It’s been a busy festive period and I hope you have enjoyed yourselves over Christmas.
What better way to celebrate the start of the New Year than with a bumper selection of football tips and predictions which will take us through from Monday 2nd to Wednesday 4th January.
Let’s hope we can get 2017 off to a great start with the selection of tips outlined below:
Premier League Tips: Monday 2nd January
Everton v Southampton
My first game of the New Year sees Everton take on Southampton at Goodison Park. The two teams met at the end of November at St Mary’s with Southampton emerging with a 1-0 win but since then both teams have suffered with erratic form, Everton moreso than Southampton of late truth be told.
However, Goodison Park has never been a happy hunting ground for Southampton over the years and with Everton feeling confident after a 2-0 win over Leicester City in the same set of fixtures that saw Tottenham thrash the Saints 4-1, I think of the two teams it will be Ronald Koeman’s newest charges, rather than his former, that are the more confident here.
Of course, there’s another set of fixtures in between those games and this, but home advantage is crucial and with Everton having had an extra day to prepare for this game in what is a hugely busy period for teams, I think that may well be crucial as I can see Southampton forced to rotate their squad for this game, while Everton should be ok to remain unchanged, if Koeman wishes.
Those factors have just swayed me from backing the draw here to instead taking the 6/5 (2.20) on offer with BetVictor on Everton just about scraping the win here.
West Brom v Hull City
West Brom take on Hull City at the Hawthorns in my second tip of the day and I’ll state now that this is marked down as a home win on my card.
The reasons for that are many and varied. The Baggies are playing well under Tony Pulis and despite a tough run of fixtures where they faced four of the top six in their last seven games, they lie 9th in the table and their home record against teams lower in the league than them is excellent with four wins and just one draw from the five games played.
Hull City have won just one game in their last 16 Premier League matches and they have lost all but two of their away games so far this season. Mike Phelan is up against it with a small squad especially at this busy juncture of the season and facing the prospect of two games in quick succession, even though Hull have an extra day to prepare, will be tough for the Tigers.
Normally, I’d factor more in to that extra day to prepare or rest for Hull City, but I think with such a small squad against a side like West Brom who do have a stronger squad and better form and confidence, in this case I don’t think those extra few hours will have much of an impact.
The teams drew 1-1 back in November but I can’t see anything here but a relatively solid win for the Baggies. I’m backing the 19/10 (2.90) available on West Brom/West Brom the HT/FT market at BetVictor.
Football Tip: Tuesday 3rd January
Crystal Palace v Swansea City
Could it be that these two teams meet at Selhurst Park with two new managers installed? Crystal Palace have already replaced the sacked Alan Pardew with Sam Allardyce, while Swansea could be onto their third manager of the season having sacked Bob Bradley just after Christmas following their 4-1 home defeat by West Ham.
The Swans are being linked with a move for either Gary Rowett, Ryan Giggs or Chris Coleman although it seems unlikely that they will be installed in readiness for this game, though stranger things have happened.
New managers bring a new mindset and this makes this game so intriguing. Whoever is in charge of Swansea and the new Palace boss will know that this is a game both sides will feel that they need to win to ease their plight at the bottom end of the Premier League table.
However, in that respect I think Palace have a big advantage. They will have had Sam Allardyce in as manager for considerably longer than the Swans boss and the former England manager is a past master at coming in and rescuing sides in danger of the drop. Given the talent already in the Crystal Palace squad, Allardyce should be able to have a quick impact and start to deliver results quickly.
Allardyce is renowned for getting his defence sorted as a priority so I am expecting nothing less than a tight game here, in stark contrast to the remarkable 5-4 result the two teams had back in November at the Memorial Stadium. As such, I’m sticking my neck out here and backing Palace to win the game to nil at 15/8 (2.875) with Stan James.
Premier League Tip: Wednesday 4th January
Tottenham Hotspurs v Chelsea
The final match of this group of fixtures takes place on Wednesday night as Tottenham take on Chelsea, who are not just top of the table, but who have benefitted from some extremely fortunate and forgiving fixture scheduling over the Christmas and New Year period.
Spurs were defeated 2-1 at Stamford Bridge back in November, despite dominating the first half and taking the lead and manager Mauricio Pochettino will know that anything less than a win will leave Tottenham with little chance of hauling back the 10 point advantage or more that Chelsea would hold over Spurs over the second half of the season.
Chelsea’s relentless run of form continued until Boxing Day at the very least with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth and with a home game against Stoke City on the 31st December, the odds are the Blues will come into this game on the back of 13 successive Premier League wins.
However, Tottenham have proven to be party poopers this season already, bringing to an end Manchester City’s run of successive wins earlier in the season and I feel that Spurs could well do something similar at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
I can’t quite see Spurs having enough to take the win, but I do think they’ll end Chelsea’s run of successive victories, so I am backing the 9/4 (3.25) available with Bet365 on this one ending in a draw.
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