Aston Villa 2 v 2 Norwich – Thursday 26 December – Premier League – Both Teams to Score (1.45)
Villa won 5-1 at Carrow Road in October but things have gone very wrong since then. Their defeat to Southampton on Saturday saw them fall into the relegation zone, and they have now gone five league games without a win. Norwich are one place below them in the table and, like the hosts, have also not won any of their last five games. As a result, I’m going for a Draw here. These sides have been reliable with the Both Teams to Score market this season, too; it’s happened in four of both teams’ last five games.
Bournemouth 1 v 1 Arsenal – Thursday 26 December – Premier League – Under 3.5 Goals (1.55)
This is Mikel Arteta’s first game as Head Coach of Arsenal and he couldn’t ask for a much easier fixture in the Premier League. Bournemouth have lost six of their last seven league games and have only scored six goals in their last ten. That said, Arsenal haven’t scored in either of their last two games. Their poor away record has been well documented, too, with only two away wins in the league this season. The Gunners ran out 1-0 winners when these sides met at the Emirates in October but I’m not sure Arteta can inspire a quick turnaround.
Man United 2 v 1 Newcastle – Thursday 26 December – Premier League – Both Teams to Score (1.95)
Manchester United’s brief unbeaten run was ended by Watford on Sunday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulled no punches after the game. Their summer signings, while undoubtedly strong, haven’t improved their defence enough – they have conceded in their last 13 league games. Steve Bruce is doing well with Newcastle, who are level on points with Man United and have won three of their last four games. The Magpies haven’t won any Old Trafford since 2013, though, so I’m backing a Home Win.
Leicester 1 v 2 Liverpool – Thursday 26 December – Premier League – Both Teams to Score (1.60)
What a game this should be! The top two in the Premier League are meeting and a win for Liverpool would be a huge result. Leicester have been brilliant this season but results have dropped off lately. They haven’t won any of their last three games in 90 minutes and have failed to keep a clean sheet in the last four. Liverpool, meanwhile, can move 13 points clear at the top with a win. They have returned to England with the Club World Cup and will be confident. I see an Away Win and my Match Tip is Both Teams to Score, which has happened in the last five meetings.
Wolves 1 v 2 Man City – Friday 27 December – Premier League Both Teams to Score (1.85)
As it was last season, Wolves are fighting for a top-six place and currently find themselves above Spurs, Man United and Arsenal. They have only won two of their last five league games, though, and are facing a Man City side that are back on top form following four straight wins. Pep Guardiola knows that, with Leicester and Liverpool playing each other, this is a good opportunity for his side to make up some ground. Even though Wolves won 2-0 at the Etihad in October, I still have to back an Away Win.