Premier League Match Previews 2020/21: Matchday 14
Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 14
After finishing off the turkey sandwiches, it’s time to chill out and watch some Premier League action. Our match of the day features two teams who had great results last weekend, Leicester & Manchester United. Join us as we preview all the games this weekend.
Match of the Day
Our match of the day features an exciting clash between Leicester & Manchester United. Both teams are in good positions in the league and could add pressure on Liverpool at the top of the table. Leicester with Vardy are always a threat but, United have the best away record in the league, it should be fun!
- Venue: King Power Stadium
- Saturday 26 December 12:30
- Referee: Mike Dean
- Quick Glance OddsH: 39/20 D:27/10 A: 19/13
About the Game:
For the second year in a row, Leicester has managed to secure second place at Christmas. A 2-0 win away at top-four rivals Tottenham enough to ensure they occupy second before the Boxing Day fixtures. Jamie Vardy was the Foxes main man, scoring from the penalty spot before forcing an own goal out of Toby Alderweireld after the 33-year-old made a nuisance of himself in the Tottenham penalty area. Vardy had a total of six shots in the game, more than any other player. At the other end of the field, Kasper Schmeichel would have been delighted with his clean sheet; it’s a badge of honour to keep out the deadly strike force of Harry Kane (4 shots) and Son Heung-Min (2 shots).
Manager Brendan Rodgers will be pleased with his team’s response, the win over Spurs coming just days after a defeat at the hands of Everton. It was Rodgers first victory over Tottenham at the eighth attempt and is a win that takes the club just four points behind the current leaders Liverpool. While thoughts of the title are a bit premature, most Leicester fans would be satisfied with qualifying for the Champions League. The Foxes spent the majority of last season in a qualifying position, but a drop of form late in the campaign, including a defeat and a draw in their last two games, saw them pipped by both Manchester United & Chelsea. Leicester’s record against United isn’t great, winning just twice in 28 games and currently on a four-game losing streak.
Manchester United’s resounding 6-2 win in the ‘Battle of the Roses’ against bitter rivals Leeds United is a highlight of the season for United fans who have waited 16 years to witness a league game between the pair. Scott McTominay made Premier League history, becoming the first player to score two goals within the first three minutes. His first scored after 67 seconds and added another within a minute. The 24-year-old also added an assist. The youngster later went off with an injury and doubt the game against Leicester; he is likely to be replaced with Paul Pogba, an unused sub in the game.
The victory against Leeds was the first time this season that United had scored more than one at home, having lost three games at Old Trafford (Crystal Palace 1-3, Tottenham 1-6 and Arsenal 0-1). Away from home, it’s a different situation altogether as the Red Devils have won all six away games, scoring at least three in each of these games. Bruno Fernandes has been the team’s outstanding player, scoring nine goals and assisting five, helped by the fact that United have been awarded the most penalties in all competitions across Europe’s top leagues (32 awarded). Marcus Rashford has the best figures as a striker with five goals and four assists. Anthony Martial is yet to show the form that he is capable of, the Frenchman has just one league goal but has provided three assists so far.
Prediction: Manchester United win, BTTS.
Rest of the Premier League Games
Coming up are our previews and Premier League betting tips for all the rest of the weekend’s action.
- Venue: Villa Park
- Saturday 26 December 15:00
- Referee: Antony Taylor
- Quick Glance OddsH:66/67 D: 56/19 A: 3/1
About the Game:
A fixture dominated by the home side in each of the last four fixtures gives the hosts some confidence. Villa are in good form, winning twice and drawing once in the last three games. Jack Grealish’s performances this season are likely to ignite a frenzy of a scramble by suitors with Man United, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal (who need him more than any other side) expected to be interested in the England international. They had an easy 3 – 0 win against relegation battling West Brom, who were reduced to 10-men in the game. It is a result that takes the Villa up to 9th place, they have two games in hand, and if they win those games, it would see them rise to second, above Leicester City. Manager Steve Smith has overseen a huge transformation at Villa Park this season, last year they escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, scoring just three goals in the last four games. This season, they scored 18 in the opening seven games. The defence played a huge part; they have the most clean sheets in the league with seven, which is more than they achieved all season last campaign.
Crystal Palace was thumped 7 – 0 by Liverpool last weekend to extend their winless run to three games. While defeat against the champions was no surprise, losing by such a large scoreline is bound to hurt. It was a pedestrian performance from Palace, offering very little upfront and their defence struggling with wave after wave of Liverpool attacks. Part of the reason for the lack of firepower was the absence of Christian Benteke due to suspension. The Belgium is a player who can hold up the ball and is a constant threat in the air. He has scored three goals in the last three games he has played and will return for this game. Wilfred Zaha is the team’s top scorer with seven goals in the league. Villa face a tough run of fixtures, facing Leicester City, Arsenal, and Man City coming in the next five.
