English Premier League Preview - Fixture 21st
First of all, we would like to wish you a happy and successful 2020! The English will rest neither on New Year's day, and we will have plenty of great games at the beginning of the year. The main game of this game week is Arsenal – Manchester United, Liverpool will try to continue their unbelievable streak against Sheffield, while City will have to stop Everton who finally look good under Carlo Ancelotti. You can check the previews for these games, as well as for all the other games of this game week in this article, with English Premier League betting tips as an addition.
BRIGHTON – CHELSEA
Brighton managed to end their four-games winless streak in the last game week. Early in the game, Alireza Jahanbahksh has finally shown something that he was bought for, end in the end the Seagulls won 2:0. In this crazy period, Graham Potter was lucky enough to avoid the injuries and the conditions for the preparation for the next game are extremely well for him. Chelsea are having problems at Stamford Bridge, but in the away games they are lethal. They lost at home against Bournemouth and Southampton, and on the other side, they beat Tottenham and Arsenal in front of their own fans. With those two results, they confirmed which club is currently the best in London. At Emirates Chelsea didn't surrender until the end, Arsenal had the lead until 83rd minute, but then Jorginho and Tammy Abraham brought their team three huge points. Just to confirm Chelsea strength away, we will say that Brighton won more points than Chelsea at home in this season. But, the team of Frank Lampard are 2nd best guests of the league, just after untouchable Liverpool. Their record is 7-0-3, with 24 goals scored, four more than Liverpool. In the game against Arsenal the formation with three players at the back didn't work, so he had to switch it at the half time. There is no reason to expect the same mistake again. Chelsea surely lack consistency, but they have been quite reliable in away games so far, so there are enough reasons to believe they can beat Brighton too.
Prediction: Chelsea to win @ 2.00
BURNLEY – ASTON VILLA
After the defeat at Goodison Park, Burnley suffered another defeat, this time at Turf Moor against Manchester United. Despite those defeats, they are not in a big danger yet because they are six points and five places above the relegation zone. The Clarets don't have any serious injuries, but after the game against Manchester United, we can expect some rotations. Their next opponents are exactly the ones who hold the 18th place. Aston Villa lost five of their last six games and they are entering 2020 in the relegation zone. In the last game against 19th Watford, they had no chance and lost 3:0. Left-back Matt Targett is on the injury list, in addition to John McGinn. Tyrone Mings is still questionable, but whatever happens, the Villains will have a really difficult task. In the last six away games they have conceded at least two goals, and the first game of this season at Villa Park ended 2:2. The hosts had two leads, but they weren't able to protect them. Generally, Burnley are not in great shape at the moment, they are not that powerful in the attack, but considering everything we have seen lately with Aston Villa, even a one-goal could be enough. We believe that every bet in favour of Burnley has a value, and that can also be combined with a bet on under goals.
Prediction: Burnley to win @ 1.87
NEWCASTLE – LEICESTER
In one of the most interesting games of the last game week, Newcastle lost for the 2nd time in a row, this time at St James Park against Everton 2:1. Steve Bruce has unbelievable problems with the players who are not ready. Lascelles and Saint-Maximin will skip this game for sure, but there are seven players who are questionable. The coach would rather be in a situation in which he knows he can't count on some players, and in a situation like this, he could gamble with some of them and risk some serious injury. There are some ideas he might switch to four players in the defensive line, but in the only occasion when he deployed those tactics in this season, his team lost 5:0. The opponents in that game were Leicester, who had a shock therapy after losing against Manchester City, and especially the disastrous home defeat against Liverpool. Manager Brendan Rogers decided to change nine players, what was a doubtful decision prior to the game, but in the end, resulted as some top piece of management. Even without many first-team players, he beat West Ham 2:1 and now he will have the best players rested for this clash. The only questionable player is Ricardo Pereira, but they will be able to do without him. Considering the Magpies' problems with injuries and generally the quality of the teams, everything goes in favour of Leicester. With this handicap, you need two goals difference win to completely win the bet, but even with one goal difference, the half of the bet will be won.
