Premier League 3pm Kick-Offs: Spurs to heap more misery on feeble Foxes

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs are Mike's best bet on Boxing Day
Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs are Mike's best bet on Boxing Day

It's one of the most exciting days of the year in the football world with a full set of fixtures in the Premier League, and our man Mike Norman has provided brief previews and bets for all the games kicking off at 3pm...

"Leicester are in truly dreadful form, they're starting to get cut away at the bottom of the table, and I'm very surprised that Spurs aren't a little shorter in the betting to beat them."

Back Tottenham to beat Leicester @ 2.0811/10

Burnley 4.84/1 v Liverpool 1.865/6; The Draw 3.814/5

It's difficult to make a case for Liverpool being odds-on to win this game but I do have a hunch that they'll enjoy a good Christmas and that this game is set for a few goals.

Visibly the Reds' last three performances have been fine, but they still shipped six goals in that time and took just one Premier League point from a possible six, so they're certainly not in flying form that's for certain.

But Brendand Rodgers' men have also scored five in their last two games and created a huge amount of chances, especially at Old Trafford three games back. They need to win games now, so expect more of the same from Liverpool going forward. And perhaps we should expect more of the same from their defence too, one that hasn't kept a clean sheet on the road since August.

Burnley are in confident mood, they've scored in each of their last six games at Turf Moor, and they'll give this 'free shot' a right go in front of a very loud home support. Backing Over 2.5 Goals is the way to play I feel.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.9420/21

Crystal Palace 3.7511/4 v Southampton 2.245/4; The Draw 3.412/5

Following a run of five straight defeats and with some key players missing Southampton desperately needed Everton to be below par on Saturday if they were to get back to winning ways. The Toffees duly obliged and arguably put in their worst performance under Roberto Martinez, and the Saints ran out comfortable winners.

But I'm not convinced that Ronald Koeman's men are back on track just yet. They will still have some key players missing on Boxing Day, and a trip to Selhurst Park will be far from a cakewalk.

But it's impossible to ignore the Opta stats that are firmly against Crystal Palace. The Eagles have never beaten Southampton in the Premier League (D4, L6) and they've lost their last five league meetings without scoring a single goal.

Neil Warnock's men have been very in and out on home soil this term and they're without a win in five league outings at present. It's not a game to have bundles of confidence in but an away win has to be the tentative selection.

Recommended Bet
Back Southampton to Win @ 2.245/4

Everton 1.845/6 v Stoke 5.24/1; The Draw 3.711/4

As mentioned above Everton put in an awful performance last Saturday and the last thing I want to do is back them at odds-on against a very physical Stoke side.

And you only have to cast your minds back to 12 months ago if you need a reminder of how shocks can happen at this time of the year; in-form Everton losing at home to bottom-of-the-table Sunderland being the biggest shock of the Boxing Day fixtures.

The Toffees have suffered a few home defeats already this term, including to Crystal Palace, while just a few weeks ago they failed to beat out of form Hull at Goodison Park.

Stoke's best form has come away from the Britannia Stadium this term, most notably when winning at Man City and at Tottenham. A lay of Everton is the call.

Recommended Bet
Lay Everton to Win @ 1.855/6

Leicester 4.03/1 v Tottenham 2.0811/10; The Draw 3.65

It's perhaps an indication of how unimpressive - or lucky - Tottenham have been that despite winning nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions they aren't odds-on to beat a side that has lost nine games out of 10 and taken just two points from a possible 36.

Leicester are in truly dreadful form, they're starting to get cut away at the bottom of the table, and I'm very surprised that Spurs aren't a little shorter in the betting to beat them.

It's also worth mentioning that Mauricio Pochettino's men have been in very good form away from home too, winning four of their last six matches on the road.

So a Tottenham win is quite a confident selection but let's also back the 1-2 Correct Score at 9.617/2. Seven of Tottenham's last nine league games have ended with the scoreline being 2-1 and they even had a 1-2 away win in the Europa League during that time also. There's no logic to the trend, but there's no reason we should ignore it either.

