New Year's Day EPL Preview

Stoke v Man United (AWAY WIN) 9/10 – The Red Devils have finally found their rhythm and currently sit in third place, unbeaten in their last nine games since their 1-0 defeat at Manchester City. Since then United have claimed seven victories (including wins against Liverpool and Arsenal) and were unlucky not to see off Spurs despite outplaying them and having better goal-scoring chances. United have an excellent record against the Potters having won 13 of their last 15 meetings with a draw and 2-1 defeat which came at the Britannia last season. Stoke are known to be difficult to beat at home but United have finally got themselves together and are beginning to look a force to be reckoned with. Back the Red Devils at 9/10.

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (HOME WIN) 13/10 – Aston Villa and Crystal Palace will try to end their losing streak by going all out for victory on New Year’s Day. Aston Villa are 13th place in the standings with 21 points, but they come into this game with four consecutive weeks without a win. Last Sunday, they drew goalless at home against Sunderland. Crystal Palace have been able to win only one of their last 13 games in the league and as a consequence are in the relegation zone with 16 points. Their only win on the road this season was against Everton. Away from home they have allowed 16 goals. Villa won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Selhurst Park and should start the year with a win at home to end their slump. 

Hull City v Everton (HULL WIN/DRAW) 6/10 – There might well be a gap of five points between them in the Premier League table, but based on current form it’s hard to differentiate much between 12th-placed Everton and 17th-placed Hull City. In fact, in their last six matches, The Toffees have picked up a mere four points, whereas the Tigers have managed to do marginally better by acquiring five points along the way. Steve Bruce’s men sit just outside the relegation zone and are locked on points with both Burnley and Crystal Palace, which just goes to show how poor they’ve been in recent times. The Blues have not been anywhere near their usual selves under Roberto Martinez. Looking toothless in attack and clueless in defence. Hull are great value at 22/10 to win at home but the safer option would be taking them on the win/draw double at 6/10. 

Liverpool v Leicester (HOME WIN) 4/10 – Liverpool play host to Leicester City on New Year’s Day. The Reds have shown signs of progress this month as they’ve beaten Leicester 3-1 at the King Power Stadium, followed by a 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Bournemouth in the quarter-finals and a Boxing Day win at Burnley. Liverpool need a winning streak in 2015 similar to the 11-game run of last season to push themselves into top-four contention. Leicester ended a run of 13 matches without a win with victory away against Hull City. Having been languishing at the bottom of the table on just 10 points, this win for Nigel Pearson's side suggests that perhaps they shouldn't be written off for the drop just yet. With that being said, Liverpool are too good for them. Get on the Reds at 4/10.

Man City v Sunderland (MAN CITY HT-FT WIN DOUBLE) 13/20 – It was a one sided contest when the two met at the Stadium of Light back at the start of December, the Citizens taking a 4-1 victory. Manuel Pellegrini’s men missed a fantastic chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea as they blew a 2-0 half-time lead at home against Burnley on the weekend, settling for a draw. But they will be expected to get back to winning ways against the draw-happy Black Cats. Are the Citizens good enough to respond to Burnley’s fight back? Of course they are and this time they’ll do it from start to finish.

Newcastle v Burnley (DRAW) 27/10 – Newcastle are plagued by injuries and they are trying to fill the gaps in all areas, with the absent goalkeeper being by far the biggest problem. Despite the fact that they prevailed against Everton, it was the Toffees who appeared to be in control. That time, they got lucky but they will be facing an opponent desperate to enter a brand new year. Burnley done exceptionally well to come from two goals down to earn a point against Manchester City at the Etihad. The Clarets would gladly settle for a draw and unlike Everton will not jeopardize one point for the sake of claiming a rare victory on the road.

QPR v Swansea (HOME WIN) 19/10 - QPR return to Loftus Road to take on Gary Monk’s enchanting Swansea side. Given their wretched away form, the R’s cannot afford to drop many points at home. This will be Swansea's 20th league visit to Loftus Road. Of those games, the Swans have won only one, drawing nine and suffering nine defeats. Charlie Austin has scored in each of the last five Premier League games at home, bagging eight goals in total in that run taking his tally to 12 goals with only Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero scoring more than him. QPR have proved hard to beat on their turf and are good value at 19/10.

Southampton v Arsenal (AWAY WIN) 14/10 – Hardly anyone expected Southampton to hold on to their top-4 spot, come mid-season time, after starting the season in excellent form. If the law of averages did catch up with them, they’ve certainly managed to weather it better than anyone thought they could. But with Arsenal within breathing distance following their superb run of form, the Saints will be wary of conceding any more ground any time soon. The Gunners have a good head-to-head record against Southampton, suffering just one defeat in the last 11 encounters with six victories including the reverse fixture at the Emirates with Alexis Sanchez scoring the only goal of the match. At 14/10, Arsenal are well worth a punt.

West Ham v West Brom (HOME WIN) 8/10 – West Ham will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome a struggling West Brom side to Upton Park. The Hammers suffered their second successive defeat of the Christmas fixtures after they were beaten at leaders Chelsea on Boxing Day and lost at home to Arsenal three days later. Alan Irvine’s future at West Brom may look bleak after his side lost at Stoke City on Sunday, their seventh league defeat in nine games which leaves them 16th, a point above the relegation zone. West Ham won the reverse fixture 2-1 and are tipped to do the double over West Brom. 

Tottenham v Chelsea (AWAY WIN) 15/20 – Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are currently running in good form, proven by their point earned against Manchester United On Sunday. Tottenham are now unbeaten in their last five league matches with three wins and two draws having lost just one of their last eight in the Premier League. They are a team on the rise in confidence and will be expected to give Chelsea a harder time than they did when they met at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. Chelsea have lost just one game in 19 matches played this season with 14 wins and four draws. The Blues are unbeaten against Spurs in the last 10 meetings with five victories including the double last season and are well worthy for victory at 15/20.

Written By Chadley Nagel

EPL Picks
Man United WIN 9/10
Aston Villa WIN 13/10
Hull WIN/DRAW 6/10
Liverpool WIN 4/10
Man City HT-FT WIN DOUBLE 13/20
Newcastle DRAW 27/10
QPR WIN 19/10
Arsenal WIN 14/10
West Ham WIN 8/10
Chelsea WIN 15/2