’s just nine matches in the English Premier League this weekend with Liverpool over in Qatar for the Club World Cup.
Of course, even without the defending European champions and current Premier League leaders there’s still plenty to look forward to.
City and Leicester face off with both sides trying to close ground on Liverpool while Jose Mourinho faces (another) one of his former clubs when Chelsea travels across London.
We’ve got previews and betting plays for all nine matches this weekend while West Ham can just sit back and watch before things get REALLY busy.
KICKOFF TBD, London Stadium
*MATCH POSTPONED DUE TO LIVERPOOL’S PARTICIPATION IN THE CLUB WORLD CUP*
Saturday 21 December, 11:30pm, Goodison Park
Everton 0 – Arsenal 0
It’s the new manager derby with both sides undergoing a change at the top of the football departments.
Everton appear to have settled on Carlo Ancellotti while Arsenal will be bringing in a former player for both of these clubs in Mikel Arteta.
While nothing is finalised (at the time of writing), it sure looks like that is the way both clubs will be headed.
There is plenty of reason for optimism about what Arteta can do for the Gunners if/when he does take over but short term it’s going to be a very rough start to his tenure.
Top to bottom this squad needs a massive overhaul and until they get that, it’s not worth risking anything on them.
Back Everton to Win @ $2.25
Sunday 22 December, 2:00am, Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth 0 – Burnley 1
Every few matches, these sides manage to put together a performance completely out of the blue.
Last week that happened to both teams with Burnley getting by Newcastle at home while Bournemouth took advantage of an out of form Chelsea to snap a losing run.
Chances are this is going to be a pretty scrappy encounter unlike some of the previous matches between these sides.
I’m happy to back a low scoring affair as Burnley tries to turn this one into an arm wrestle.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ $1.87
Sunday 22 December, 2:00am, Villa Park
Aston Villa 1 – Southampton 3
Aston Villa got a nice little confidence boost during the week, comfortably beating Liverpool’s youth team in the Carabao Cup, which should help them snap their Premier League skid.
Southampton has been pretty poor in the last couple of weeks and now find themselves back in the relegation zone, behind Villa on goal difference.
It’s not quite the time of year to call this a “desperation six pointer” but it’s something that neither side can really afford to drop.
While it’s not with a great deal of confidence, I do have to give the edge to Villa here, at home they have picked up 11 of their 15 total points this season and have managed to beat other lower table teams as well.
Back Aston Villa to Win @ $2.30
Brighton And Hove Albion
Sunday 22 December, 2:00am, Amex Stadium
Brighton 0 – Sheffield United 1
Since losing to Liverpool on September 28, Sheffield has gone on a remarkable run with four wins, five draws and just one loss to get themselves up to seventh on the table.
Brighton is stuck in a bit of a yoyo pattern between mid table security and a relegation battle but, unbeaten in their last three should give them some confidence here.
Keeping a clean sheet has been a real issue for them with just three on the season and Sheffield is building their success from the back.
While overall it should be a pretty close contest, I have to give the edge to Sheffield and their phenomenal rear-guard efforts.
Back Sheffield United to Win @ $3.50
Sunday 22 December, 2:00am, St James’ Park
Newcastle 1 – Crystal Palace 0
Before you roll your eyes and go “not these two again!” this looks like it might be a worthwhile encounter.
Newcastle is slowly clawing its way out of the dregs of the Premier League with Steve Bruce doing a much better than pretty much everyone expected of him while Palace is unbeaten in its last four.
It might not be the prettiest match but we have seen reason to believe both sides have a decent shot at all three points.
In the end though it’s too hard to split them so, like two of the last three times they’ve met, I’m expecting a draw.
Back the Draw @ $3.00
Sunday 22 December, 2:00am, Carrow Road
Norwich 1 – Wolves 2
Norwich pulled off a very surprising result holding Leicester to a draw last weekend while Wolves suffered their first Premier League defeat in almost three months.
There was nothing to be ashamed about with the fight they put up against Spurs and I like them to get back into the winners circle here.
With the shine well and truly off Norwich now, it’s hard to see them getting too many points for the rest of the season, especially in the short term with Teemu Pukki battling a toe injury.
Back Wolves to Win @ 1.95
Sunday 22 December, 4:30am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 3 – Leicester 1
Is beating Arsenal at the Emirates enough to assuage the concerns about City’s recent form?
No, not it is not and Leicester will be desperate to hold onto second spot here, although Liverpool will be hoping for a confidence sapping draw.
With Brendan Rodgers at the helm though, the Foxes are every chance of stealing something and look way over the odds, especially if Jamie Vardy returns to his goalscoring form against City’s undermanned defence.
Leicester to Win/Draw in the double chance looks tempting but I’m going to back the firepower on both sides to come to the fore here and take both teams to score and over 3.5.
