Crystal Palace v Chelsea
It’s mad to think that just a few short months ago there was a monster gamble on Antonio Conte becoming the next Premier League boss to lose his job. He’s now the absolute Don of Stamford Bridge and can mastermind an eleventh straight win for Chelsea here. Palace will score though. Just saying.
Betting: Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 11/5 (bet365)
Middlesbrough v Swansea
Anyone who watched the highlights of Boro’s midweek defeat to Liverpool will concur that they were unlucky to lose 3-0. The Smoggies played very well in parts and had a few glorious chances in the match and plenty of half chances. Bottom line, they are playing OK at the minute and should have far too much for a ropey old Swansea outfit who have shipped 15 goals in just five Premier League away matches under Bob Bradley.
Betting: Middlesbrough to win to nil at 5/2 (Paddy Power)
Stoke City v Leicester City
Leicester’s return of one point from a possible 24 away from home so far this season is beyond a joke. I mean seriously? Get. To. F**k. You are the bloody league champions.
Betting: Draw at 5/2 (Hills)
Sunderland v Watford
The Black Cats have lost a bit of momentum in recent weeks and that 3-0 drubbing to Swansea must have hurt. A win here though may take them off the bottom for Christmas which would be huge psychologically. It’s not beyond them either as Watford have been a bag of sh**e away from home for the most part this season.
Betting: Sunderland to win 1-0 at 8/1 (bet365)
West Ham v Hull City
The Hammers picked up a priceless three points in midweek to arrest their rather alarming recent slide. They’d gone six games without a win before beating Burnley and a source close to Danny Dyer claimed the venerable Eastenders actor was said to be “extremely faa**in worried, innit?” With home advantage, they can pick up a second win in as many games and put some clear daylight between themselves and the relegation riff raff.
Betting: West Ham (-1) to win at 9/5 (Betfair)
West Brom v Manchester United
Paul Pogba has suddenly hit his stride and even his most vociferous critics will have to admit he was some boy on Wednesday at Selhurst Park. The £89million man was everywhere. Tackling, cajoling, scoring and generally being the boss man in midfield as United beat the Eagles 2-1. He’s a 12/5 shot to score at The Hawthorns and, on recent form, ask yourself honestly: Would you rather be backing or laying at said odds?
Betting: Pogba to score anytime at 12/5 (bet365)
Bournemouth v Southampton
The Cherries are tenth in the league and going great guns. The set up down there on the south coast (tiny Meccano stadium notwithstanding) is remarkable and it’s crazy to think they have established themselves as a bona fide top-flight side in such a short period of time. At home especially, they are no jokes.
Betting: Bournemouth to win at 2/1 (Hills)
Manchester City v Arsenal
You cannot say Pep’s fantastically bemused reaction when quizzed about Stan’s criticism of his management style earlier this week was not a late candidate for quote of the year. Then there was Collymore going full Partridge with a 421-word column response bigging up his past achievements (Skirmish – the military-based quiz show which found minor daytime fame on UK Conquest) and name-dropping basically everyone he’s ever known in the game. Smell his cheese, Pep. Smell his cheese you mother.
Betting: Over 3.5 goals at 17/10 (Bet Victor)
Tottenham v Burnley
Christian Eriksen who, let’s have it right, had been pretty woeful for Spurs early doors this season, has suddenly gone through the gears and now has five goals in his last four Premier League games. Now I can’t promise you the silky Dane won’t be bald by the time he’s 27 – that hairline looks a complete liability – but I can promise you he’ll score here against the Clarets. So let’s unload the clip and allow the boy to buy the last of our Christmas presents for us.
Betting: Eriksen to score anytime at 7/4 (Betfred)