Prediction: Villa Win, over 2.5.
- Venue: Craven Cottage
- Saturday 26 December 15:00
- Referee: Darren England
- Quick Glance OddsH: 12/5 D: 27/11 A: 7/5
About the Game:
Fulham has only lost one game in the last five, a 2-0 loss to Manchester City. They had an excellent 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium against Leicester, and very credible draws against Liverpool. Brighton, and Newcastle in their last three games. Fulham are likely to feel aggrieved not to have picked up all three points against Newcastle; they took the lead in the 42nd minute due to an own goal by Matt Ritchie. Callum Wilson equalised from the spot in the 64th minute, even though the initial contact appeared to be outside the box. To make matters worse, Joachim Andersen received a red card, forcing the Cottagers to play for 28 minutes with ten men. They have conceded more penalties (5) than any other team and will need to improve their defensive frailties, having shown improvement in their attacking play. Fulham quickly need points, their ten points sees them in the relegation zone in 17th place. A positive note is the form of Ademola Lookman who is on loan from RB Leipzig. His runs down the left are an outlet for the team; the 23-year-old has two goals and two assists.
Southampton will hope to get back to winning ways after struggling against the big boys in the last five games. They drew 1 – 1 against Arsenal and lost by a single goal margin against the two Manchester teams. Against the so-called lesser teams they have been much more successful; beating Sheffield United 3 – 0 and Brighton 2 – 1. Fulham looks like their kind of opposition to get back to winning ways. The loss of Danny Ings (6 goals, three assists) through injury was a big blow, but Che Adams (four goals four assists) has proven a worthy replacement for the last year’s golden boot runner-up. Southampton is a potential threat to the top six’s established order with a reasonable claim for a top-four finish. Oriol Romeu will be suspended for his 10th booking, but Ralph Hasenhuttl side has the quality to win this one.
Prediction: Southampton Win, Over 2.5 goals.
- Venue: Emirates Stadium
- Saturday 26 December 17:30
- Referee: Michael Oliver
- Quick Glance OddsH: 3/1 D: 29/10 A: 1/1
About the Game:
The last time the two sides faced each other was when Mikel Arteta beat Frank Lampard to win his first managerial title in the FA Cup final. Lots have changed in the Arsenal camp since then, no win in eight games with a side in relegation form; they will find it hard convincing players to join the troubled camp in the January window. In the league, Arsenal’s tally of 14 points represents their worst start since 1974-75 when they won just three of the first 14 games. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who until he signed a new Arsenal contract was the club’s biggest goal threat, missed the 2-1 defeat at Everton and might be fit to return on Boxing Day. Another player who could return is Gabriel Martinelli who has been out with a shin injury. Arsenal’s woes worsened in mid-week, Manchester City knocking them out the EFL Cup by a 4-1 scoreline. Number two goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson’s howler allowing City to take control of the game. It’s incredible to see Arsenal in 15th with just 14 points, more than half of what the league leaders have. Not many people truly believe Arsenal will get relegated, but few teams will be afraid to face them unless performances improve on the pitch.
Chelsea had a comfortable 3 – 0 win against West Ham with Tammy Abraham bagging a brace in the encounter. The England international made his first-team claim after netting his 25th goal since the start of last season, seven more than any other player. The win ended their recent mini-slump to send them to fifth and give them the momentum heading into this encounter with their local rivals. Before the West Ham win, Chelsea lost 2-1 to Wolves and 1-0 at Everton. Of concern to Chelsea fans will be the form of big-money signing Timo Werner, the 23-year-old was scoring goals for fun in October and early November. The German has since been on a barren run of eight games in the Premier League, and ten in all competitions. He has made three assists in this period though (Newcastle, Leeds and West Ham).
Prediction: Chelsea win, over 2.5
- Venue: Etihad Stadium
- Saturday 26 December 20:00
- Referee: Andre Marriner
- Quick Glance OddsH: 1/7 D: 19/2 A: 16/1
About the Game:
Manchester City won 5 – 0 in this fixture last season and would need such a result in this game to keep pace with those at the top of the table. They moved to sixth, (eight points behind Liverpool) with a game in hand, after a hard-fought 1 – 0 win against Southampton. Raheem Sterling proved he is the ultimate Pep Guardiola star with his 149th goal involvement under the Spaniard, scoring the game’s only goal from a cut back by Kevin De Bruyne. As Manchester City manager this is Pep’s worst-ever start to a season. The side shortcomings in front of goal, meaning they are not killing off games in the usual way. Injury-plagued Sergio Aguero has only played 125 minutes this season and is yet to score a league goal. Gabriel Jesus has played well when deputising the Argentinian, but isn’t a prolific scorer, managing just two goals in seven appearances. Kevin De Bruyne is not surprisingly the team’s creative spark; he has made 15 assists already this season, three more than any other player. The City defence, the most expensively assembled in the world, are doing a good job. Conceding the fewest goals (12) and have kept six clean sheets.
