Premier League To Return This Weekend And We Can’t Wait!
The 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals are now over, players have started to return to their teams because within a few days, many of the top players around the world will be back in action as their domestic clubs get back to playing.
As a matter of fact, we don’t just have one weekend of games to look forward to. With it being the festive season, we actually have THREE matchdays all following on from each other in what will be a decisive and important part of the season with nine points up for grabs for the teams.
In this article, we are going to focus on the first Matchday, Matchday 17 which starts on Boxing Day (26th December) and progresses through to the 28th December.
Remember, you can enjoy a wealth of football betting on the Carabao Cup, Premier League and also the FA Cup with bet365 Sport with the site offering extensive pre-match betting markets, plenty of outright betting and of course, one of the best In Play betting experiences you can find anywhere online.
BONUS CODE: BET247
Get up to €100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365 Bet365 Review
So let’s quickly go through the Carabao Cup games being played this week together with our tip (and bet365 odds) for the winner, before we move into a more in depth look at the Premier League action this weekend.
Carabao Cup – Round of 16 – Fixtures & Dates
All games are 7.45pm kick off unless otherwise stated.
Tuesday 20th December
- Wolverhampton Wanderers v Gillingham – Wolves to win – 1/9
- Southampton v Lincoln City – Southampton to win – 2/7
- Newcastle United v Bournemouth – Newcastle Utd to win – 1/2
- MK Dons v Leicester City – Leicester City to win – 4/11
Wednesday 21st December
- Charlton Athletic v Brighton – Brighton to win – 1/3
- Blackburn Rovers v Nottingham Forest – Draw at 90 mins – 12/5
- Manchester United v Burnley (8pm) – Man Utd to win – 4/11
Thursday 22nd December
- Manchester City v Liverpool (8pm) – Man City to win – 5/6
Place an eightfold accumulator on each of these results to occur in the games this week in the Carabao Cup and you would get odds of 32.11/1 with bet365, plus your bet would qualify for both the Early Payout and Accumulator Bonus offers too.
Let’s now fast forward to the first set of Premier League games of the second part of the season which begin on Boxing Day (26th December).
Premier League Fixtures – Matchday 17
All games kick off on Boxing Day at 3pm unless otherwise stated and at 8pm on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th December unless otherwise stated.
Monday 26th December
- Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur (12.30pm)
Spurs will be without Richarlison and likely Cristian Romero for this game, but Harry Kane and Son should be fit, as will Hugo Lloris. Brentford will provide tricky opponents for Spurs in their first game back and with the added thrust and dynamism of a London derby, this could be a game that tests Spurs mettle but I think they will just about come through this examination.
Prediction – Brentford 1-2 Tottenham (17/2).
- Crystal Palace v Fulham
Another London derby sees Crystal Palace take on Fulham at Selhurst Park. Both these sides are enjoying better seasons than many expected with both well clear of the drop zone and comfortably in mid-table. Both also have not had too many players away for the World Cup, so they should be well-rested here. Fulham have surprised me with how well they have done here and I can see them getting something from this game, but Palace are pretty strong at home, so this one I feel will likely end up as a draw.
Prediction – Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham (10/1)
- Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Everton had started to recover from their poor start but they were well beaten ahead of the break twice by Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup and League and they also lost at home to Leicester. So this is a massive game for the Toffees as they sit in 17th, just one place and one point above the drop zone. For Wolves, this is a game that they will feel they can get something from especially since they beat Everton home and away last season.
Prediction – Everton 1-1 Wolves (6/1)
- Leicester City v Newcastle United
After struggling for the early part of the season, Leicester City found some form over the last month or so and began to move away from the relegation zone. However, they face a Newcastle side that has lost just once in the Premier League this season and who, ahead of the break, were one of the top sides of 2022 in the EPL. This should be a very entertaining game and I can see goals being scored here at both ends but it is hard to go against a Newcastle side that were in such good form.
Prediction – Leicester City 1-2 Newcastle United (9/1)
- Southampton v Brighton
Both these south coast teams have new managers with Nathan Jones coming in for Ralf Hassenhutl at Southampton and Roberto De Zerbi replacing Graham Potter at Brighton. Both will have benefitted from the break to work with their new team and I think we can expect to see the results of that here. Brighton though were the better of the two ahead of the World Cup break and I think they are not going to lose here and in fact, I think they’ll land a comfortable win.
Prediction – Southampton 0-2 Brighton (10/1)
- Aston Villa v Liverpool (5.30pm)
Aston Villa have found some great form since Unai Emery took over as manager and they have beaten both Chelsea and Manchester United at home in that run. They also have a very good home record against Liverpool in recent times so will be confident here. Liverpool’s form looked rocky heading into the break but they have got several players back from injury now and should be fit and ready for this one. It will be a close call, but I think that extra quality Liverpool have may just turn this game in their favour.
Prediction – Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool (8/1)
- Arsenal v West Ham United (8pm)
The Premier League leaders head into the third London derby of Boxing Day knowing a win could take them eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table. In contrast, West Ham lie 16th in the table and very much in the midst of a relegation battle. Goals have been West Ham’s problem and I can’t see them fixing it here against the Premier League’s joint-best defence. This should be a comfortable home win for the Gunners.
Prediction – Arsenal 3-0 West Ham (11/1)
Tuesday 27th December
- Chelsea v Bournemouth (5.30pm)
Graham Potter will be hoping for better from his Chelsea team than he saw heading into the World Cup break. A defeat at Villa was not what the former Brighton boss would have wanted. That said, they begin with a winnable home game against a Bournemouth side who ended a run of four losses with a big win over Everton. I can’t see the south coast side quite having the quality to get that kind of result here though.
Prediction – Chelsea 2-0 Bournemouth (6/1)
- Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
With the Cristiano Ronaldo saga now resolved, I actually feel Manchester United will be in a stronger position without that added distraction. With Marcus Rashford back in good form, I feel United can push on from a half-decent start and pick up an important win against a Forest side who have struggled this season, but who should be better having had a month to try and gel their squad together a little more. This may be a bit closer than people are expecting but United should still land the win.
Prediction – Manchester United 3-1 Nottingham Forest (12/1)
Wednesday 28th December
- Leeds United v Manchester City
Erling Haaland returns to the club where his father made such a name for himself and who he supported as a youngster and he will be raring to go after sitting watching the World Cup for a month. City could be eight points behind Arsenal ahead of this game so this is very much one they will feel they must win and given their record against Leeds last season (2 games, 2 wins, 11 goals scored, 0 conceded) I’d expect City to land a similarly comfortable victory here.
Prediction – Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City (10/1)
*All odds shown in this article were taken from bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing, but may have changed in the meantime.