SGM: Both Teams to Score and Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.59
Monday 23 December, 1:00am, Vicarage Road
Let’s not overcomplicate this one, while United have their follies and are capable of a banana skin, there is absolutely no way they drop points in this one.
Consider this, since 1987, United have won all bar one match against Watford and it doesn’t look likely that number will change here.
United at that price look a bit over the odds so get on it while you can.
Back United to Win @ $1.80
Monday 23 December, 3:30am, Tottenham Stadium
It’s the return of the Special One… again.
After being held to a draw by Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has to fancy his chances against a very vulnerable Chelsea side.
With the way Chelsea are losing matches lately, I’m happy to back against them.
Back Tottenham to Win @ $2.35
Less than 12 months after getting a contract extension, Jose Mourinho is gone from Manchester United.
Despite the Mourinho news dominating the headlines, there is plenty of football on the agenda
While some leagues in Europe use the festive period for a winter break, the Premier League not only continues its calendar, but adds in some bonus fixtures.
For most clubs, the next 17 days will feature five matches when you add in the third round of the FA Cup and it all starts with this weekend.
This is where squad depth and preseason fitness work will be tested as a bad couple of weeks could have huge ramifications on the table.
Speaking of which, Liverpool enter the festive period as the league leaders which is encouraging for them, as eight of the last 11 champions have been on top over Christmas, although they have faltered twice in that position in 2008/2009 and 2013/2014.
Read on for our previews, predictions and Same Game Multis from all 10 fixtures.
Saturday 22 December, 7:00am, Molineux Stadium
Wolves 0 – Liverpool 2
Still unbeaten and on top of the table, Liverpool just have to hold serve for the next 19 games and they will be Premier League champions… that’s probably not as easy as it sounds.
What they do have to deal with this weekend is their first trip to the Molineux Stadium since January 2012 where they came away with a 3-0 win.
Wolves will put a three game winning streak on the line and they do have the comfort of winning their last meeting with Liverpool, an FA Cup clash in January 2017.
Looking for a value play here, Liverpool to win is a good multi (or same game multi) builder but with both teams to score is the straight up option.
Back Both Teams to Score @ $1.91
SGM: Liverpool to Win, Liverpool to Score Over 1.5 Goals, Wolves to Score Over 0.5 Goals
Saturday 22 December, 11:30pm, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 3 – Burnley 1
It turns out Unai Emery can’t fix every ailment from the Wenger era as Arsenal’s rough history continued last week.
After having their unbeaten run ended at 22 games, they have a chance to kick start a new streak when they host struggling Burnley
The good news for the Gunners is that they have a great recent record against Burnley with a number of exciting, and possibly controversial finishes.
Last season when they met at the Emirates in Wenger’s final home game in charge, the Gunners ran riot 5-0, ending a run of five one goal wins against the Lancashire club.
A straight up Arsenal win doesn’t offer good value so back their defence to bounce back from a bad performance last week and keep a clean sheet.
Back Arsenal to Win to Nil @ $2
SGM: Arsenal to Win to Nil, Arsenal to Score 2+ Goals
Brighton and Hove Albion
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth 2 – Brighton 0
Two sides with two game losing streaks come into this game as they try to cement themselves as mid-table contenders while trying to rid themselves of some shaky form.
The both teams to score market has hit in six of Brighton’s last seven games and they have conceded in each of those seven games.
Not only have Bournemouth lost their last two, they have dropped six of their past seven games and haven’t scored since the 22nd minute of their win over Huddersfield in early December.
They come into this game as favourites but it’s hard to have any confidence and instead a score draw looks like the play here.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
SGM: Draw, Over 1.5 Total Goals
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 0 – Leicester 1
Chelsea have lost to Leicester just once in the last 16 years and given the respective form of the two sides going into this match, it seems like that streak will extend into 2019.
The Blues are at short odds to win their third straight Premier League match and Leicester have lost their last two.
As a straight up bet there is not a lot of value in this game but there is enough to build a tasty same multi.
SGM: Chelsea to Win, Chelsea to Score Over 2.5 Goals, Olivier Giroud Anytime Goalscorer
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, John Smith’s Stadium
Huddersfield 1 – Southampton 3
Huddersfield’s season has officially entered “year from hell” territory as they prepare to host fellow strugglers Southampton.
The Saints pulled off an upset win over Arsenal at home and are favoured to make it two wins in a row here.
Having scored just ten goals so far this season, it’s hard to see Huddersfield suddenly kicking into form although Southampton are conceding almost two per game.
This game should be one that you can just catch up on in the highlights in the morning.
Back Southampton to Win @ $2.45
SGM: Southampton to Win to Nil, Charlie Austin Anytime Goalscorer
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 2 – Crystal Palace 3
After their slip up against Chelsea, City returned to winning ways against Everton.
They are at typically short odds against a Palace side sitting three points out of the relegation zone thanks to their win over Leicester.
