Premier League Preview 21st – 23rd December 2018
Premier League clubs are heading into the final game before Christmas this weekend, and after the games have been completed on Sunday we will know the positions going into Christmas. That includes which team will be top of the league while their fans are sitting down and eating Christmas dinner, and who will be worried by the fact that their team is in the bottom three. Psychologically this is a big-time of year for many clubs, and the start of the football festive period begins this coming weekend.
There are two big stories coming into the games, the first is whether Liverpool can remain at the top of the table, or if Manchester City can climb above them, and the second is the changes at Manchester United. After sacking Jose Mourinho during midweek, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is back at the club, this time as a manager and his first game is a trip to his old club Cardiff, something that adds even more interest to this story. Solskjaer is only here on an interim basis until the end of the season, but if he performs well and has the players, board and the fans on the same page, then he has a chance at getting the job full time.
Premier League Predictions
Wolves vs Liverpool – away win
Arsenal vs Burnley – home win
Bournemouth vs Brighton – draw
Chelsea vs Leicester – home win
Huddersfield vs Southampton – away win
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace – home win
Newcastle vs Fulham – home win
West Ham vs Watford – home win
Cardiff vs Manchester United – away win
Everton vs Tottenham – away win
Premier League TV Previews
Wolves vs Liverpool – Friday, 8:00 pm
Liverpool plays first this weekend, and a win here for them would guarantee them to be top at Christmas, something they would love to secure for their fans. They moved to the top of the table two weekends ago after Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea, and have remained there since. While there are no prizes for being top at Christmas, and it doesn’t change anything as there is a lot of football still left to play, it is a psychological help for Liverpool.
Wolves had a tough time of things in October and November, but they have since won three games in a row to climb back up to 7th in the table. With this game being the first, a win here would move Wolves above Manchester United, something that would be remarkable for them in their first season in the Premier League.
However, I think their winning run is going to come to an end here, Liverpool are playing some great football right now and I think they are going to be too strong for their hosts. Liverpool will win this on Friday night, and in turn that will cement their place as the team at the top of the Premier League on Christmas Day.
Arsenal vs Burnley – Saturday 12:30 pm
Arsenal host Burnley on Saturday and their 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions have come to an end. They were beaten last weekend away at Southampton, and they now have to start all over again this week. Despite losing that run, Arsenal fans must be thrilled with how they have done so far this season, and the future for them looks a lot brighter with Unai Emery in charge of the club. He has brought a real sense of hope back to this team, and Arsenal has played some very good football in parts, something they will be hoping to show again here on Saturday.
Burnley comes into their final game before Christmas in the bottom three thanks to Southampton beating Arsenal last weekend. They have just 12 points on the board from 17 games, which ties them with Southampton but Burnley are the ones in the relegation zone due to their goal difference record being worse. As we stand now, we have three relegation places and seven teams battling it out to avoid them. Burnley have to make a move soon while they can, otherwise, others will move away and make survival even harder.
However, it doesn’t look as though they will be able to do that this weekend, with a trip to Arsenal awaiting. The Gunners will be looking to bounce back in the best possible way here, and that is exactly what I think they will do, I think they beat Burnley in style in this one.
Cardiff vs Manchester United – Saturday 5:30 pm
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has returned to Manchester United to be their interim manager until the end of the season. The former player has come back and his first game is up against the team he used to manage during his only spell in English football as a manager, Cardiff City. That is going to increase the pressure even further, but this is a golden opportunity for Solskjaer to show what kind of manager he is, and if he does well then who knows where it will take him, he could end up with this job full time.
Cardiff has battled their way out of the relegation zone in recent weeks and they will not want to let that slip just before Christmas. They have a two-point cushion over Burnley, who occupy the final relegation spot, although Burnley has a tough game at Arsenal. That means it is unlikely Cardiff will end up in the bottom three, but it is a possibility.
The Bluebirds would love to get something here, but I can see them playing second best to a rejuvenated Manchester United team with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bringing the feel-good factor back to Old Trafford.
Everton vs Tottenham – Sunday, 4:00 pm
The final game of the weekend sees Tottenham travel up to Everton on Sunday. Spurs are up to third and have won four out of their last five games as they look to cement a top-four position once again. They have an incredibly talented squad and after somehow making it through to the Champions League knockout round, confidence in the camp should be sky-high.
Everton is on a poor run at the moment, and with two draws and two defeats, they have failed to win any of their last four games. They need to finish in the top half of the table as a minimum this season, and to do that they will have to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. Now may not be the best time for them though, Tottenham is on fire and they are such a difficult team to stop.
With Everton struggling for form, I am backing Tottenham to go up to Goodison Park and come away with an important three points.
Premier League Betting Odds
There are a number of long odds on fancies in the Premier League this weekend that will be jumping out to those looking to place an accumulator and pick up a win before Christmas. Starting with Liverpool at 1/2 on Friday night, we also have Arsenal at 2/9, Manchester City at 1/8 and Chelsea at 3/10, all of which will look appealing to punters.
Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get off to a winning start at Manchester United? He is priced up at 4/7 to take three points from his old club Cardiff on Saturday evening. Perhaps the value of the weekend comes in the last game, with Tottenham priced up at a generous looking 5/4 away at Everton.
Premier League Betting Offers
Ladbrokes – 70/1 Enhanced Weekend Acca
If you are looking for a new betting account during the festive period and you want to take advantage of a big bet as your welcome offer, be sure to check this offer out from Ladbrokes. They have a 70/1 enhanced price accumulator available to new players this weekend, which needs Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spanish giants Barcelona to win for it to pay out.
The price of 70/1 is far greater than what you will get elsewhere on this bet, and this is limited to a £1 stake, with winnings paid out to you in free bets. However, it is a fantastic way to begin a new account, and should it win you will have betting funds for the busy festive period.
MansionBet – Acca Boost in Real Cash
MansionBet has an accumulator boost that you can take advantage of this weekend when you are placing your accumulator bets on the Premier League, and best of all any additional winnings you receive will be paid out in real cash.
This boost kicks in on accumulators with five selections or more, starting at a 10% boost for a winning fivefold and going all the way up to a 60% boost on a winning 15 fold. If you are looking to earn some additional funds this weekend then use the MansionBet acca boost to top up your winning accas.
Betfred – Double Delight Hat Trick Heaven Goal Scorer Promotion
If you are looking for the place to play your first goalscorer bets this weekend then head to Betfred. Their double delight hat-trick heaven promotion covers three of the four televised games this week, which are the Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham games.
Simply back a player to score the first goal, and if he does you get paid out as normal. If the player then goes on to score another goal, you will be paid out at double the odds on your bet. If he scores a third you will receive treble the odds and a very good payout, which is why it makes sense to place your goalscorer bets with Betfred this weekend.