Cheeky’s aunt couldn’t spoil his Christmas, but he reckons Aston Villa can well and truly ruin Frank Lampard’s. If you like all his picks, Paddy Power’s Acca Insurance will refund all punters whose 4+ bet accumulators are let down by just a single selection.
Crystal Palace v Leicester City
How was your Christmas? Mine was OK truth be told save for one rather odd FaceTime conversation with my Aunty. Only belled her to say ‘Happy Christmas’ and when I did she replied “You’re the generation that bought more shoes and you’ll get what you deserve.” Put me right off my turkey. Palace were taken apart by Liverpool in their last home fixture and looked well poor against Villa on Boxing Day. So the Foxes could be a great bet here at evens.
Chelsea v Aston Villa
The Blues are struggling and I can’t have them at 8/13 against Villa. They spent big in the summer so a certain Russian billionaire businessman and politician can’t be overly happy that they are seventh at time of writing. The pressure is starting to build on Frank Lampard and I would much rather have a tickle on the away win at 7/2 here than steam into Chelsea at odds-on. Dean Smith has built an exciting team who are scoring goals and won’t fear a trip to west London.
Everton v Manchester City
7/4 about City winning this without conceding looks decent. Pep Guardiola’s men have stuttered going forward this season but have shaped up defensively and have the personnel to keep Everton at bay at Goodison. It should be a decent spectacle this as Everton have moved into second in the table without much fanfare and if they can win on Merseyside they will claim so much confidence.
Brighton v Arsenal
That was a huge f**king win for Arsenal the other night. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe definitely brought a new energy to the side against Chelsea. However, I’m not sure I could bring myself to row in at 5/4 here. In fact, Neal Maupay continues to be criminally underrated by the bookies and he looks a big price at 11/2 to open the scoring at the Amex.
Burnley v Sheffield United
Sheffield United haven’t won a game all season and are 11/5 to snap that appalling streak against Burnley. I am going to back this. And I’m not crazy either. I prefer the term mentally hilarious.
Southampton v West Ham
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to end a run of five straight defeats against the Hammers, but I’m not really sold on the chances of either team here. I’ve eaten and laid around way too much over Christmas. So has my dog. Indeed my chihuahua is now the same size as a steroid-abusing badger.
West Brom v Leeds United
So West Brom then. What kind of banter was that 1-1 draw at Anfield? Absolutely amazing stuff and they can follow up with a win here against a Leeds side who are poor at defending set-pieces. A fact that won’t be lost on Sam Allardyce.
Manchester United v Wolves
The Red Devils picked up a handy point at the King Power and but for more shoddy defending it surely would have been three. You simply cannot take your eyes off this Manchester United side, but the sloppy defending has got to stop. They have the players up top to compete with anyone, but it’s an absolute circus at times at the back. Wolves are very inconsistent themselves so 10/11 about both teams finding the net at Old Trafford looks a dreamy punt.
Tottenham v Fulham
As we count down to 2021 Spurs are stuttering but still sitting fairly pretty in the league and so start as big favourites to take down Fulham. Jose Mourinho will have his team bang up for this and the Portuguese master of the dark arts can spin his Machiavellian web over their London rivals and then revel as they suffocate in his clench.
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Steve Bruce will rally his team and implore them to ‘get stuck in’ against the Reds, who showed against West Brom they are not operating at their best level just now. However their current level should be plenty good enough to beat the Mags. There is nothing wrong with playing a 5-4-1, apart from when the opposition are able to pull the Magpies’ defenders out of position with relative ease, as Manchester City did the other day. Bruce v Klopp feels like a tricycle v truck kind of contest.
Odds correct at the time of publication. 18+ Please Gamble Responsibly. Visit begambleaware.org