A third round of Premier League matches in little more than a week begins with eight fixtures on Saturday. With Christmas rapidly approaching there will be a focus on building some form for a pretty crazy run of matches over the next five weeks.
We have to wait until Sunday until we see the leaders Manchester City in action so the chasing pack have the chance to put the pressure on and three of those sides compete in the TV matches on a busy day.
Early Kick Off
Chelsea are the first side who get the chance to close the gap on the league leaders when they host a fading Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle are plummeting towards the relegation zone and could really do with a result themselves here but Chelsea should be sharp as they go in search of back-to-back home wins in short succession.
Liverpool make the long trip to the south coast to take on Brighton in one of six matches that kick off at the usual start time. Sam Allardyce takes charge of his first game as Everton boss when they welcome Huddersfield to Merseyside while high flying Burnley head to Leicester to take on the former champions.
Stoke City will look to pile more misery on a struggling Swansea City side while two managers go up against their former clubs when Roy Hodgson takes his Crystal Palace side to The Hawthorns for Alan Pardew’s first game in charge of West Brom. Watford welcome Tottenham to Vicarage Road in the other match.
Once again the best has been saved for last on Saturday as we conclude with Arsenal hosting Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. Given the need for both to win the match to close the gap on Man City this could go one of two ways. It could be a tight affair neither want to lose or both sides could open up and have a real go and try to make something happen. Hopefully it is the latter.
I’m going to go with two bets over the course of the afternoon on Saturday. Burnley have only lost once on the road this season and that was at Manchester City where everyone loses these days so the Asian handicap line in their favour is ridiculously high. We can get a perfectly acceptable price on the +0.75 line which is incredible. That would have landed with full wins at Anfield and Wembley and I suspect it will land again. Leicester had a good win over Tottenham in midweek but sometimes it can be hard to back up big wins in this league especially against well organised sides. I fancy Burnley to take something from this one.
Swansea look a bit of a mess at the minute and I don’t really see that changing when they go to a Stoke side who were it not for bad luck would not have had much luck at all this season. They were soundly beaten by Liverpool in the end in midweek but was Simon Mignolet sent off like he should have been that would have been a different game. I expect Mark Hughes will fire his men up and send them out to make amends for that misfortune. Swansea have only scored three goals on the road all season and two of them came in their sole win at Crystal Palace which barely counts. One could be enough for Stoke to win this and I fancy they will get it if not one or two more.
HALF LOSS – Back Burnley (+0.75AH) to beat Leicester for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betfred
Back them here:
WON – Back Stoke to beat Swansea for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with William Hill