Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
Manchester City gained a record 15th successive win in the Premier League at Swansea midweek and Pep Guardiola’s side entertain Spurs in the big game of the weekend at the Etihad on Saturday.
I’ve shared my thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the weekend action.
Palace have failed to score in 10 successive away Premier League games and you have to go back to 1950 (Manchester City ironically) for the last time a top-flight English side failed to score in 11 games on the road.
Palace are unbeaten in their last six in the PL – courtesy of a couple of goalless draws on the road as well as strong home form – but they are meeting a Leicester side who have scored seven times in two away wins this week and are at the top of their game at present.
Tip: Leicester to win and both teams to score at 3/1
Arsenal have won their last nine Premier League games against Newcastle and they are likely to make that ten at the weekend given the Magpies have picked up just one point from their last eight league games – the worst record in the division.
Rafa Benitez has never won at Arsenal in the PL and these are worrying times for my former club who face a difficult game at West Ham next weekend before they entertain Manchester City over Christmas.
Tip: Arsenal to win to nil at 23/20
Burnley have won six of their last eight league games as their excellent start to the campaign shows no sign of letting up, although I feel they may have to settle for a point against a Brighton side who have lost their last three.
The Clarets have only conceded 12 goals so far this term yet have allowed the opposition a league-high 279 shots. Brighton will be desperate to arrest their current slide and I think they will get a draw on the south coast.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 2/1
Southampton were well-beaten at home to Leicester midweek and things are likely to get worse for the Saints at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
Eden Hazard has been involved in seven goals in 10 starts against Southampton and it will be interesting to see if Antonio Conte again plays without a recognised striker if Alvaro Morata fails to recover from his back injury in time.
Tip: Eden Hazard to score at anytime at 19/20
Stoke have kept just two clean sheets so far this term which is a concern whereas West Ham have picked up just three points from their last 27 on offer on the road.
The Hammers have done tremendously well to keep two clean sheets and pick up four points from the visits of Chelsea and Arsenal this week, but the question is can they maintain that recent improvement now they are away from the London Stadium.
Tip: Under 1.5 goals at 9/4
Watford have now lost 13 points from winning positions in the Premier League after surrendering the lead to Crystal Place midweek. The Hornets are ravaged by injury and suspensions for the visit of Huddersfield, but they have a deep squad and I expect Marco Silva’s side to return to winning ways.
The Terriers have lost their last five away PL games by two or more goals and have failed to score in any of those games – I expect that run to continue at Vicarage Road.
Tip: Watford to win at 4/5
Manchester City are without a win in their last four PL games against Spurs and, surprisingly perhaps, the north London outfit have won more away games against City (10) than they have at any other PL club. That said City have been irresistible so far this season and their record-breaking 15 successive PL wins shows no sign of stopping.
Pep Guardiola won 19 Bundesliga games in a row between October 2013 and March 2014 when in charge of Bayern Munich and I would expect him to be challenging his City side to break that extraordinary record.
Spurs could easily score at the Etihad but I expect City to score more.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score at 7/4
West Brom got an excellent point at Anfield midweek but they have lost eight of their last 11 PL games at the Hawthorns against United and I expect the visitors to take the points.
Romelu Lukaku will have been delighted to score the winning goal against Bournemouth midweek and he famously scored a hat-trick in this corresponding fixture back in May 2013 when a second half substitute in the 5-5 draw that brought the curtain down on the managerial career of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Tip: United to win 2-1 at 8/1
Bournemouth won this corresponding fixture 4-3 12 months ago but I don’t think they will find the Reds in as benevolent a mood on Sunday.
The Cherries had their chances at Old Trafford earlier in the week and will be disappointed to have come away with nothing. I expect to see goals at the Vitality Stadium in what promises to be an entertaining game.
Tip: Both teams to score at 13/20
Swansea have scored as many Premier League goals this term as Wayne Rooney (9) and the former England striker has a cracking record against the Swans with three goals and four assists against the Welsh side in his last seven games.
Everton have tightened up defensively since Sam Allardyce took over and they are likely to have too much at Goodison for a Swansea side who have had just 33 shots on target in their 17 PL games so far this term
Tip: Everton to win at 8/11
My weekend treble: Arsenal, Watford and Everton at 3/1