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Weekend’s Football Tips: 22nd & 23rd December
by the Cheeky Punter
We had a very pleasing week last week and even with only one winner from the weekend tips we were still well up on the bookies.
Obviously the goal is more of the same over the Christmas period!
I’m looking forward to this set of games this weekend, which starts on Friday night with leaders Liverpool making the trip to Wolves, leaving nine games to be played, eight across Saturday and just the one on Sunday.
Here’s my tips for these games and stay tuned for my tips to come for Boxing Day’s games over the festive period too.
Footie Tips: Saturday 22nd December
December 22, 2018
John Smith's Stadium
December 22, 2018
John Smith's Stadium
Huddersfield are 19th in the table with 10 points from 17 games, they have scored only 10 goals across all their games.
Southampton moved up to 17th with their win over Arsenal last weekend, only their second victory of the season so far.
Huddersfield have managed to score just three goals at home all season long.
Both games between the teams last season finished as draws, 0-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium in August and then 1-1 in St Mary’s in December.
Huddersfield face a second crucial relegation battle against Southampton this weekend just a week after their home defeat to Newcastle saw them drop back down to 19th in the table. They face a Southampton side buoyed by only their second win of the season last weekend over Arsenal, ending the Gunners long run of unbeaten games in the process.
I have to admit, I did wonder if Ralf Hassenhutl could work his magic at the Saints but he certainly seemed to based on that performance against Arsenal and I feel they will be so much more confident heading into this game as a result.
In contrast, Huddersfield have scored just three goals at home this season and the player responsible for two of those goals, Aaron Mooy, is out injured until the New Year. As such, it is hard to see how Huddersfield are likely to start to find the goals they need, even against the Saints leaky defence.
This is a game that I feel will be tight and close but one which I can see being won by a single goal in favour of the away team, rather like how Newcastle ended up with the win last weekend.
Newcastle’s win at Huddersfield last week moved them up to 14th in the table on 16 points and was their fourth win of the season.
The Toon Army have conceded just 22 goals this campaign, that is 1 less than Arsenal and seven fewer than Manchester United.
Fulham remain bottom of the table with just 9 points from their 17 games and they have conceded a Premier League high 42 goals, 9 more than the next worst record.
All of the last three EPL games between the teams have finished as 1-0 wins, Newcastle winning two (both in 2013) and Fulham the other (in 2014).
After picking up a win at Huddersfield last week, Rafa Benitez will know that a home game against the Premier league bottom club is a fantastic opportunity to put some daylight between his side and the teams battling it out at the foot of the table.
For Fulham, it is an opportunity to take on a Newcastle side that while strong defensively, have found St James Park a tough place to win, with their best performances coming on the road. And Ranieri will know one goal may be enough to secure a win.
The problem is that Newcastle’s defensive record is actually very good, especially for a team so low in the table. I can see them nullifying Fulham’s attack and perhaps grabbing that single goal themselves to record a rare victory in front of their home fans.
If Fulham do score, then I feel their leaky defence will always allow the home side a way back into the game and as such, I think Newcastle would win the game 2-1 in this event. As such, backing the home win is the sensible play here.
Cardiff lie in 16th place in the table with 14 points, scoring 17 goals and conceding 33 goals in those games.
Man United are sixth in the table with 26 points, eight behind Arsenal in fifth and 11 behind Chelsea in 4th.
Cardiff are on a roll at home winning all of their last three home games against Brighton, Wolves and Southampton.
United have won just one of their last five, a 4-1 home win over Fulham. This will be their caretaker manager’s first game in charge of the club since taking over this week.
After their 3-1 defeat at Liverpool last weekend, Jose Mourinho was axed by Manchester United on Tuesday morning with a caretaker manager set to be appointed to take the club through until the end of the season in the coming days.
It was something of a surprise, given Mourinho was handed a lengthy extension just a few months back, but the Red Devils performances this season have been so poor that the board probably felt compelled to act, especially given the nature of their defeat at Anfield.
Cardiff though will now fear the worst, a Manchester United side with a point to prove. When big clubs axe managers, you usually get a bounce effect and an improvement in results and with United being better on the road this season, I feel that is exactly what will happen here.
That’s unlucky for Cardiff as they’ve been strong at home of late and would have fancied their chances had Mourinho still be in place. As it is I feel Neil Warnock’s side could be in for a tough afternoon as United should get back to winning ways.
Man Utd to win and both teams to score - £10 returns £33.00
Everton lie 8th in the table on 24 points, although their recent form isn’t particularly strong. They have conceded just 22 goals in their 17 games.
Tottenham are yet to draw a game in the Premier League this season and lie in third place, five points behind Manchester City in second position.
The Toffee’s have drawn their last two at home, but their only home defeat came against West Ham earlier in the season.
Spurs have lost just two of their away games in the Premier League this season. Their only defeats coming at Watford and Arsenal.
Everton have been strong at home this season, losing just the once, but they have drawn a few games that they will feel they should have won and now they face a tough test against a Spurs team who have won all but two of their away games this season.
Since losing at Arsenal, Spurs have been in much better form, drawing in Barcelona and recording three big Premier League wins against Southampton, Leicester and Burnley, but Everton will be a tougher test than any of those three teams.
Marco Silva is doing a good job at Goodison Park but his teams are being found out against stronger opposition. They are not being totally dominated but they are not taking the chances that they create and that is costing them.
I feel it may well be a case of that again here as I think Spurs are more clinical and that could well be the key difference between the two sides on the day.
Tottenham to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £40.00
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.