Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 17

Premier League Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 17

The new year is upon us and we all hope 2021 will be a better one. Join us as we recap how all the Premier League teams have been performing so far and we share our thoughts and tips for the upcoming fixtures. 

Match of the Day

On Sunday two of the ‘big six’ go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge. Free spending Chelsea has struggled for consistency and face Manchester City who is starting to find form despite struggling to kill off games. Will it be Frank Lampard or Pep Guardiola who wins this one?

Chelsea v Manchester City
Chelsea Form Guide DWDWD
Manchester City Form Guide DLWLW
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Sunday 3rd January 12:30
  • Referee: Antony Taylor
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 21/10 D:13/5 A: 31/21

About the Game:

No-one can accuse Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich of not backing manager Frank Lampard in the transfer market. The Chelsea boss brought in seven players in the transfer window, scooping up some of the football’s hottest properties. They spent £72m on Kai Havertz, £47.7m on Timo Werner, £45.18m on Ben Chilwell, £36m on Hakim Ziyech, £21.6m on Edouard Mendy as well as picking up Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva on free transfers. With this expenditure come great expectations and after the first game of the season, it looked positive for Chelsea, winning their first game away at Brighton 3-1. They lost the next game against Liverpool 2-0 at home before a nine-game unbeaten run which saw them climb towards the Premier League’s summit and looked genuine title contenders.

This run came to an abrupt halt in the middle of December when they faced Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute to give the home side a 1-0 win. They suffered another defeat three days later; Wolves’ Pedro Neto scoring in the 94th minute to snatch a 2-1 win. Chelsea bounced back with a win against local rivals West Ham, a Thiago Silva goal and two by Tammy Abraham giving them a 3-0 win. Any hopes that Chelsea would then go on a winning run were soon dashed as they suffered a humiliating defeat against out of sorts rival Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka doing the damage in a 3-1 defeat on Boxing Day. Two days later they could only manage a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.

Bet on Chelsea v Manchester City at 888sport

Manchester City, just like neighbours United, started the season a week later due to their involvement in Europe in the previous campaign. After conceding their title to Liverpool by a huge points difference of 18 points, many pundits expected City to bounce back and mount a serious challenge. In their first game of the season, they faced Wolves and easily dispatched them 3-1 at the Molineux Stadium, a penalty by Kevin De Bruyne and goals by Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus doing the damage. Another fairly routine win, this time a 2-1 win against Bournemouth followed before City tasted defeat for the first time, a heavy 5-2 beating by Leicester at the Etihad.

City would then go five games unbeaten but dropped points in three of those games with draws against Leeds (1-1), West Ham (1-1) and Liverpool (1-1). Meaning even at this early stage they were losing ground on those at the top of the table. They suffered their second defeat of the season in the game against Tottenham, José Mourinho’s side winning 2-0 courtesy of goals from Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso. Since that game in late November, Pep’s men have gone unbeaten, playing six and winning four, dropping four points with draws against Manchester United and West Brom. City’s game against Everton scheduled for the 28th of December was called off after several of the team tested positive for Covid-19.

Prediction: A score draw in a cagey affair.

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.

Everton v West Ham United
Everton Form Guide LLDWL
West Ham Form Guide WWLDD
  • Venue: Goodison Park
  • Friday 1st January 17:30
  • Referee: Kevin Friend
  • Quick Glance Odds H:1/1 D: 14/5 A: 31/10

About the Game:

Everton’s opening third of the season has been a mixed bag for the Toffees. They started the season on fire, winning their first seven games in all competitions and scoring 24 goals in those games. The winning streak came to an end against Liverpool, the two Merseyside clubs sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw. The club then went on a three-game losing run, 2-0 against Southampton, 2-1 against Newcastle and a 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in fine form for the Toffees, earning him his first call up for the England squad, the 23-year-old scored for the Three Lions on his debut against Wales. Everton have had extra rest going into this fixture, their game against Manchester City on Monday night was postponed due to a COVID outbreak in the City squad.

