Premier League Preview & Free Bet Offers 26th December 2010English Premier League
Fulham v West Ham 26 Dec 12:00
West Ham manager Avram Grant is up against it. He was reportedly set the target of one win from three games by his owners, Messrs Gold and Sullivan. So after a creditable draw at Blackburn he needs to conjure a win either at Craven Cottage or at home against in-form Everton on Tuesday. Fulham can’t buy a goal at the moment, so you’d think the former fixture represents the Irons’ best chance of three points.
Prediction – A tight contest – Draw
Blackburn v Stoke 26 Dec 15:00
The formbook points clearly to a home win, as Stoke have not won on Boxing Day since 2000 while Blackburn are unbeaten in the traditional Christmas fixture since 2001. But with Rovers still looking to appoint a successor to sacked manager Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis’s side can take the spoils in what should be a very physical contest.
Prediction – Joy for the Potters – Away win
Blackpool v Liverpool 26 Dec 15:00
The clash of the Prem ‘Pools is a fascinating showdown. Ian Holloway’s side caused one of the upsets of the season when they won 2-1 at Anfield earlier in the season, but Liverpool have a fine recent record in the Boxing Day fixture – six wins in seven matches – and are more settled now than when they lost to Blackpool in October. And the Seasiders last beat Liverpool at home back in 1954.
Prediction – Reds get revenge on Tangerines – Away win
Bolton v West Brom 26 Dec 15:00
Bolton’s last home game of 2010 – they have only lost once at the Reebok so far this season – is an eminently winnable tie against the inconsistent Baggies. But consider that seven of the nine Premier League meetings between these two sides have ended even, and a scrappy draw looks the smart bet here.
Prediction – Wanderers frustrated with a point – Draw
Everton v Birmingham 26 Dec 15:00
Everton’s confidence must be sky high after a brilliant away win at Man City on Monday evening, and after a surprisingly sluggish start to the season, the Toffees can now push on and even claim a place in Europe. Birmingham are not far above the relegation zone and really need a big performance at Goodison if they are to find a first win in three matches.
Prediction – Onwards and upwards for Everton – Home win
Man Utd v Sunderland 26 Dec 15:00
As Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce has had little luck against his former club, with late goals foiling his side at Old Trafford in their previous two visits. The Black Cats have an abject record against United too; they are without a win at the Theatre of Dreams since 1968. All the signs point to another frustrating day for Bruce against a United side yet to taste defeat this season.
Prediction – United march on – Home win
Newcastle v Man City 26 Dec 15:00
Newcastle have not played since their 3-1 home win against Liverpool, which was also the first game in charge for new manager Alan Pardew. So they should be fresh for the visit of title contenders Man City. Roberto Mancini’s side missed the chance to go top on Monday, after falling to a 2-1 defeat against Everton, but the Citizens do travel well and have enough quality to get something from this game – they may catch the Magpies cold.
Prediction – City bounce back – Away win
Wolves v Wigan 26 Dec 15:00
With both clubs mired in the relegation zone, this fixture lives up to the cliche of ‘six-pointer’. Of the two sides, Wolves are in much better form, with two wins in their last three matches. But Wigan won this fixture last season, 2-0, and will be confident of a repeat performance at Molineux.
Prediction – Just one point each in this six-pointer – Draw
Aston Villa v Tottenham 26 Dec 17:30
The late fixture on Boxing Day involves two of England’s great old clubs. Spurs beat Villa 2-1 at White Hart Lane in October with Rafael van der Vaart scoring both goals. The mercurial Dutchman should be available for selection following his hamstring problem, which could be bad news for the Villa.
Prediction – Villa rise to the occasion – Home win
Arsenal v Chelsea 27 Dec 20:00
The main event sees two bona fide title contenders go head to head at the Emirates on Monday evening. Chelsea have a good recent record against Arsenal, and won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, but they are out of sorts currently, while the Gunners look to have a bit more steel and determination in their team now and will fight tooth and nail on their own turf. Frank Lampard’s return might be crucial.
Prediction – Chelsea edge it – Away win