The tough part for Palace though, their one win over City in the last 15 years came in April 2015 and aside from a battling draw on New Years Eve last season, they have lost the other 13 games in that time frame.
Like most City games, their win price offers no appeal so if you do back that, it may be best to match it up with another side in a multi.
SGM: Manchester City to Win, City to Score Over 2.5 Goals
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, St James’ Park
Newcastle 0 – Fulham 0
A play in this game is not so much a vote of confidence for an inconsistent Newcastle side as much as it is a display of faith that Fulham’s struggles will continue.
They have lost 12 of their 17 Premier League matches this season and have conceded a whopping 42 goals and have far and away the worst goal difference in the Premier League.
At even money Newcastle are offering good value here.
Back Newcastle to Win @ $2.00
SGM: Newcastle to Win, Over 2.5 Goals
Sunday 23 December, 2:00am, London Stadium
West Ham 0 – Watford 2
In terms of position on the Premier League table, this is far and away the most competitive fixture of the weekend.
Sitting in ninth and tenth respectively, both on 24 points and separated by just two goals scored, West Ham and Watford would be very happy with their starts to the season.
West Ham are one of the form sides of the competition, currently holding the second longest winning streak behind Liverpool, they will look to make it five in a row here.
This will be the biggest test of that side as Watford look capable of matching them but the Irons are a value pick here at over even money.
Back West Ham to Win @ $2.25
SGM: West Ham to Win, Over 2.5 Goals
Sunday 23 December, 4:30am, Cardiff Stadium
Cardiff 1 – Manchester United 5
The first game of the post Mourinho era for Manchester United and they travel to Wales to take on Cardiff.
By all reports Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will takeover as the caretaker manager and his job will be to pull United up from a disappointing (by their standards) sixth place and close the gap on Arsenal and company.
It helps that Cardiff have not won against United since 1960 but it should be noted they have only played seven games since that match.
United should take care of business and you can almost certainly count on them to get the post manager sacking boost so the value here is for a big United win.
Back Manchester United to Win -1 Goal @ $2.55
SGM: Manchester United to Win, Over 2.5 Goals
Monday 24 December, 3:00am, Goodison Park
Everton 2 – Tottenham 6
It’s just about time to ask the question, “are Everton good this year?”
They certainly have the potential to be the best of the rest in the Premier League, but they do need to end their four game winless run.
That’s a big ask when they face a Tottenham side that is grinding out results even when they aren’t playing as well as they could.
In a tipping competition you could take a flyer on Everton but anytime a side like Tottenham are over even money you have to take them as a value play.
Back Tottenham to Win @ $2.20
SGM: Tottenham to Win, Harry Kane First Goalscorer, Everton to Score Over 0.5 Goals
The temperatures in England are dropping and the weather is turning nasty but the EPL Round 18 promises to have plenty of action to keep us entertained.
The midweek round saw plenty of surprises with Palace staging a staggering comeback against Watford plus West Ham holding Arsenal to a draw at the Olympic Stadium.
Check out our preview for the upcoming round here with the recommended plays.
Saturday 16 December, 11:30pm, Selhurst Park
Palace’s revival continued with another remarkable win midweek where a late surge propelled them past Watford.
Leicester have discovered a similar vein of encouraging form to bring them within striking distance of a European position.
The Foxes have not lost to Palace in over two years and that run should extend with a draw here.
Back the Draw @ $3.40
Sunday 17 December, 2:00am, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal will be glad to see Newcastle come to town when they face off this weekend.
Three matches without a win including two tough away draws at Southampton and West Ham in the last week.
The Gunners have not lost to this side since going down 1-0 in November 2010 and are on a nine match winning streak in this fixture.
In that winning run they have conceded just six goals while scoring twenty-two so expect them to make it ten on the trot here and break out of their funk.
Back Alexandre Lacazette to Score and Arsenal to Win @ $4.00
Brighton And Hove Albion
Sunday 17 December, 2:00am, Amex Stadium
Burnley’s Cinderella run continued with a 1-0 win over Stoke to put them tied on points with Tottenham and Liverpool.
Three wins in their last four matches and they now face a struggling Brighton side with three straight losses.
Burnley are not doing it the easy way but even so I like Burnley to make it three wins on the trot here.
Back Burnley to Win @ $3.00
Sunday 17 December, 2:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea were out to prove that their loss at West Ham was an aberration rather than a sign of things to come and did just that with a rampant 3-1 win over West Ham.
Southampton came so close to upsetting Arsenal at home last weekend and get another chance at one of the big boys.
It is imperative for them to avoid giving the ball away to Chelsea as easily as Huddersfield did however I still think the Blues should get by at home.
Back Chelsea to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ $2
West Ham United
Sunday 17 December, 2:00am, bet365 Stadium
Stoke will feel hard done by losing on a late goal midweek while West Ham will be ecstatic with their draw against Arsenal.
