I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas… now lets get to what really matters! My football betting tips for boxing day and the 27th and 28th of December.
Last weekend we turned another small profit with both Liverpool and Middlesbrough getting over the line. Lets hope to continue that trend.
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Football Tips: Boxing Day 2016
Watford v Crystal Palace
I’ve opted for this game, the first live game following Christmas, as I think this is an opportunity where the odds are so good and the trends seem to identify that this could be one of those fixtures where a shock is on the cards. Watford have a half-decent home record, they have beaten Leicester, Manchester United and Everton at home in recent times, but they have lost at home to Chelsea, Man City and Stoke this season too.
Palace are not a side blessed with great form but after a win and a draw, their last two defeats have come against Manchester United and Chelsea and in both games, Palace gave a fine account of themselves and could and perhaps should have earned a point in each game.
Watford it seems have no trouble rousing themselves for home games against the top half sides, but I think they are not quite as formidable against teams that are not top ten quality. Narrow wins against Hull and Leicester City being the only wins they have had against teams in the bottom half.
In contrast, Palace’s away form is considerably better than their home form this season and they have recorded wins at both Sunderland and Middlesbrough, as well as drawing at Everton.
Alan Pardew’s teams do tend to go on long streaks of wins, or defeats but I think this is game where Palace could well spring a surprise. Hence I am going to go against the bookmakers here and back Palace to win this game at 21/4 (6.25) with Stan James.
Leicester City v Everton
The Foxes have struggled domestically defending their League Title, but in truth, their problems have been mainly away from the King Power Stadium as at home, they have the 6th best record in the Premier League, losing just once at home all season long (a 2-1 defeat to West Brom).
They face an Everton side that have won just two of their eight away games this season (at West Brom and Sunderland) and who have lost four games by a single goal (only Chelsea beat them comprehensively, 5-0 at Stamford Bridge).
City will also be boosted by the fact that with 10 men for the majority of the game following Jamie Vardy’s sending off, they bounced back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a draw at Stoke City before Christmas and although Vardy will still be suspended for this game, Leicester can give some fringe players a chance against an Everton defence that has just one clean sheet away from home all season long.
I think this will be a close contest and it is a game where I can see both teams finding the net. You could make a case for a home win here, but I think Vardy’s absence could be crucial for the home side. Ulloa, his likely replacement, isn’t anywhere near as mobile and I think that plays into the hands of Everton’s physically strong, but less mobile, defence nicely.
As such, I’m going to go instead for the draw which is a best price of 12/5 (3.40) with BetVictor.
Footy Betting Tips: Tuesday 27th December
Liverpool v Stoke City
After a blip against Bournemouth and West Ham, Liverpool have bounced back to win their last two games, the last one dramatically against Everton with Sadio Mane’s last gasp winner, and those six points have catapulted Jurgen Klopp’s men into second place in the table, six points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.
They face a Stoke City side whose form must be driving manager Mark Hughes mad. City lie 11th in the table, which is good after the poor start they endured but they have not won a game against a top half side this season, losing five and drawing three of the eight games they have played.
Liverpool fans will likely give a few ex-Reds a warm welcome back to Anfield with Stoke City having Charlie Adam, Glen Johnson, Peter Crouch and Joe Allen on their books. However, that will likely be the extent of the warmth Stoke City will receive from what will be the usually vociferous Anfield crowd.
With Chelsea seemingly having a straightforward home game with Bournemouth on Monday, this is a game Liverpool must win and I cannot see Jurgen Klopp expecting anything less than a good performance and three points here.
However, defensive woes have contributed to Liverpool’s sloppier performances this season and if they are not up for it against Stoke City, the side from the Potteries could make them pay.
That said, I think Liverpool’s defensive improvements in the last two games, both clean sheets, could well continue at Anfield on Tuesday night, hence I am backing Liverpool to win, to nil at 13/10 (2.30) with Paddy Power.
Football Tips: Wednesday 28th December
Southampton v Tottenham
There’s an interesting clash at St Mary’s on Wednesday night as Tottenham attempt to keep up the pursuit of the top four with a crucial match against Southampton, a side who at the time of writing, lie in seventh place in the league table.
The Saints have not won a match in the Premier League against a top six team this season, losing three games and drawing two, and they have scored just two goals in those five games in total.
However Spurs record against the top ten sides is telling. They have won just one match against a side in the top ten (as at the 21st December), a 2-0 home win over Manchester City, drawing five matches and losing two. Eight of Spurs nine league wins this season have come against teams ranked 11th or lower in the Premier League.
What this says to me is that while Spurs are difficult to beat, they perhaps don’t have the quality to turn draws into wins against the best sides in the division at the moment and that has shown in their performances in the first half of the season.
Oddly, given their form, the bookmakers have Spurs as the favourites to win the game here, but I am not too sure that is a true reflection. Southampton are very good defensively and this is a game that I can see ending either as a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw. As such, I am taking the 23/10 (3.30) available on the draw with BetVictor.