Recommended Bet
Back Tottenham to Win @ 2.0811/10
(best bet)
Back Tottenham to Win 1-2 @ 9.617/2

Manchester United 1.412/5 v Newcastle 9.617/2; The Draw 5.24/1

Manchester United have a formidable record on Boxing Day, Opta tell us that they've won 17 of their last 18 games that they've played the day after Christmas including the last 10 at Old Trafford.

I'm not sure what that stat says in terms of a wager but trends that stretch back over lots of games tend to be worth following, especially when you consider the Red Devils' recent form. Louis van Gaal's men have taken 19 points from the last 21 available and they ought to add another three points to that tally here.

After a terrific run from the middle of October to the middle of November Newcastle have now won just one of their last six league and cup games, including three straight defeats.

Alan Pardew's men conceded nine goals in those last three defeats and Opta also tell us that the Magpies are the only team in the Premier League not to score in the first 30 minutes of a game this season. Van Gaal's men have plenty of goals in them and I can see them leading at the interval before going on to secure the win.

Recommended Bet
Back Man Utd HT/Man Utd FT @ 2.111/10

Sunderland 2.111/10 v Hull 4.216/5; The Draw 3.55/2

Before Sunderland's win at Newcastle on Sunday I would have had this game down as a 0-0 all day long - the Black Cats being the draw specialists, and low-scoring ones at that, while Hull can't buy a goal at the moment.

But I just sense that Sunday's derby victory will give Gus Poyet's men a huge lift for the Christmas period and, following just one defeat in seven, they are the form choice to put one over their former boss.

Steve Bruce's Hull sit second bottom in the table after failing to win any of their last 10 league games - taking just four points from a possible 30 in the process.

What is extremely worrying for the Tigers however is the fact that they've scored just two goals in their last nine games, meaning just one or two goals for the home side on Friday should bag the points.

Recommended Bet
Dutch Sunderland 1-0 & 2-0 Correct Scores @ 4.216/5

Swansea 1.784/5 v Aston Villa 5.49/2; The Draw 3.8514/5

Swansea were excellent against Tottenham a fortnight ago, and lost. They weren't so great at Hull last weekend but took all three points. That's how it goes sometimes at this level and results can often boil down to who takes their chances, regardless of how you perform.

In Wilfried Bony Swansea have the Premier League's leading goalscorer in 2014, Opta tell us he has netted 20 times which is two more than Sergio Aguero. Bony could easily have had a few more against Spurs too, but was then bizarrely left on the bench against the Tigers on Saturday.

Bony has to play for me, and if he does then the Swans are far more likely to land the 1.784/5 odds for a home win.

Villa have a goal threat of their own in Christian Benteke of course, and they did well to hold Manchester United to a draw at Villa Park on Saturday, but Garry Monk's men are a slick passing side who keep grinding out wins. I fancy they'll do the same here.

Recommended Bet
Back Swansea to Win @ 1.784/5

West Brom 7.06/1 v Manchester City 1.564/7; The Draw 4.57/2

Could this year's Boxing Day shock come at The Hawthorns? On current form you'd say no chance, but given City will be without their captain Vincent Kompany as well as a recognised striker - Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic, and Edin Dzeko are all out injured - then you just never know.

The one thing I don't want to be doing in this game is backing Man City at 1.564/7. True, they are in great form at present, but that run will come to an end sooner rather than later and I'm happy to take them on here.

The Baggies have been in poor form of late, winning just one of their last seven, but that win was in a derby game proving they can rise to the occasion, just like they will need to do here.

Alan Irvine's men then threw away a two-goal lead at QPR on Saturday but at least they were amongst the goals, and if they can get on the scoresheet against the champions then I think that will go a long way to avoiding defeat.

Recommended Bet
Lay Man City @ 1.574/7

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Premier League 2014/15 Season P/L

Staked: 90 pts
Returned: 91.43 pts
P/L: + 1.43 pts

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

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