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Boxing Day Football Tips: 26th December
by the Cheeky Punter
I hope you are enjoying a Merry Christmas and are spending a boozy Boxing Day relaxing with the remote control at the ready to watch what promises to be an exciting day of football in the Premier League.
I’m having to write this selection of tips before the results of the last set of matches are known due to the Christmas holidays (my wife wouldn’t be too pleased at me spending Christmas Day doing this), so if the odds are slightly out of date, that will be the reason why.
We have three live games to enjoy on TV today including Fulham v Wolves, Brighton v Arsenal and last up Watford v Chelsea and all three of those games feature below.
The top two are also in action with Manchester City facing a tricky trip to Leicester, while Liverpool face former manager Rafa Benitez as they welcome Newcastle United to Anfield.
So grab a mince pie to sustain yourself as I take you through my football tips for Boxing Day’s set of fixtures…
Footie Tips: Wednesday 26th December
December 26, 2018
December 26, 2018
Fulham come into this game desperate to find another home win, their last one coming in a 3-2 win over Southampton in Claudio Ranieri’s first game in charge.
Wolves came through a sticky spell of results to win three games in a row, including defeating Chelsea at home and are the form team heading into this game.
The teams most recent meetings have been in the Championship, Wolves winning five of the last seven and Fulham’s only win coming in Feb 2018 (2-0 at Craven Cottage).
In their history the teams have met 90 times in total, Wolves have won the majority of games with 42 wins to Fulham’s 26 with 22 matches being drawn.
Quite simply, Fulham are reaching the point at which they have to start picking up points and to do that they need to stop conceding goals. It is so tough for any team to win matches conceding one goal a game, but with Fulham their average is around 2.
Unless Ranieri can sort out the defence in the transfer window, Fulham looked doomed and I expect Wolves to take advantage of that. Both these teams may be newly promoted but Wolves look like a team that have been playing at the top level for some time.
Nuno Santo’s men have earned some fine results this season and they have been equally adept at home and on the road. They have had their own sticky spell but come through it well and the quality they have and their ability to keep the ball, makes them a real threat here.
I have no doubt that Fulham will probably find the net in this game, but I also feel that Wolves are well set up to hit them on the counter and make them pay, and with the games building up I can see defensive errors creeping in, so I am backing a Wolves win and both teams to score here.
Wolves to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £44.00
Turf Moor was a fortress last season for Burnley, it hasn’t been this season which has contributed to Burnley’s relegation struggles so far this campaign.
Everton, though much improved on last season, have found games against the top sides tough, but have picked up good points against teams below them.
Burnley come into the game having won three of the last four between the teams including the last two games at Turf Moor by a 2-1 scoreline.
The teams have met 112 times in their history and Everton have landed the most wins with 48 to Burnley’s 35 meaning that 29 games have finished in a draw.
Burnley have a good recent record against Everton in the Premier League, but Sean Dyche’s men are a far cry from the team that earned wins over the Toffees in past seasons. Confidence wise and defensively the Clarets are struggling and that I feel plays into Everton’s hands.
Everton do seem to be more threatening on the road than at home, especially against Premier League teams that are struggling and I think they will prove that here, although the fact they are slipping some sloppy goals of late means I am not convinced they will keep a clean sheet.
With the festive games also being generally more open and free-scoring affairs, I am backing Burnley to perhaps get off to a solid start and maybe grab a goal, but my gut feeling is that Everton will then turn the game around and come away with a win that I feel in the context of how the season is panning out, they will really feel the benefit of heading into the New Year.
Everton to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £40.00
Brighton have made a very solid start to the season and lie safely in mid-table. They have already beaten Man Utd at home this season.
Arsenal’s last away trip to the south coast ended in a surprise 3-2 defeat to Southampton, ending their long unbeaten run in the league.
Last season Arsenal won the game at the Emirates 2-0 in October but Brighton claimed a very good 2-1 win over the Gunners in the return fixture in March.
The teams have played each other just 17 times in their history, the Gunners have won the most with 12 victories to just three for Brighton and two draws.
Brighton earned a superb win over Arsenal in the game between the teams last year at the AMEX, and it was perhaps a game that defined the last few years of the Arsene Wenger era, with Arsenal promising much but letting sloppy goals in to send them away without the points.
This season, Brighton have been on the up and they lie comfortably in mid-table. Their performances against the top sides has generally been good and it is worth noting that they have beaten Man Utd at home this season, a thing to note for the Gunners who lost last time out on the south coast when surprisingly beaten by Southampton.
However, with Lacazette and particularly Aubameyang in great form, Arsenal are looking a real threat going forward, but the injuries that have ravaged their defence cost them against Southampton and I think that will be Unai Emery’s worry here.
I can see Brighton finding the net against this Arsenal back line as they have some clever attackers, but something tells me Arsenal will still find a way to win the game.
Arsenal to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £33.50
Watford have made a solid start to the Premier League under Javi Gracia and they lie in a comfortable mid-table position well clear of the relegation battle.
Chelsea sit in the top four and will have their eyes on trying to close the gap on the top two over the coming weeks as well as Champions League qualification.
Chelsea had not lost to Watford since 1999 up until last season winning 13 games and drawing three ahead of the game at Vicarage Road in February 2018.
In that game Watford shocked Chelsea to land a 4-1 win. Their 10th win over Chelsea, with 6 draws and 17 victories for Chelsea in the 33 games between the teams.
Last season’s 4-1 win over Chelsea was arguably the highlight of the season for Watford fans and Chelsea’s nadir, but since then Chelsea have really improved their consistency under Mauricio Sarri and more to the point, Eden Hazard has started to look very sharp once again after his form dipped for a few weeks.
Watford have been earning some solid results but consistency isn’t their strong point and even though. Vicarage Road can be a tough place to win, I still fancy that Chelsea with all the attacking talent they have should have enough to get the job done.
That said, the powerful Watford attack which mixes the brawn of Troy Deeney with the guile of Roberto Pereyra and pace of Gerard Deulofeu very well could cause Chelsea more than a few problems, especially at the end of a tough run of games for Sarri’s men.
So I am expecting Watford to find the net on Boxing Day, however I think Chelsea are more than capable of getting at least two in reply to secure what would be a solid win on the road for the Londoners.
Chelsea to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £33.50
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.