Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: English Premier League: Gameweek 18 Preview

English Premier League: Gameweek 18 Preview

And that’s what it’s all about! As we go deeper into the Christmas period, the upsets continue to grace our screens. Chelsea and Manchester United’s failure to win at home last weekend really showed why this is considered to be the best league in the world. This time around, Liverpool, who are now 10 points clear at the top of the table, are excused from domestic duties as they prepare for battle in the FIFA Club World Cup. To their delight, their two biggest rivals this season, Manchester City and Leicester City square off at the Etihad Stadium. Elsewhere, the race for top four heats up as Tottenham look to go level on points with Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Saturday 21 December

Everton 29/20 
Draw 26/10 
Arsenal 7/4 

It’s been a memorable week for Duncan Ferguson as he continues to live his dream, coaching the reins at Everton. In his two games in charge of the Toffees, Ferguson has managed four superb points, beating Chelsea in their last fixture at Goodison Park, and then going to Old Trafford to claim a share of the spoils with Manchester United. For Arsenal, its been a difficult couple of months. The Gunners will be hoping to appoint Mikel Arteta in time for this tie, who is admired by both clubs, having captained both teams during his playing career. It remains to be seen whether Arteta can give Arsenal that new manager bounce that they desperately need, but as far as betting goes, I’d put my money on the home win.

Newcastle United 16/10 
Draw 21/10 
Crystal Palace 19/10 

Newcastle will be hoping to return to winning ways in hope of breaking into the top half of the table this weekend. Steve Bruce’s men are level on points with Arsenal in 10th place, but their inferior goal difference sees them languishing in the bottom stanza. Crystal Palace fought back and were full value for their draw on Monday night at home to Brighton. It wasn’t the best performance by the Eagles, but a point they will gladly take, stretching their unbeaten run to four league matches. Newcastle haven’t lost at home since the opening day of the season, and although their opponents have proven to be tough to beat, I’m putting my neck out here and taking the home win.

Norwich City 11/4 
Draw 11/4 
Wolves 19/20 

Norwich claimed one of the shock results of the weekend last time out, claiming an emphatic 1-1 draw at Leicester City. The Canaries stuck to their game-plan, kept the Foxes on the backfoot, and in the end, they were rewarded for their efforts. Wolves were thwarted late on against Tottenham, conceding in the 91st-minute to lose 2-1 at home. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were unbeaten in 11 games before that and find themselves odds on to return to winning ways. Despite Norwich’s great result last weekend, my money is on the away win.

Aston Villa 27/20 
Draw  26/10 
Southampton 19/10 

Villa Park hosts an early relegation showdown as Aston Villa and Southampton lock horns on Saturday. Both teams’ inconsistency could see them dragged into a fight for survival for the entirety of the campaign. Villa lost their third game in a row last weekend, going down 2-0 at Sheffield United. Southampton remain in the bottom three after their second consecutive defeat, losing at home to West Ham United. Both defences have looked shaky of late, and with clean sheets hard to come by, I fancy Both Teams to Score at 5/10.

Bournemouth 5/4 
Draw 49/20 
Burnley 43/20 

After five consecutive defeats in the Premier League, Bournemouth returned to winning ways, pulling off a major upset to win 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, keeping Chelsea at bay on their own turf. Burnley managed a 1-0 victory of their own, claiming a much-needed win over Newcastle at Turf Moor. Both sides are now in touching distance of the top half with the Cherries now three points behind, while Burnley are just a point off the top 10. Despite their excellent result against Chelsea last weekend, Eddie Howe’s men remain struck by injuries, much to the delight of Sean Dyche and his Claret Army. Get on a share of the spoils here at 49/20.

Brighton 13/10 
Draw 9/4 
Sheffield United 23/10 

Brighton may have dropped one place down the table, but should take plenty of positives going into the next game after drawing 1-1 at Crystal Palace on Monday night. Neal Maupay netted for the third successive time, taking his personal goal tally up to seven for the season. Sheffield United continued to ride the crest of the wave as they ousted Aston Villa 2-0 at Bramall Lane. It was a much-improved performance as the Blades looked to pick up on their home form. On the road, though, Chris Wilder’s men are unbeaten in all eight travels – Liverpool are the only other team unbeaten away from home. Once again, I fancy another draw this weekend.

Manchester City 4/10 
Draw 17/4 
Leicester City 6/1 

The ultimate showdown takes place on Saturday evening as Manchester City host high-flying Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men were ruthless in their last encounter, wrapping up their tie against Arsenal in the first half, smashing the Gunners 3-0 in their own backyard. Kevin De Bruyne produced yet another masterclass, being involved in all three goals for the Sky Blues. As for Leicester, their superb eight-game winning run ended at home to Norwich as they had to claw their way back to salvage a 1-1 draw. Perhaps reality started to kick in for Brendan Rodgers’ side and to make matters worse, they face Man City and Liverpool consecutively in the league. This will be a much tougher game for City than they had last week, but they should manage to grind it out somehow. The home Win & Both Teams to Score market is tipped here at 29/20.

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Sunday 22 December

Watford 33/10 
Draw 28/10 
Manchester United 8/10 

Sunday’s earlier kick-off sees Manchester United travel to Vicarage Road to face Nigel Pearson’s Watford. Despite their 2-0 defeat at Anfield, the Hornets showed plenty of belief – something they had lacked under both Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores this season. The Red Devils were brilliant building up to last weekend, ousting both Tottenham and Manchester City, before beating AZ Alkmaar 4-0 in the UEFA Europa League. Their luck did run out, however, as they settled for a share of the spoils in a home tie against Everton. There’s nothing better than seeing a new manager win his first home game in charge of his new club, but you have to be realistic when putting your money down. At 8/10, the away win looks the way to go.

Tottenham 29/20 
Draw 26/10 
Chelsea 17/10 

TREBLE @ 10/1
Everton Win 29/20
Man City Win & BTTS 29/20
Man United Win 8/10

Written by Jesse Nagel 

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