What a difference a season makes! Last year West Ham were in serious danger of being relegated, ending the season on 39 points, just five points more than Bournemouth who fell out of the top-flight. This season they have been a more solid team, picking up victories against Wolves, Leicester, Fulham, Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Leeds and sit comfortably in mid-table. Not surprisingly it is against the ‘big six’ clubs they have struggled against, losing 2-1 to Arsenal, 2-1 to Liverpool, 3-1 against Manchester United and 3-0 against Chelsea. Jarrod Bowen is a player to watch for the Hammers, the 24-year-old provides assists and is a goal threat from midfield. West Ham held Southampton to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday Evening, a good point, but it does mean the Hammers are on a four-game winless streak.

Prediction: Everton win, over 2.5.

Manchester United v Aston Villa
Manchester United Form Guide LLWDL
Aston Villa Form Guide DLLDW
  • Venue: Old Trafford
  • Friday 1 January 20:00
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 7/9 D: 17/5 A: 18/5

About the Game:

Manchester United endured a bad start to the 2020/21 season, losing two of their three opening games. The first was a 3-1 defeat at home in which former Manchester United player Wilfred Zaha scored two against his former club. Worse was to come, a 6-1 mauling at home by Tottenham Hotspurs, managed by United’s previous boss, José Mourinho. They drew 0-0 with Chelsea before another home defeat in their next home game, this time a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal. United then went on a great run, beating Everton, West Brom, Southampton, West Ham before a 0-0 draw with neighbours City. Their first home win by more than one goal came against bitter rivals Leeds, winning a classic encounter 6-2. Bruno Fernandes is the team’s main focal point; the Portuguese midfielder has been fine form all season. Marcus Rashford scored late in the 1-0 win over Wolves on Tuesday; it’s a win that puts them in second. As Liverpool could only draw with Newcastle on Wednesday, United could join Liverpool on 33 points if they win their game in hand.

Aston Villa is having a good season, having won all four of their opening fixtures. They had the chance to win each of their opening five league matches in a season for the first time in their history and go top of the Premier League, but Leeds United brought them down to earth, beating the Villians 3-0 at Villa Park. Villa have a good team, capable of beating anyone on the day, as seen in the incredible 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool, a result that shocked the footballing world. They also beat Arsenal by a resounding scoreline, 3:0 at the Emirates. Youngster Ollie Watkins is a threat up front with Jack Grealish also having a great season.

Prediction: Another late winner for Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspurs v Leeds United
Tottenham Hotspurs Form Guide LDWWD
Leeds United Form Guide LLLDD
  • Venue: Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium
  • Saturday 2nd January 12:30
  • Referee: David Coote
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 10/11 D: 31/10 A: 33/10

About the Game:

Tottenham fans will have perhaps feared the worst after the first game of the season, a 1-0 defeat at The London Stadium by Everton. However, after that defeat, Tottenham went on an 11-game unbeaten run which saw them top the Premier League table. What was surprising about this run was the different role that England captain Harry Kane played, providing goals for his Spurs teammate Son Heung-Min. By mid-December, Kane had ten assists to his name and had scored nine. As seen in the 6-1 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford, the deadly duo was scoring for fun, both Son and Kane scored two each that day, alongside Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier. Back-to-back defeats at Liverpool and Leicester saw them lose the top spot, but Tottenham should still be considered challengers for the title. Tottenham’s game against Fulham that was scheduled for 30th December was called off due to Co-vid.

While 2020 has been a nightmare for most of us, for the long-suffering Leeds United fans, it was the year that they finally got back into the big time after 16 years in exile in the Championship. If anyone was expecting a Marcelo Bielsa team to play it safe in order to avoid relegation, they were spectacularly wrong with the Leeds team only knowing one way to play, and that’s attacking. After 14 games they had 24 goals in the league and averaged 15.4 shots per game. In their first game of the season against Liverpool, they gave the champions a real fright, scoring three times but still ended up on the wrong side of a 4-3 scoreline. They won the next game against Fulham, the scoreline? 4-3. An entertaining team to watch with Patrick Bamford the player to keep an eye on.

