Midweek EPL Fixtures And Tips – 28th to 30th December
There is no rest for the teams in the English Premier League this Christmas, we have only just completed the Boxing Day set of fixtures with last night’s exciting 1-1 draw between Newcastle United and Manchester United and we are now starting on a brand new matchday.
We have already had two games confirmed as being postponed due to Covid, Arsenal against West Ham and Leeds United against Aston Villa, and my gut feeling is that by kick off time later today, tomorrow or on Thursday, we may have a few more games that have bit the dust.
The Premier League is already starting to look a little odd as you have a number of teams that have played their full complement of 19 games so far this season, while some teams, such as Burnley have played 15, while Watford and Tottenham have played 16.
So at the moment, good form is probably the best indicator you have of how a team is playing.
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Let’s now take a look at how this set of midweek games is shaping up.
Premier League Matchday 20
Tuesday 28th December
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Postponed
Match postponed. To be rescheduled for another date.
- Crystal Palace v Norwich City
Palace have managed just one win in five in the Premier League and were well beaten on Boxing Day by Tottenham but perhaps the most important thing from that game was the sending off of Wilfried Zaha, who will now miss this game through suspension.
Norwich have picked up just one point from the last 15 available and have lost all their last four games in the Premier League. I do feel Dean Smith’s team are embroiled in what is going to be an unsuccessful attempt at avoiding the drop.
Even without Zaha, I am expecting Palace to enjoy a pretty comfortable win here.
Top Tip – Crystal Palace to win 2-0 – 7/1.
- Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton and Spurs both enjoyed good wins on Boxing Day, Southampton’s 3-2 win over West Ham in London particularly noteworthy. The Saints have now lost just one of their last five games in the Premier League and have moved onto 20 points in the table.
Spurs have played just 16 games and still lie in fifth place, but they are six points adrift of Arsenal in fourth. With the Gunners not playing in midweek, Spurs can pull that gap down to three points with a win here and given their recent form, I feel that has a good chance of happening.
Harry Kane and Son have both scored in the last two games for Spurs and there is no doubt they have missed their goals and attacking flair. I am backing them to be on song here again and to play a key role in Spurs landing the win.
Top Tip – Tottenham to win – Evens
- Watford v West Ham United
West Ham have had a poor run of results in the Premier League, winning just one of their last five, although that was against Chelsea. They have lost their last two and have fallen seven points behind Arsenal in the battle for fourth place in the table.
Watford lie 17th and they have lost all their last four games. A worrying run for Claudio Ranieri, whose only saving grace is that they have played just 16 games, so they have a couple of games in hand on most teams around them in the table.
My issue with Watford is their defence is so leaky at times and they have conceded 31 goals, only four teams have conceded more in the Premier League this season I think even if they score, West Ham should have enough quality to get the win.
Top Tip – West Ham to win and both teams to score – 10/3.
- Leeds United v Aston Villa – Postponed
Match postponed. To be rescheduled for another date.
- Leicester City v Liverpool
These two teams played in the Carabao Cup a week ago with Liverpool winning on penalties after a 3-3 draw, however this Liverpool team will be much stronger and will face a Leicester side who have conceded 9 goals in their last two games.
The Foxes lie 10th in the Premier League but they have had some good results, notably at home when they beat Manchester United, but they have also been on the end of some heavy defeats, including their 6-3 reverse at Manchester City on Boxing Day.
I do think Leicester will score a goal in the game tonight but I think Liverpool should have enough quality to get the job done and pick up an important three points as they aim to stay with Manchester City at the top of the table.
Top Tip – Liverpool to win and both teams to score – 15/8
Wednesday 29th December
- Chelsea v Brighton
After two draws in a row in the Premier League, Chelsea got back to winning ways away to Aston Villa on Boxing Day and I think they are likely to add another three points to their total in this home game with Brighton later today.
The Seagulls ended a long run without a win on Boxing Day with a 2-0 win over Brentford, a win which moved them up to 9th in the table, and no team has lost fewer teams in the EPL this season than Brighton outside the top three (4 defeats).
The Seagulls have proven tough to beat this season and they have picked up some good results away from home, notably at Anfield, but I think Chelsea will be the victors here and I’m backing their left back to get a goal as he is certainly overdue one.
Top Tip – Marcos Alonso to score anytime – 5/1.
- Brentford v Manchester City
Manchester City are in exceptional form at the moment, scoring plenty of goals and having won all of their last five Premier League games. They face a Brentford side who have won two of their last five, drawing one, but who have put up some solid performances at home against top teams.
As much as I admire the way Brentford play, it is hard to see them being able to cope with what Manchester City can produce in an attacking sense and my gut feeling is here that Brentford may catch City cold and take the lead, but City will come back and land a big win.
As such, I am going for a City win, but Brentford to open the scoring.
Top Tip – Manchester City to win from being behind – 6/1
Thursday 30th December
- Everton v Newcastle United
After a pulsating game against Manchester United last night, Newcastle were so unlucky not to win that game and I think that may carry over into this game away to Everton, another side badly in need of a win.
Rafe Benitez will take on his former club once again here and I think the Toffees will have a slight edge as it looks like Newcastle are going to be without their two best attacking players in Callum Wilson and Allen Saint-Maximin, who both picked up knocks against United.
As such, with Everton having some key men coming back from injury too, I am backing the home side to pick up the win here, although I think goals will be at a premium and it may be just a single goal that wins it.
Top Tip – Correct Score – Everton 1-0 Newcastle United – 7/1
- Manchester United v Burnley
Manchester United earned a somewhat fortunate draw away to Newcastle on Monday night and they have what should be a very winnable home game with Burnley coming up on Thursday night to keep their unbeaten run going.
Burnley haven’t played in a good while as Covid has hit the squad hard and they have played just 15 games in the season so far, winning just the one of them. Defensively they are solid but only Wolves and Norwich have scored fewer goals than Sean Dyche’s men.
United are certainly not firing on all cylinders at the moment but it is hard to see them being beaten at home by Burnley here, especially with the visitors winning just one game this season so I am backing Ronaldo to grab the opener in what should be a United win.
Top Tip – Cristiano Ronaldo to score first – 13/5 with bet365.