Prediction: Leicester -0.75 AH Goals @ 1.76
SOUTHAMPTON – TOTTENHAM
Southampton recorded two away wins, and the one against Chelsea was especially surprising. With these wins they escaped out of the relegation zone, their morale was definitely boosted, but all these things weren't enough to beat Crystal Palace in the last game. The Saints were a better team, in the second half they had total domination, but in the end, they had to be lucky even with one point because Crystal Palace were leading. For this game, they will still be without Shane Long and Yan Valery. Tottenham also took one point in the last game against Norwich and they had problems in the defence again. They allow only two shots on goal and conceded two goals, there is still no improvement on that plan, and if Tottenham want to do something regarding the top 4, they must act quickly. The good news for Jose Mourinho is the return of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko after the suspension, while Heung-Min Son still has one more game to serve. The mentioned couple is almost sure to start because they are rested due to ineligibility to play the last game. In this season both the Spurs and the Saints have been offering interesting games full of goals, and that stands for their head to head games in previous years as well. Seven of their last eight games ended with more than 2.5 goals, while in all eight games both teams scored at least a goal, so these are the most logical betting options for this game.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.73
WATFORD – WOLVES
It seems Watford finally got going under relatively new coach Nigel Pearson. After beating Manchester United and getting a point in Sheffield, they managed to earn another three points in the home game against Aston Villa. Troy Deeney scored two times, but this good streak will now be put to a test again. The injury problems still remain, Pearson can't count on Jose Holebas, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Sebastian Prodl and Darryl Janmaat, while the situation is even worsened with the suspension of Adrian Mariappa. They managed to cope with all the troubles lately, but Wolves are looking really good in this Christmas period. After turning the game against Manchester City, they couldn't do the same thing against Liverpool. We must highlight they played pretty well, and they also had a goal disallowed after VAR review, what was the main topic in the Premier League after the last game week. Nuno Espirito Santo knew his team doesn't have serious chances at Anfield so he decided to bench Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty. They will be ready for this clash and that's only one of the reasons why Wolves are favourites here. Watford are improving, that's a sure thing, but we believe that one point is the best they can get from this game.
Prediction: Wolves +0 AH Goals @ 1.67
MANCHESTER CITY – EVERTON
Manchester City managed to recoup after a shocking defeat against Wolves when they had 2:0 lead. In the home game against Sheffield United, they won 2:0, but the damage was already made. They are still on points behind 2nd placed Leicester and huge 14 points behind Liverpool, with one game more played. Guardiola admitted this season for them in the Premier League is over regarding the title race, and the main goal is to win the Champions League. In the next game against Everton, Ederson will return on goal after serving the suspension and Sergio Aguero should start upfront. There should be some more changes compared to the last game, and that should be Ilkay Gundogan, Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy in the starting 11. Everton started the era of Carlo Ancelotti in the best possible way, after beating Burnley they did the same in Newcastle. The main hero of the Toffees was Dominic Calvert-Lewin who scored all three goals for his team. Everton are now in the 10th place, but it wouldn't be fair to judge them considering the whole season's result. Since Duncan Ferguson took over, and Carlo Ancelotti became new permanent manager, this team look much different, ready to create big troubles to the title defenders who are in slight crisis. The Italian might revert to three players in the defensive line. When these teams met at Goodison Park in September, Manchester City won 3:1, but Everton could get much more from that game. The defence of the Citizens doesn't look reliable, they didn't concede in only two of the last 15 games, so betting on both teams to score in this game has the biggest value.
Prediction: Both teams to score @ 1.73
NORWICH – CRYSTAL PALACE
Norwich are entering 2020 in the most difficult situation of all the teams in the Premier League. They find themselves in the last place, six points off safety, and if we add their terrible goal difference, that's practically seven points. In the last seven games, they managed to earn only three points, but the result from the last game was respectable. They probably don't know how that happened, but they held Tottenham to a draw, scoring two goals from only two shots on target. Regarding the injury list, they are still without Timm Klose, Ben Godfrey, Josip Drmic and Ralph Fahrmann but the coach Daniel Farke could make some changes compared to the last game. Crystal Palace are definitely the team with the biggest problems with injuries in the league. Without seven first-team players at the moment, they lost only one of the last seven games. Roy Hodgson has no many options for the rotation, but it's obvious he lifted the team's spirit and they are now able to respond on tough fixtures list even with a limited squad. The basis for the good results should be the defence, just like in the first head to head game in this season when Crystal Palace won 2:0. They are slight underdogs and we advise backing them with an Asian handicap, but still, our first option is to choose a game with under 2.5 goals.