Prediction: Tottenham win, over 2.5.

Crystal Palace v Sheffield United
Crystal Palace Form Guide DWDDL
Sheffield United Form Guide LDLDW
  • Venue: Selhurst Park
  • Saturday 2nd January 15:00
  • Referee: Stuart Attwell
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 13/12 D: 13/5 A: 31/10

About the Game:

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace has endured a rollercoaster season so far. It isn’t easy to gauge whether they will be fighting for relegation or unlikely outsiders for Europe. They started the season well, beating Southampton on the opening day, no mean feat as many clubs will testify this season. They followed up this start with a fine win 3-1 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Sadly, it was a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s show” in the next game with a 2-1 defeat at home to Everton and then a heavy 4-0 thumping by Chelsea. Crystal Palace are a bettors nightmare due to their unpredictability, they beat Leeds 4-1 and West Brom 5-1 but were slaughtered 7-0 by Liverpool.

If we were betting people, which we are, we think the Blades stay in the Premier League is going to be a very short one, and they could even steal the title of the worst team in Premier League history from the 2007 Derby County team. In that year, Derby was relegated in March after not securing a single win in 38 games. There is hope though for Sheffield United fans as they do have some good players and can still put up a fight. An example of this is the game v Manchester United in which they took a 2-0 lead; they did eventually lose that game 3-2, but it was still a positive performance.

Prediction: Palace win, under 2.5.

Brighton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Brighton Form Guide WLWWD
Wolves Form Guide WDWLD
  • Venue: Amex Stadium
  • Saturday 2nd January 17:30
  • Referee: Chris Kavanagh
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 30/17 D: 23/10 A: 19/10

About the Game:

Brighton are another team who will be worried about their Premier League survival. Wins have been rare this season with a 3-0 over Newcastle United at the beginning of the season and a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in November the only time they have taken three points. A very credible 1-1 draw against Liverpool was followed by a 2-1 defeat by Southampton and a 3-0 thumping by Leicester. A ray of hope comes in the shape of Solly March, the midfielder played well in games against Leicester, Fulham and Sheffield United, despite not being on the winning side in any of the games.

Wolves are a team who have struggled to put together a winning sequence this season. Back-to-back wins in September against Fulham (1-0) and Leeds (0-1) the only time the club has won more than once in a row. The surprising thing about the London club is that they normally bring their ‘A’ game against the ‘big six’ clubs as seen 2-1 win against Arsenal and another 2-1 against Chelsea. However, they lost the next game on both occasions. Pedro Neto is an exciting prospect; the 20-year-old midfielder was the man-of-the-match in the Chelsea game.

Prediction: Wolves win.

West Brom v Arsenal
West Brom Form Guide LLLLL
Arsenal Form Guide DWDWW
  • Venue: The Hawthorns
  • Saturday 2nd January 20:00
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 27/5 D: 57/17 A: 7/11

About the Game:

You know a team is in trouble when they sack their manager and install Sam Allardyce. Big Sam is the survival expert, never experiencing relegation in his long career. He took over Bolton in 1999 when the Trotters were 12th in Division One and took them to the heady heights of fifth in the Premier League, earning a UEFA Cup soiree in 2005/06. It is, however, his stints at struggling clubs that will give hope to Baggies fans. At West Ham, he took over when they were 20th, Sunderland when they were 19th and Crystal Palace when they were 17th, all avoided relegation. This appointment may be his biggest challenge yet; West Brom has won just once against Sheffield United. Big Sam did get a credible 1-1 draw with Liverpool on the 27th, but then was thrashed 5-0 by Leeds two days later.

