Boxing Day Premier League Tipsheet: Unstoppable Foxes the value once more

Can Jamie Vardy and his superb teammates heap more Anfield misery on Liverpool
Can Jamie Vardy and his superb teammates heap more Anfield misery on Liverpool

It's one of the most exciting days in the football calendar, and with seven games kicking-off at the traditional time of 3pm our man Mike Norman is hoping for some festive cheer as he previews the Premier League's non-TV games...


"You have to go all the way to March to find the last time The Reds won on home soil against a top-half side, the only teams they've defeated since August are Swansea and Villa - both of whom are in the relegation zone - and they've scored more than once in a game on just two occasions."

Back Leicester @ 4.03/1 to beat Liverpool

Aston Villa 2.727/4 v West Ham 3.02/1; The Draw 3.412/5

A typical Dog & Duck v The Red Lion type game (Gary Neville definition: A game between two out-of-form sides that can't win for love nor money), but even at this stage of the season you sense that it's one that Aston Villa simply can't afford not to win.

West Ham haven't won in seven games now, and in that time they've scored just three goals and had three consecutive 0-0 draws. Not surprising given the fact that they've lost Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho, and Dimitri Payet to long-term injuries.

So while Villa are in a dreadful run of form - no wins in 16 league outings - they are at least scoring goals in their defeats/draws, four in their last four games for example.

We really are getting to the last chance saloon for Remi Garde's men, but my gut feeling is that just a single goal will settle this game, and going on the way Villa performed in the second half at Newcastle last Saturday they might just be the side to get that goal and pinch all three points.

Recommended Bet
Back Aston Villa to Win @ 2.727/4


Bournemouth 2.546/4 v Crystal Palace 3.185/40; The Draw 3.55/2

Bournemouth are flying, and full credit to them for recording three wins on the spin, but they're certainly not favourites in my book to beat a Crystal Palace side who are level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham.

The Eagles have been sensational on the road in 2015, winning no less than 13 games away from Selhurst Park in all competitions, a quite remarkable achievement.

Already this term Alan Pardew's men have won at Norwich, Chelsea, Watford, Liverpool, and Stoke, meaning they've taken more points on the road than they have in front of their own fans, and their only defeats on their travels have come against teams currently sitting in the top four of the Premier League.

Bournemouth are extremely spirited and hard-working, but the fact that The Cherries are now 'expected' to win (according to the market) might not play into their hands. And in a season that is throwing up an incredibly high amount of away wins I'm fairly confident that Palace will take all three points from this fixture.

Recommended Bet
Back Crystal Palace to Win @ 3.185/40


Chelsea 1.4840/85 v Watford 8.615/2; The Draw 4.77/2

I opposed Chelsea last week ahead of the Sunderland game and said that there is something drastically wrong at the club that we're not aware of, though most of us suspected it was a massive breakdown in relations between Jose Mourinho and some of his star players.

So what happens? Mourinho gets sacked, and Chelsea run out easy winners thanks to one of their best performances of the season. Funny old game isn't it?

So while I don't think Chelsea will just click back into top gear and win every game from now until the end of the season, I do feel that they will be a lot more consistent and a safer betting proposition now that player power has seemingly prevailed once more.

For a team that has just won four on the spin and climbed to sixth in the table, some might think that the price of a fifth consecutive win for Watford is a tad generous here. I can understand that, but I just feel we're going to see a different Chelsea now and I'm going to risk completely ignoring their previous form under Mourinho and back the Blues to record another comfortable victory.

Recommended Bet
Back Chelsea -1 to Win @ 2.47/5


Liverpool 2.01/1 v Leicester 4.03/1; The Draw 4.03/1

I said it prior to the Chelsea game, that Leicester were over-priced on all known form this season, and I repeated myself last weekend when the Foxes travelled to Everton.

Thankfully we were proved correct both times, so you won't be surprised to learn that we're backing the Foxes again. Only this time they're a bigger price than either of the games mentioned above, and yet the make-up of this match points just as strongly to a Leicester win as it did against Chelsea and Everton.

Liverpool have been awful recently. They've just lost 2-0 at Newcastle and 3-0 at Watford, and their away form was supposed to be their biggest asset.