Prediction: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.98
WEST HAM – BOURNEMOUTH
West Ham suffered the 7th defeat in their last nine Premier League games and Manuel Pellegrini was sacked. There were many names related to the job in West Ham, one of them was former Bayern manager Niko Kovac, but the decision was done pretty fast – the new manager is David Moyes, who came back in the club after one year and a half. This West Ham had big ambition before the start of this season, and now they are only one point above the relegation zone and first Moyes' goal should be to save the club from relegation. In his new debut, he can count on the left-back Aaron Cresswell who came back after suspension, while Noble, Snodgrass and Antonio should start. Their opponents, Bournemouth, have even worse stats in the last nine games. They managed to win only once, against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and also managed to get a draw against Arsenal, that's it. Thanks to their good start in the season, they are still placed higher than Hammers, but they have only one point more. Big injury problems still remain, but at least the situation is a little bit better than a few weeks ago. Bournemouth could have a good start of 2020, there are some easier fixtures in front of them, but first, they must start with avoiding a defeat in London. For many reasons, we believe that's not possible. The bookies give around 50% chances on West Ham to win, but we believe those chances are even higher.
Prediction: West Ham to win @ 1.97
ARSENAL – MANCHESTER UNITED
Arsenal have changed the coach, but still, nothing significant had changed. IN the last game against Chelsea they scored early in the game, had the lead till the 83rd minute, but in the end, they didn't earn a single point. Only one win in the last 15 games in something that is simply embarrassing, and now new coach Mikel Arteta has another chance – against fierce rivals Manchester United who finally seem to find the right form. The Gunners have shown some positive things, but the problem is that's still not enough. The Spanish will also have problems with the starting lineup, because Kolasinac and Tierney are still out, while Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Sokratis and Chambers are still questionable. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has similar concerns too, but his list is shorter, and the players less important than the ones from Arsenal. In the last game against Burnley, Anthony Martial scored late in the first half, and Marcus Rashford finished the story deep in the injury time. Solskjaer decided to rest Paul Pogba to help him recover for this game of much bigger importance. The French should be ready for this game, while on the other side, Scott McTominay remains out. Jesse Lingard should also start, despite being one of the most popular memes lately with 0 goals and 0 assists in 2019. This game is roughly said without a favourite, but until Arsenal shows something serious, betting against them look like pure gold.
Prediction: Manchester United +0 AH Goals @ 1.91
LIVERPOOL – SHEFFIELD UNITED
After returning from Qatar with the World title, Liverpool didn't concede a goal in the next two games in the Premier League. First, they destroyed Leicester at King Power Stadium, and after that won another game against Wolves. The points difference in front of other title rivals didn't increase, but anyway, with every new win, Liverpool are getting closer to the desired title. It may look like a small step forward, but the best statistical sites in the world now give them a 96% chance to lift the trophy. Basically, the only thing which can stop them is a series of serious injuries of the key players, and even then they would have great chances because the substitutes are proving their worth from game to game. The next step is Sheffield United, one of the biggest surprises, but their „honeymoon“ in 2019 is over. They made the most of a little bit easier schedule and won 10 points in four games, but in the last game week, they couldn't do a lot against Manchester City. Throughout the game, they didn't record a single shot on target, and we could easily see a similar scenario at Anfield. We will just remind that Liverpool didn't allow a shot on target against Leicester, so Sheffield should look like a piece of cake. Of course, everyone in Liverpool is aware those „easy“ games might get them into trouble and they won't relax here.
Prediction: Liverpool -1.5 AH Goals @ 1.93