The Potters have not lost against West Ham since 2013 and the last time this fixture had more than three goals in it was November 2013.
With that in mind I like this to finish with a low goals total and a frustrating stalemate.
Back the Draw and Under 3.5 Goals @ $
Sunday 17 December, 2:00am, Vicarage Road
Any encouragement Huddersfield could take from their last start win against Brighton was washed away by a Chelsea storm midweek.
We are starting to see a side struggling to cope with the rigours and demands of Premier League football.
Thankfully for them they face a side in a similar rut with Watford throwing away a late lead against Crystal Palace.
Normally you would suggest that somebody has to break their slump here but in this case they might just cancel one another out.
Back the Draw @ $3.50
Sunday 17 December, 4:30am, Etihad Stadium
Somebody will have to stop the City surge and Tottenham will get their first chance in the late game Saturday evening.
The form guide suggests it might be a chance with three Spurs wins and a draw in the past two seasons.
Of course that being said City do look good this season and until they show otherwise it is had to go against them.
Back Manchester City to Win @ $1.53
West Bromwich Albion
Monday 18 December, 1:15am, The Hawthorns
United bounced back from their derby disappointment with a 1-0 win at home to Bournemouth midweek.
West Brom held Liverpool to a scoreless draw despite conceding over 70% of possession and will probably set up with a similar game plan when United come to town.
Even so United still has the quality to get home here and Lukaku will be the difference maker here.
Back Romelu Lukaku to Score and Manchester United to Win @ $5
Monday 18 December, 3:30am, Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth showed they are not afraid to mix it with the Premier League’s big boys and with Liverpool vulnerable after a draw they will go for an upset here.
It will be key for Liverpool to ensure that they are smart with the ball as Bournemouth will be looking to pounce on any loose touches.
Add in the history of this fixture with Bournemouth nabbing a win and draw last season and this screams of a possible upset so stay away.
Tuesday 18 December, 7:00am, Goodison Park
Those jokes about Everton finally going down might have to be put away for the time being as they are experiencing a minor revival under Big Sam Alladryce.
Four games without a loss including three wins against sides not competing in Europe this year and they are suddenly looking good.
The combinaton of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney is leading the way for the Blues and with the mini revival for Rooney, they should get by Newcastle.
Back Wayne Rooney to Score and Everton to Win @ $
Christmas is now behind us and we have entered the busiest part of the English Premier League season.
This is the time of year when the depth of every side is tested and there is often plenty of upsets.
We will be looking for outsiders at a good price during this match day and you can find our recommended bets for all ten matches below!
Monday 26 December, 11:30pm, Vicarage Road
Watford 1 - Crystal Palace 1
Watford have drawn three of their past eight games as home favourites, while Crystal Palace have drawn six of their past 15 games as away underdogs.
Back The Draw @ $3.20
West Bromwich Albion
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0
Arsenal have won 12 of their past 18 games as home favourites for a narrow loss, but West Bromwich Albion have won only three of their past 17 games as away underdogs.
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Turf Moor
Burnley 1 - Middlesbrough 0
Burnley have won three of their past five games as home underdogs for a massive profit and this is the first time that Middlesbrough will start a game as away favourites since their return to the English Premier League.
Back Burnley To Win @ $3
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 3 - Bournemouth 0
Chelsea have not lost a game for well over two months and they have not conceded a goal in their past three games.
Chelsea To Win To Nil $2.38
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, King Power Stadium
Leicester City 0 - Everton 2
Leicester City have won nine of their past 15 games as home favourites, while Everton have not won any of their past 10 games as away underdogs.
Back Leicester City To Win @ $2.30
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - Sunderland 1
Manchester United have won only 10 of their past 18 games as home favourites for a clear loss, but Sunderland have won just three of their past 16 fixtures as away underdogs.
West Ham United
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Liberty Stadium
Swansea City 1 - West Ham United 4
Swansea City are a tough team to trust from a betting perspective, but they have still won five of their past nine games for a profit.
West Ham generally struggle away from home and they have won just three of their past 14 games as away underdogs.
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, KC Stadium
Hull City 0 - Manchester City 3
Hull City have taken at least a point from three of their past seven games as home underdogs and Manchester City are an unconvincing 8-5-3 as away favourites.
Back Hull City & Draw Double Chance @ $3.40
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, Anfield
Liverpool 4 - Stoke City 1
Liverpool have lost just one of their past 16 games as home favourites, but Stoke City have been able to take at least a point from four of their past 16 games as away underdogs.
Back The Draw @ $5.50
Tuesday 27 December, 1:00am, St Mary's Stadium
Southampton 1 - Tottenham Hotspur 4
Southampton have just one of their past four games as home underdogs and Tottenham have won six of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Back Tottenham To Win @ $2.50