At Anfield Jurgen Klopp's men have been extremely unimpressive, both before the German arrived and after. You have to go all the way to March to find the last time The Reds won on home soil against a top-half side, the only teams they've defeated since August are Swansea and Villa - both of whom are in the relegation zone - and they've scored more than once in a game on just two occasions.

Leicester on the other hand are just superb. They have scored more goals than anyone else, they've scored more away goals than anyone else, they haven't lost away from home for nine months, they top the Premier League table, and they've taken 26 points from the last 30 available.

Claudio Ranieri's men aren't going to win every game they play obviously, but we must make hay while they continue to be so ridiculously underrated in the market, and against an out-of-form Liverpool side they are a great price to continue their remarkable story.

Recommended Bet
Back Leicester to Win @ 4.03/1
(best bet)


Man City 1.232/9 v Sunderland 16.015/1; The Draw 7.87/1

It's only Manchester City's home form that is keeping them in the hunt for the title, and they really ought to take another three points in front of their own fans when Sunderland visit on Boxing Day.

The Citizens have failed to win on the road in the league since early September, and have taken just two points from a possible 15 in that time following their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Monday, a game in which they scored their first away goal for three months.

City - as you would expect - have been a far stronger side at the Etihad Stadium however, and have now won nine of their last 10 in all competitions, scoring a remarkable 33 goals in the process.

Sunderland have won just once on the road all season, and all bar one of their seven defeats away from home have been by at least a two-goal margin. With this in mind, and City's strong home form and desperation not to fall further behind in the title race, a comfortable home victory looks the sensible call.

Recommended Bet
Back Man City -1 to Win @ 1.910/11


Swansea 2.0421/20 v West Brom 4.47/2; The Draw 3.55/2

Swansea put in a spirited performance at home to West Ham on Sunday, and I have to admit that they were unlucky not to take all three points; they certainly had a perfectly valid claim for a penalty turned down, and they were easily the better side for my money.

Having said that, I'm not sure I can back a team that has taken just two points from the last 21 available at even money to beat a Tony Pulis side.

The reality is that the Swans have failed to win any of their last seven league games, they've won just one of their last 14 matches in all competitions - that coming against bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa - and they have scored just one more goal (15) than the lowest scoring teams (Villa and Stoke with 14) in the Premier League this season.

West Brom's defeat to Bournemouth last weekend was their first reversal in five games having previously defeated Arsenal and recorded very respectable draws with Tottenham, West Ham, and Liverpool in that time.

That recent Baggies form alone is head and shoulders above Swansea's recent form, and although I sense the Welsh outfit might be on the verge of a return back to form, I have to take a chance on an away win here.

Recommended Bet
Back West Brom to Win @ 4.47/2


Tottenham 1.454/9 v Norwich 8.88/1; The Draw 5.04/1

Norwich won at Old Trafford last Saturday, so they'll be quietly confident of causing a Boxing Day upset at White Hart Lane, especially after Spurs lost to lowly Newcastle the last time they were in front of their own fans.

But a trip to Tottenham is a much tougher test for Norwich than the one they had seven days ago in Manchester. For one, Mauricio Pochettino's men aren't a side lacking confidence, struggling to score goals, and on a long run of games without a win. Far from it in fact.

I wrote ahead of Tottenham's trip to Southampton that their defeat to Newcastle was just a blip, they'd been unbeaten in the league for 14 games up to that point and they performed well in the match itself, and I fully expected them to get back to winning ways at St Mary's. So it was pleasing to see the Lilywhites reward the confidence I had in them.

A noticeable aspect of Tottenham's latest victories has been the number of early goals they've scored. All of their last four wins at the Lane were achieved by leading at the interval, and so too were their last two away triumphs in the league.

In fact you have to go all the way back to September to find the last time Spurs won a league game without leading at half-time, and in that game - against Manchester City - they ran out 4-1 winners. That's quite a positive trend, so let's back Pochettino's men to lead at the interval again before talking all three points.

Recommended Bet
Back Tottenham HT/Tottenham FT @ 2.26/5


***


*You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73


**For individual match previews of every single Premier League game visit our dedicated Premier League section here on Betting.Betfair.


Premier League 2015/16 Season P/L

Staked: 103 pts
Returned: 104.13 pts
P/L: +1.13 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

**2014/15 P/L = +35.3 pts from 215 staked (ROI = 16.42%)

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