Manchester United were replaced in the top four after a disastrous 2-1 defeat at home to Alex Neil’s Norwich with immense pressure mounting on Louis van Gaal. Guus Hiddink will take charge of his first game as Chelsea boss when they host in-form Watford at Stamford Bridge. What better timing to make some money than in the Christmas period.
Stoke City 23/10
Man United 5/4
Manchester United were booted out of the top four after a catastrophic 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich. Louis van Gaal has been under pressure recently after falling out of the Champions League and failing to win in four consecutive Premier League matches with two losses on the spin. Stoke City – like Manchester United – come off the back of a 2-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace. Mark Hughes was frustrated by the result, but not his side’s display. The Potters were unlucky to go down 2-1 with just two minutes on the clock. For Stoke – it was just a second loss in nine matches – a statistic that all Man United fans should worry about, knowing their form coming into this game. Stoke have been superb on their ground in recent weeks with massive wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, they're are tipped to claim maximum points against the Red Devils.
Guus Hiddink will take charge of his first game as Chelsea boss when they host in-form Watford. Hiddink was in the stands alongside Owner Roman Abramovich and former Blues striker Didier Drogba and would have been pleased with what he saw. The Blues were impressive and showed glimpses of the side who ran away with the title last season. Watford recorded a fourth consecutive Premier League win after they handed Liverpool a 3-0 thumping. Odion Ighalo bagged a brace for the Hornets and has been in top form this season – netting in 12 goals and two assists. Watford now trail the top four by just a point. The Blues will be wary of the threat that Watford pose, but with the quality that the Hiddink's men have in their locker, they should brush aside their opponents and claim all three points.
Man City 1/5
Manchester City are starting to find themselves further from top spot than they expected. The Citizens are now in third place – six points behind leaders Leicester – after their 2-1 defeat to fellow title contenders, Arsenal. On the positive side for City, Manuel Pellegrini will be happy with the return of Sergio Aguero. The Argentine striker didn’t seem to be fully match fit against the Gunners but will have a second bite of the apple as the tough run of fixtures loom for City. Sunderland fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated Chelsea side. The loss meant that the Black Cats find themselves in the red-zone heading into Christmas. Manchester City have failed to keep a clean sheet when captain Vincent Kompany has not featured and is unlikely to return for this fixture. With that being said, take Man City to Win + Both Teams To Score at 31/20.
Leicester City 26/10
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Aston Villa 33/20
West Ham 17/10
Aston Villa come off the back of a commendable 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United. Since Remi Garde has taken over at Villa Park, there has been an improvement in performances but the results need to start improving as well. Aston Villa are without a win at home this season and find themselves down at the bottom of the log. West Ham have now played out to three goalless draws in a row. Given the injuries they have, Slaven Bilic will probably be happy with that. It should be a tight encounter, with both sides not at their best this season, Under 2.5 Goals is the way to go at 6/10.
Swansea City 19/20
West Brom 3/1
Still to appoint a replacement for Garry Monk and with only one win from their past 13 league matches, Swansea’s frustrations continue both on and off the pitch. A 0-0 draw against West Ham last weekend ensures they will spend Christmas Day in the relegation zone. Their opponents, West Brom, are now without a victory in four matches, drawing three times and losing 2-1 at home last weekend to high-flying Bournemouth. The Baggies will be without James McClean and Salomon Rondon after the duo were sent off in the loss to Bournemouth. Swansea are tipped to end their winless run with a win just under even money.
Crystal Palace 19/10
Eddie Howe hailed Bournemouth after their win at West Brom as they recorded a third straight victory. The Cherries bagged a late 2-1 win at the nine-man Baggies which now sees them five points above the relegation zone heading into Christmas. Crystal Palace are just behind on goal difference and are now level on points with fourth placed Tottenham. The Eagles have won three of their last four matches, with one draw against Everton. Alan Pardew’s men have been impressive on the road this season after claiming wins at Chelsea, Liverpool and Stoke. Back them for the win at a valuable 19/10.
Norwich City 57/10
Tottenham moved up into fourth place with a win over Southampton last time out. The win took them level on points with Manchester United but ahead on goal difference. Spurs have failed to win in their last two home games with a goalless draw against Chelsea and a shocking 2-1 defeat to Newcastle. Norwich helped Spurs to claim fourth place after they defeated Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford last time out. It was just the second away win of the season for Norwich. Alex Neil has produced some good results this season earning draws against Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal. However, Spurs are tipped to cement their place in the top four going into the new year with a win here.
December looks to be a great month for Newcastle, which sees them pick up two victories and a draw from their three games this month. The Magpies have been in superb form of late and have managed emphatic victories over Liverpool and Tottenham. Everton have not been at their mercurial best having failed to win in their last four matches. Romelu Lukaku has been in fine form the Toffees and has netted in eight consecutive games in a row despite his side not getting the results they would have hoped for. A tight affair is expected with Both Teams To Score the best bet at 6/10.
Arsenal are really proving to be strong title contenders this season after opening a four point gap against their fiercest rivals Manchester City. The win made it three in a row for Arsene Wenger’s men in the Premier League. Mesut Ozil has scored twice and claimed 15 assists this season in 16 league matches. The German has been influential this season and will be a constant threat against Southampton. For the Saints, there hasn’t been much in the way of pre-Christmas celebrations. Ronald Koeman’s side are without a win in their last five Premier League matches – with four defeats. Southampton have scored just once in their last three games at St Mary’s and will find it even more difficult to score against Petr Cech. I’m tipping Arsenal to win at a valuable 21/20.