Premier League Matchday 19: Boxing Day Action8 min read
The Boxing Day Premier League fixtures are one of the highlights of the sporting calendar this Festive period.
We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and healthy and happy New Year from all at BetVictor and from our brand ambassador Michael Owen.
Once again Michael has taken the time out of his busy schedule to look forward to all the Premier League action.
Leicester City v Liverpool
The top two go head-to-head at the King Power and Leicester will be looking to cut the gap at the top of the table against a Liverpool side who won the reverse fixture 2-1 at Anfield earlier in the season.
The Reds added the FIFA World Club Cup to their Champions League Trophy in Qatar on Saturday while the Foxes were outclassed by Manchester City at the Etihad.
I expect the league leaders to cement their place at the top-of-the-table.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score at
Spurs v Brighton
Both sides will be looking to bounce back after disappointing home losses over the weekend and I take Spurs to edge a low-scoring affair.
Jose Mourinho will have been hurt by Frank Lampard’s tactical masterclass, and Chelsea’s superiority, on Sunday and he must do without the suspended Son Heung-Min for the visit of the Seagulls. Spurs need to win or the honeymoon period for Mourinho is over in north London.
Tip: Spurs to win at
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Mikel Arteta takes charge of Arsenal for the first time at the Vitality Stadium with his side having played out their first goalless league draw in 77 games at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The first shot on target in Bournemouth’s game with Burnley on Saturday produced a winning goal in the 89th minute for the Clarets and I think the Gunners will add more Christmas woe to Eddie Howe’s side.
Tip: Arsenal to win at
Aston Villa v Norwich
Villa’s talisman skipper Jack Grealish has scored in three of Villa’s last five league games and this is a massive game for Dean Smith’s side who cannot afford to lose against Norwich.
The Canaries lost the lead and the points for the second successive home game against Wolves on Saturday and they are struggling to keep clean sheets. That said if they score first on Boxing Day, it is likely to be a very nervous Villa Park. But I expect the hosts to keep the points.
Tip: Villa to win and both teams to score at
Chelsea v Southampton
Frank Lampard’s decision to revert to a back three was vindicated in spades against Tottenham on Sunday when his side kept their first clean sheet away from home in the league so far this season.
Two more goals for Danny Ings in Saints impressive 3-1 win at Villa Park at the weekend and the striker has now equalled his personal best (11) in a Premier League season – before Christmas! Chelsea’s new-look defence will have to keep a close eye on the inform striker, but I feel the Blues will edge a lively, entertaining clash.
Tip: Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals at
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Palace have failed to score in eight of their 18 league games so far this season although they had their opportunities against Newcastle at St James’ Park last time out.
West Ham had the weekend off with Liverpool out in Qatar and I can’t split the sides in what I expect will be a low-scoring London derby.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw at
Everton v Burnley
Carlo Ancelotti will take charge of Everton for the first-time midweek, but I don’t believe he will see the Blues put five past Burnley which they did at Turf Moor on Boxing Day last year.
Ancelotti will need time – and resources – at Goodison, and the Clarets will make life very difficult for the hosts. A point apiece for me.
Tip: Game to finish 1-1 at
Sheffield United v Watford
Watford gained a tremendous win against a very disappointing Manchester United at Vicarage Road on Sunday, but I expect high-flying Sheffield United to keep the points after they maintained their unbeaten away league record with another terrific win at Brighton at the weekend.
Since the start of last season, no side in the top four tiers of English football have kept more clean sheets – 28 level with Leeds – than the Blades. Watford may not find the Blades defence as benevolent as United’s at Bramall Lane.
Tip: Sheffield United to win to nil at
Manchester United v Newcastle United
United need to bounce back after a horror show at Vicarage Road although the game did signal the return of Paul Pogba who came off the bench and looked fit and sharp on his return from injury.
I expect the French international to start against a Newcastle side who are unbeaten in eight at home but who continue to struggle to create opportunities on the road. Steve Bruce has done an excellent job in getting his side into the top half of the table at Christmas and they will leapfrog Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with a win at Old Trafford.
Tip: United to win 2-1 at
Wolves v Manchester City
Champions Manchester City will be looking for revenge at Molineux given Wolves won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Etihad earlier in the season. City won their 250th league game of the decade against Leicester at the weekend – becoming just the second club to achieve the feat after Manchester United in the 2000s.
City were at their brilliant best against Leicester on Saturday and I expect the champions to edge what promises to be an open, entertaining clash with Wolves once again showing their quality to come from behind at Carrow Road at the weekend.
Tip: City to win and both teams to score at
Michael’s Boxing Day wager: Chelsea, Villa and Arsenal at