Premier League Preview: Gameweek 207 min read
Hope you’re all enjoying Christmas. The Premier League Boxing Day fixtures are a major part of the season’s Festivities and I’ve looked ahead to the games exclusively for BetVictor.
Do note these previews were written before the pre-Christmas fixtures.
Tottenham v Southampton
Spurs have a great recent record against Southampton, having picked up 25 points from the 10 Premier League games between the sides since the Saints returned to the division back in 2012.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won five of their last six PL games at Wembley and I expect them to improve on that record against a Southampton side who are without an away win in their last six PL games on the road.
Spurs to win to nil
Bournemouth v West Ham
The Hammers won their first away game of the season at Stoke last time and if there is to be a winner at the Vitality Stadium I think it will be the Irons who, at the time of writing, have kept three successive clean sheets.
I’m not sure there will be many goals with the Cherries needing to improve defensively, having conceded four to Liverpool in their last home game.
Under 2.5 goals
Chelsea v Brighton
Brighton have failed to score in their last three games against Chelsea and it is hard to see how Chris Hughton’s Seagulls can get a result at Stamford Bridge.
Alvaro Morata missed the goalless draw at Goodison on Saturday through suspension but the Spanish international striker will be back on Boxing Day and I expect the champions to win with something to spare.
Chelsea to win to nil
Huddersfield v Stoke City
Stoke are unbeaten in their last six top-flight league games against Huddersfield and I think they will improve on that good record in West Yorkshire. However, they may have to settle for a point at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Game to finish in a draw
Manchester United v Burnley
United haven’t lost a home league game against Burnley since September 1962 although the Clarets did pick up a point at Old Trafford in the corresponding game last season.
United have won 19 of their 23 PL games played on Boxing Day and they are a confident selection to improve that statistic despite the Clarets’ excellent season to date.
United to win to nil
Watford v Leicester City
Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet against Leicester in their last 16 games played between the sides and I expect to see goals again at Vicarage Road.
The Foxes have won four of the six PL games played between the sides but they may have to settle for a point in what promises to be an entertaining clash.
Over 3.5 goals
West Brom v Everton
Everton have improved dramatically under Sam Allardyce, especially defensively, and the Blues have come from behind to win on their last two visits to the Hawthorns.
The Blues are unbeaten on Boxing Day since 2005 and I think they will pick up a point against the Baggies who continue to struggle for goals.
Game to finish in a draw
Liverpool v Swansea City
Liverpool must still be wondering how they did not pick up all three points at the Emirates on Friday when they had enough first-half chances to be out of sight.
That said those five mad second-half minutes are a concern although I do not think the Reds will slip up against bottom-of-the-table Swansea back at Anfield.
The Swans won the corresponding game 3-2 last season, but I would be surprised if they were able to frustrate the hosts who continue to look full of goals.
Newcastle v Manchester City
City will create a club record if they avoid defeat at St James’s Park given they are unbeaten in 19 league games against the Magpies and have never gone 20 league games without defeat against any other club.
City have been top of the table on Christmas Day five times in the history of top-flight English football but have only gone on to win the title on one of those five occasions.
Sergio Aguero has scored in each of his last five PL games against the Magpies and I expect to see the league leaders among the goals against one of my old clubs.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal have a good record against Palace at Selhurst Park losing just one of their last 12 league games although that came in last season’s fixture when the Eagles were outstanding in a 3-0 win.
The Gunners have only won two of their nine games on the road this season, therefore I think they are in for a difficult night in a game where I expect to see goals.
Palace Double Chance (draw or win)
Michael’s Christmas cracker: Spurs, United and City