Newcastle’s winless streak was extended to three games in midweek after they were humiliated in the Carabao Cup quarter-final by Championship side Brentford 1-0. While on paper it looks like Newcastle don’t have a prayer in this fixture, it’s worth remembering that Callum Wilson has as many league goals as Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez combined. The 28-year-old has as many goals this campaign as he did in 35 games for his former club Bournemouth. A Wilson goal earned his side a 1-1 draw in their last league game against Fulham. It was a fortunate point, showing the importance of the Englishman. Steve Bruce’s side currently sits in 12th on 18 points, eight clear of the relegation zone and seven behind a European spot.
Prediction: Manchester City win, BTTS
- Venue: Bramall Lane
- Saturday 26 December 20:00
- Referee: David Coote
- Quick Glance OddsH: 18/5 D: 3/1 A: 13/15
About the Game:
Sheffield United was denied their first win of the season in their 1-1 draw with Brighton. Defender Jayden Bogle came off the bench to score in his debut in the 63rd minute, 23 minutes after the Blades had been reduced to ten men. Danny Welbeck denied United the three points, the former Manchester United and Arsenal man levelling things up in the 87th minute. The two points they currently have in the league is the lowest ever tally after 14 games and leaves them ten points from safety. The annoying aspect for United fans is that they are playing well. In the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, they took the lead in the 5th minute scored by David McGoldrick. They then conceded three goals, but another David McGoldrick goal set up a grandstand finish with United unlucky not to get a point against there illustrious opponents. They showed their battling nature against Brighton in their next game, and you get the feeling a win is just around the corner.
Carlo Ancelotti celebrated the first anniversary of his appointment by beating Arsenal 2 – 1 to send his side to second place in the Premier League table. The Merseyside outfit has now beaten Chelsea, Leicester City, and Arsenal in a span of seven days. In the game against Arsenal they were far the better team, taking the lead through a Rob Holding own goal in the 45th minute. Nicolas Pépé levelled the game from the penalty spot on 35 minutes, but Yerry Mina restored the Toffees lead on the stroke of halftime. Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey, two of Ancelotti’s signings, were the best players on the pitch to show how well the Italian has imposed his style to his side. Gylfi Sigurdsson has had a goal involvement in each of the last two games, that is as many as he did in the previous seventeen at Goodison Park.
Prediction: Everton win.
- Venue: Elland Road
- Sunday 27 December 12:00
- Referee: Robert Jones
- Quick Glance OddsH: 4/5 D: 31/10 A: 39/10
About the Game:
Leeds have been the surprise package of the season, producing great performances game after game, even when the results are not going their way. Marcelo Biesla’s team only know one way to play, and they are among the most entertaining teams in the league this year. In their last game, they were beaten badly 6-2 by their M62 rivals Manchester United but played their part in a game that featured an incredible 43 shots. Even at 6-1 down, they played as if the scoreline was 0-0, scoring a marvellous consolation through Stuart Dallas stunning shot from outside the box. It’s not often that a team loses by a four-goal margin but still receives praise for the way they play. In the game against United, they conceded four in the first half, showing their defensive frailties and the 30 goals they have conceded so far is the most in the league. In attack, Patrick Bamford is having a great season; the 27-year-old has nine goals and one assist.
Burnley stormed out of the drop zone picking out an important 2 – 1 win and three precious points against Wolves. Ashley Barnes netted his first goal in more than a year, Chris Wood scoring the second as both striker’s form comes at a time they need it the most. Burnley has a tally of six goals in 12 games, marking them as the lowest scorers in the league before this game. Wood has been the spark of the side netting 17 goals since the start of last season, more than twice any other player in the Burnley side (Jay Rodriguez, 8). The Clarets were well organised at the back, giving Wolves no clear cut chances and only managed to score from the penalty spot late in the game. Sean Dyche would be looking for a big January transfer to boost the squad, having to work with little after losing some crucial first-team players without replacements. Two wins in the last three games and drawing the other one is signs of progress, having won just once in the previous 11 games.
Prediction: Draw, BTTS.
