It’s time for the second round of fixtures over the Christmas period and although football tips can be hard to predict at this time of year I’m confident in my selections.
Liverpool v Man City is the highlight of these fixtures and my tip might surprise a few.
Lets get stuck in, check out my predictions below:
Premier League Tip: Friday 30th December
Hull City v Everton
Memories of Hull City’s fantastic start to the season are fading fast at the moment as the effect of a very small squad and a lack of form are hitting the Tigers hard. Mike Phelan’s men have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games although on a positive note they have not lost at home since defeat by Stoke City back in October.
They face an Everton side whose form has been hugely inconsistent over the past couple of months and who have won just two of their last ten league games (against West Ham and Arsenal) and who have also just won two of their eight away games all season long.
Defeat to Liverpool saw Everton drop to ninth in the table and they badly need to get back to winning ways to avoid becoming embroiled in mid-table anonymity. Hull’s situation is even worse as at the time of writing, they are bottom of the table and three points (and 18 goals) from safety.
Everton’s lack of form is puzzling given the talent available to Ronald Koeman, but there are signs that some key men, notably Ross Barkley, is not performing as Koeman would have hoped and there are rumours that the starlet could be on his way if the right bid came in during the January transfer window.
The bookies have the Toffeemen the odds on chance to win this game here but I cannot see why. Personally I think a far better and more likely choice is the draw here which is a 5/2 (3.50) shot with Bet365.
Football Tips: Saturday 31st December
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion
This is a very evenly matched contest I believe at St Marys as West Brom take on Southampton in what could well be one of the most keenly contested matches in this set of fixtures.
There are similarities between both sides in how they are set up. Both teams are strong defensively and are tough to break down. They don’t score too many goals, but by the same token, they do not concede too many goals either. They have an England goalkeeper between the sticks and some talented and underrated defenders in their first team.
Where both teams do struggle is in terms of goalscoring at times and given that they are so well matched, we have to look to the finer points between the teams to come up with a bet for this, on paper at least, close contest.
A review of the stats reveals it is the 7th best home record in the Premier League taking on the 7th best away record in the division. Southampton have scored just six goals at home all season long, West Brom have managed just six away from home all season long. Neither team has mustered a win against a top eight side all season long and they lie 7th and 8th in the table with a point between them and with West Brom having a 1 better goal difference.
Having viewed all the factors, it is painfully obvious that everything is pointing towards a low scoring draw here and with the draw available at 3/1 with Bet365, I see no reason to get too cute with this bet and so that is the option I am taking.
Liverpool v Manchester City
The biggest game of the festive period takes place at Anfield on New Years Eve with Manchester City the visitors, hoping to end Jurgen Klopp’s remarkable record on home turf since he took over from Brendan Rogers early on last season.
The Reds have made Anfield a fortress this season, winning five of their seven games at home, scoring 17 goals in their last six games at Anfield in the process. Interestingly too, they have played all of the top five, bar Manchester City away from home this season, winning at Chelsea and Arsenal and drawing away at Spurs.
Manchester City’s amazing 10 game winning streak at the start of the season has come undone in recent weeks, although City’s excellent fightback win over Arsenal on the 18th December will have given Pep Guardiola’s side real confidence.
City also have a fine away record, the second best in the league, winning six and losing two of their eight games on the road this season and some of those wins have been by considerable margins. However, City have only faced Tottenham out of the top five this season and lost that game 2-0.
City could have Pablo Zabaleta back for this game, but more decisively, Liverpool could have their talisman Philippe Coutinho back in time for this one. If they do, then that could well be decisive in this game as Coutinho has been a thorn in the side for City over the past few years.
My money is on Coutinho making this clash and if he does, I reckon that makes Liverpool the favourites, as such I’m backing Liverpool to win at 7/5 (2.40) with Bet365.
Footy Tips: Sunday 1st January
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur
The bookies have Tottenham down as the likely easy winners of this game although the odds on a Spurs win here do look a tad short when you take a closer look at the stats.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won just two away games from eight matches this season, drawing four and losing two. Although to be fair to Spurs, the vast majority of those away games have come against teams in the top half of the table, by the time this fixture comes around they will have played 8 out of the top 10 plus 10 out of the top 12 away from home.
Watford’s home form is ok, the 12th best in the division and they have notched up notable wins over Everton, Manchester United and Leicester, plus a 1-0 win over Hull City. However, they have also lost to Stoke City, Arsenal and Chelsea at home and the Hornets have lost all four of the games they have played against the top four teams this season.
The Hornets home form is good with four wins from their last six games, so they won’t be short of confidence taking on a Tottenham side that have won just once in their last six away matches.
As such, although the bookmakers are very keen on a Spurs win here, I think that Watford will make it tough for Pochettino’s men and while I can’t see the Hornets taking all three points, I do think they have enough to take a point here. As such, I’m backing the draw at 11/4 (3.75) with BetVictor.
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