Palace plotting another upset
Crystal Palace will be looking to cause another upset on Sunday when Chelsea visit Selhurst Park. The Blues were victims of their own shock in the pre-Christmas fixtures, losing their first home match under Maurizio Sarri against Leicester City.
The Eagles usually look more comfortable against the bigger teams due to their counter-attacking prowess, and some of Chelsea’s defenders (we will not mention names… *cough David Luiz cough*) must ensure they do not get sucked out of position.
Go for a Blues triumph and under 2.5 goals at a generous 4.05.
Southampton vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Someone needs to rewrite that famous old saying about the only certainties in life being death, taxes and Manchester City home wins against bottom-half Premier League sides.
Pep Guardiola’s side were stunned by Crystal Palace last weekend, losing 3-2 at the same time that pigs were spotted flying above the Etihad Stadium.
That result could spell bad news for Southampton, but the south coast outfit have shown improvements under Ralph Hasenhuttl and may be quietly confident of causing the champions a few problems. Go for an away win and both teams to score at 2.85.
Juventus vs Sampdoria (Serie A)
Anyone hoping that the festive atmosphere would also produce an upset in Serie A were left disappointed, as Juventus beat Roma 1-0 while boring the pants off everyone.
The Bianconeri have not dazzled yet this season, but they continue to get the job done and it is difficult to look past yet another victory here.
Who knows, they might even put on a show a few days after Christmas, something which would no doubt please traditional locals who are not best pleased with Serie A’s delayed winter break this term. Go for Juve to win by a two-goal margin at 4.05.
Liverpool vs Arsenal (Premier League)
Liverpool have moved into pole position in the Premier League title race in the last few weeks, but Saturday’s clash with Arsenal will be a big test of their championship credentials.
Jurgen Klopp’s charges have shown this term that they do not need to play at 100 miles per hour to win – they have dropped as low as 95 miles per hour at times in 2018/19, the lazy bunch – but the Gunners are a stronger physical proposition these days (aside from Mesut Ozil, a player who covers less ground than a tortoise on holiday).
Manchester United vs Bournemouth (Premier League)
If it was not already obvious, Manchester United’s swashbuckling 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City last Saturday served as definitive proof that the squad were not overly fond of Jose Mourinho.
And given that the Portuguese’s surly demeanour resembled that of the miserable dinner lady in The Simpsons, who can blame them?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be gunning for another three points when Bournemouth visit Old Trafford on Sunday, but Eddie Howe’s side will have no fear against the 20-time English champions. Regardless, back United at a -1 handicap at odds of 1.95.
By Greg Lea
After many years of sports writing with an emphasis on football, including a stint at Sky Sports, Greg is here to help you with betting tips. Follow him on Twitter @greglea to get the latest updates before placing your bets.