- Venue: The Hawthorns
- Sunday 20 December 19:15
- Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Quick Glance OddsH: 14/5 D: 29/10 A: 42/41
About the Game:
Jarrod Bowen has been the spark for West Ham with four goals and two assists. David Moyes has developed the Hammers into a disciplined and established side, playing great possession football and dominating games. They are at the upper end of the table, despite missing their best player Michail Antonio for most of the season. Chelsea’s Thiago Silva’s goal against them in the 3 – 0 defeat at the weekend was the first time their well-drilled defence conceded from a set-piece in 2020-2021 season. It was the first time they failed to score in the past ten away league games but have a platform to right their wrongs against a Brighton side in the relegation zone. West Ham has done great against such oppositions before and looks like a straight forward win for them, especially in their backyard.
West Ham has never beaten Brighton in the six Premier League they have played, winning three and drawing the other three, with the last three meetings all ending in draws. They have also had two consecutive draws against a side struggling in the drop zone, drawing with Sheffield United and Fulham. Neal Maupay needs to get more goals with just four and one assist to his name, a figure too low, especially with the number of chances they have created. Yves Bissouma has been impressive in a side that is struggling, attracting the likes of Liverpool. They currently sit just two points above the relegation zone.
Prediction: West Ham narrow win.
- Venue: Anfield
- Sunday 27 December 16:30
- Referee: Kevin Friend
- Quick Glance OddsH: 2/13 D: 43/5 A: 16/1
About the Game:
Liverpool showed they are rich in goal scorers with Roberto Firmino, Mohammed Salah, Jordan Henderson, and Takumi Minnamino all on the scoresheet as they overwhelmed Crystal Palace 7 – 0. It was a textbook away performance by the Champions. An act of soft retaliation for their 7 – 2 humiliation by Aston Villa. Liverpool is back at the top of the table, five points ahead of the nearest challenger Leicester, although both Manchester United and Aston Villa do have games in hand. It’s no surprise to see Mohamed Salah top the Liverpool scoring charts; the 28-year-old has thirteen goals and three assists so far this campaign. Salah is reportedly unsettled at Liverpool, the press claim he was upset about not being made captain, but that’s unlikely to stop him scoring goals. Liverpool have injury problems with seven players ruled out for this clash, but such is the squad depth, they will still expect to win this one.
Sam Allardyce’s record of never suffering relegation from the Premier League might well be under threat after taking over the reins at West Brom who sit in 19th, five points from safety. They showed great resilience in a battling 1-1 draw with Manchester City but then undid all their hard work by collapsing 3-0 against Aston Villa. The only win they have in the last six was a 1-0 win against bottom club Sheffield United, a rather fortunate win as the visitors had 21 attempts and Sam Johnstone in West Brom’s goal was the man of the match. The main issue is in defence, the Baggies have conceded 29 goals which is second only to Leeds United. And while Leeds have the attacking players to compensate, West Brom has only netted five times in the last 11 games. Big Sam will need to work miracles to get anything from this game.
Prediction: Liverpool win, over 2.5.
- Venue: Molineux Stadium
- Sunday 27 December 19:15
- Referee: Paul Tierney
- Quick Glance OddsH: 11/4 D: 11/5 A: 11/10
About the Game:
Wolves arrived at Turf Moor to face Burnley in high spirits, having beaten Chelsea 2-1 in their previous game with goals from Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto. However, without Raul Jimenez in the attack, they didn’t have a focal point up front and looked less threatening and lost 2-1. In the game, they enjoyed almost total dominance of the ball with 71% possession but didn’t trouble Nick Pope with just Ruben Neves long-range volley the real threat until Silva won and converted the 89th-minute penalty. They currently are 11th in the league, and after Tottenham, they face a trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United. Wolves are always capable of pulling off shock results, they beat Arsenal at the Emirates in November and managed to stop Leeds scoring in a 1-0 win at Elland Road.
Tottenham Hotspurs have faltered recently in the league, having led the Premier League for a fair part of the season, they have dropped to sixth, six points behind the league leaders. They haven’t recovered from the late defeat against Liverpool after spurning numerous chances in the game. This pattern was repeated in the 2-0 loss against Leicester; the London club struggled to contain Jamie Vardy who scored a penalty and was a thorn in their side all game. Leicester had 18 attempts, compared to eight from Tottenham. Despite this drop in form, any side containing Harry Kane (nine goals, ten assists) and Son Heung-Min (11 goals, four assists) is likely to get back to winning ways, Wolves could be the perfect opposition for them.
Prediction: Tottenham win.
Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*
|Aston Villa v Crystal Palace||Aston Villa win||19/20||1.95|
|Fulham v Southampton||Southampton win||13/10||4.48|
|Manchester City v Newcastle||Manchester City win||1/7||5.12|
|Sheffield United v Everton||Everton win||3/4||8.96|
|Leeds United v Burnley||Leeds win||4/6||14.94|
Bookie of the week: Our Pick
888sport are our bookie of the week. To find out everything you could want about 888sport, you can read our 888sport review.
* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.