Boxing Day Football Cheat Sheet: All the best bets in one place

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Aston Villa manager Steve Gerrard
Gerrard pits his managerial wits against Tuchel on Boxing Day

A couple of games have been postponed but our football experts are still hoping to land a few Christmas crackers with their best bets for Boxing Day...

"With chances at a premium at the Amex it could come down to which side has the most clinical finisher in their lineup. The inclusion of Toney means Brentford are that side and against opponents who haven't won since September, 4.47/2, is too good a price to turn down."

Tottenham v Crystal Palace: Spurs can win again and the goals could flow

Tottenham 1.794/5 v Crystal Palace 5.14/1, the Draw 4.03/1
15:00, Live on BT Sport

Tottenham were beaten 3-0 by Crystal Palace earlier this season but, when the teams meet in north London on Boxing Day, Antonio Conte's men look likely to come out on top.

Steve Rawlings says: "Palace have lost just one of nine Premier League matches at Selhurst Park this season (2-1 to Villa) but that unlikely victory against City is still their only success on the road. They sit sixth in the Premier League Home table with 14 points but 14th in the Away table with only six and that's a similar looking situation to Spurs'.

"Tottenham have been brilliant at home of late with only Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool winning more points at home than Spurs but they've won just one more point than Palace (seven) on their travels. That's not a good omen for the visitors and neither is their woeful record away at Spurs or their respective records on Boxing Day.

"Tottenham have lost just one of their 12 Premier League home games against Crystal Palace (W7 D4) and they've won their last six league games at home against the Eagles by an aggregate score of 13-1."

Steve's bet: Back Tottenham/Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.89/5 (Sportsbook)

Man City v Leicester: Back in-form champions to extend title lead

Man City 1.21/5, Leicester 17.016/1, the draw 8.415/2
15:00

City have won 10 of their last 11 and have the chance to go six points clear at the top. Paul Higham does not expect them to pass up the opportunity and has found a way to back the home side at better than even money.

Paul Higham says: "City have the joint-best home record in the league along with Arsenal and have won eight of the last 10 against Leicester so all the form is in the book to expect the champions to take another three points.

"We could question the goals angle though, even with Leciester coming off the back of a 3-3 draw at Anfield, as four of the last five meetings have had under 2.5 goals - with three of them just having one goal in the game.

"With under 2.5 goals here available at 3.2 then it could be worth a chance as surely even Rodgers knows when to stick or twist tactically, and this is definitely a game where you defend first and try and hit City on the counter - following Crystal Palace's example from earlier in the season.

"Under 3.5 gives us a more modest return at 1.89 - which is boosted to 2.1 if coupled with a home win."

Paul's Bet: Back Man City to win & under 3.5 goals @ 2.1

Norwich v Arsenal: Gunners to complete double over Canaries

Norwich 8.415/2 v Arsenal 1.454/9, the Draw 5.04/1
15:00

Arsenal are enjoying a good run and should be able to add three more points to the tally when they visit the Premier League's bottom club.

Tom Victor says: "Arsenal's victory at home to Norwich in September was their first in the league this season, but the Gunners have played themselves into form and go into this meeting off the back of three straight league wins with a 2.80 xGF average across the trio.

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"The hosts have lost their last three, with their defensive fragility remaining, and Infogol's model anticipates an away victory."

Tom's bet: Back 1-2 @ 9.417/2

West Ham v Southampton: Expect Christmas cards from Friend

West Ham 1.875/6 Southampton 4.57/2 Draw 4.03/1
15:00

Our profitable props column is off to the London Stadium where Andy Schooler is expecting a flurry of cards.

"Kevin Friend is averaging over six cards per game thus far and has shown at least two to each team in each of his five matches.

"One of Friend's five games was when the Hammers headed to Leeds, while West Ham's dip in form - it's now just one win in seven matches in all competitions - means there's a real need to scrap for points in this contest.

"Only Watford have committed more fouls per game than Southampton, who picked up three cards from Friend when they travelled to Chelsea in the EFL Cup.

"Over 1.5 cards for each team certainly makes appeal at 2.84 and is worth considering on its own.

"However, for those seeking a bigger price, adding Mohammed Salisu to be among those booked for Saints takes the price to 8.2."

Andy's Bet: Back over 1.5 cards for each team and Salisu to be carded @ 8.27/1

Huddersfield v Blackpool: Terriers to sneak past Seasiders

Huddersfield 2.285/4 v Blackpool 3.55, the Draw 3.412/5
15:00

It's Yorkshire v Lancashire in this midtable Championship clash on Boxing Day and our previewer fancies the hosts to continue their strong home form.

Jack Critchley says: "Huddersfield have managed to keep four clean sheets in their last six and only a rejuvenated Middlesbrough have left the John Smith's with maximum points since mid-September. Although they have missed the influence of captain Jonathan Hogg in the centre of the park, the West Yorkshire club have managed to maintain their form despite his absence.

"Blackpool ended their barren run of form last weekend as they beat poor travellers Peterborough at Bloomfield Road. The Seasiders weren't at their best, however, the result gave them a much-needed confidence boost and helped to keep Neil Critchley's side safely entrenched in mid-table.

"They've failed to score in their last two away matches and have struggled to find any rhythm on the road recently. The Tangerine Army will be in excellent voice, however, the visitors have lacked cutting edge on their travels and against one of the best home defences in the division, they could struggle to find a way through."

Jack's bet: Back Huddersfield @ 2.265/4

Aston Villa v Chelsea: Faltering Blues can be opposed

Aston Villa 5.79/2 v Chelsea 1.748/11, the Draw 3.953/1
17:30, Live on Sky Sports

Steven Gerrard's men host a Chelsea side that have dropped points recently in the tea-time kick-off on Boxing.

Mark O'Haire says: "Aston Villa enjoyed a rare success over Chelsea on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign here at Villa Park - the Villans' only triumph in nine recent head-to-head encounters against the Blues (W1-D1-L7). The capital club ran out cushy 3-0 winners when the duo crossed swords back in September and have taken top honours here in five of their last seven visits.

"Villa have won the non-penalty Expected Goals (npxG) battle in all four of their victories under Steven Gerrard, only narrowly losing the count at home to Man City. The hosts have managed to score in all eight of their Villa Park encounters and produced a creditable display at Anfield to suggest they're capable of producing a competitive effort.

"Chelsea 1.70 have stumbled since the start of November, posting W3-D4-L1 in the Premier League to lose their position at the top of the table. The Blues have conceded in six of those eight outings, whilst also toiling in the final-third, with Thomas Tuchel's team hit hard with injuries and illness. The visitors have W2-D3-L2 against top-eight teams this season."

Mark's bet: Lay Chelsea at 1.75/7

Brighton vs Brentford: Returning Toney can make the difference

Brighton 2.0421/20 v Brentford 4.3100/30, the Draw 3.55/2
20:00, Live on Sky Sports

With Graham Potter's men struggling recently, the Bees could be the value bet in this Boxing Day evening clash.

Ben Steele says: "Brighton are well known for their defensive organisation but with Lewis Dunk, Joel Veltman and Adam Webster all injured and Yves Bissouma suspended the visitors will fancy their chances.

potter.jpg

"Brentford's Ivan Toney has scored five times in the 2020/21 season, following on from 31 goals in Brentford's promotion campaign, and he has cemented himself as Thomas Frank's go to frontman.

"With chances at a premium at the Amex it could come down to which side has the most clinical finisher in their lineup. I'd argue that the inclusion of Toney means Brentford are that side and against a side who haven't won since September, 4.47/2, is too good a price to turn down."

Ben's bet: Back Brentford @ 4.407/2

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