When Mikel Arteta took over as Arsenal boss in December 2019, it seemed like a marriage made in heaven. The former Arsenal captain played for the club from 2011 – 2016, and in that time he played 110 games, scoring 14 times. In his first year at the helm, he won the FA Cup, meaning the club had European football this year, despite finishing in 8th place. A year later and the Spaniard is hanging on by a thread, flirting with the relegation zone and getting dumped out of the EFL Cup 4-1 by Manchester City. Since November, they have suffered defeats in the league against Aston Villa (3-0), Wolves (2-1), Tottenham (2-0), Burnley (0-1) and Everton (2-1). Recent results have been better, beating Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day and a 1-0 win away to Brighton on the 29th.

Prediction: Routine Arsenal win.

Burnley v Fulham
Burnley Form Guide WDLDD
Fulham Form Guide WWWLW
  • Venue: Turf Moor
  • Sunday 3nd January 12:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 7/5 D: 40/17 A: 19/8

About the Game:

Burnley endured a terrible start to the season, losing three games in a row against Leicester (4-2), Southampton (0-1) and Newcastle (3-1). A 0-0 draw with West Brom gave them a rare point before losing the next two games against Tottenham (0-1) and Chelsea (3-0). They managed another 0-0 draw, doubling their points total against Brighton before finally winning their first game, a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. A 5-0 hammering by Manchester City in November seems to have motivated the team as they then went four games unbeaten and picked up good wins against Arsenal (0-1) and Wolves (2-1). Burnley finished 10th last season

Fulham, just like their opponents Burnley, started the 2020/21 campaign badly with fixtures pitting them against tough opposition. They lost to Arsenal (before Arsenal’s loss of form) 3-0, scored three but were still defeated 4-3 by Leeds, lost 3-0 to Aston Villa and 1-0 to Wolves. It wasn’t until mid-October that The Cottagers earned their first point in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United. Another loss followed, a 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace. At the beginning of November, Fulham finally got their first win of the season, a 2-0 victory over West Brom. Two more defeats followed (1-0 West Ham & 2-3 Everton) before they had their best result of the season, a 2-1 win against Leicester. Up until Boxing Day, they didn’t lose a game in December, drawing three games against Liverpool (1-1), Brighton (0-0) and Newcastle (1-1).

Prediction: Burnley win.

Newcastle v Leicester
Newcastle Form Guide LDDDW
Leicester City Form Guide WWLWD
  • Venue: St. James Park
  • Sunday 3nd January 14:15
  • Referee: Robert Jones
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 23/5 D: 16/5 A: 5/7

About the Game:

Newcastle’s biggest problem this season has been consistency, with the club struggling to string two wins together in the league. They started the new campaign well, beating West Ham 2-0 away. They then lost the next game 3-0 at home to Brighton. A great 1-1 draw against Tottenham was followed by a 3-1 win over Burnley. In the next match, Manchester United inflicted their heaviest defeat of the season, 4-1 at home. They then had a draw with Wolves (1-1) and an excellent 2-1 win against Everton before suffering back-to-back defeats against Southampton (2-0) and Chelsea (0-2). The Magpies finally got a sequence of wins with victories over Crystal Palace (0-2) and West Brom (2-1) before the inevitable crash with a heavy 5-2 defeat by Leeds. Hopes of an EFL cup win were also dashed, crashing out at the quarter-final stage 1-0 by Championship side Brentford, ensuring a miserable Christmas for supporters. Newcastle failed to win in the league over Christmas, losing 2-0 to Manchester City and drawing 0-0 with Liverpool on the 30th.

The 2016 Premier League champions started the season extremely well with a 3-0 win away at West Brom and a 4-2 scoreline against Burnley. They shocked Manchester City at the Etihad in their third game, Jamie Vardy scoring a sensational hat-trick in a stunning 5-2 win. The next two games were lost; 3-0 at home to West Ham and Aston Villa took all three points at The King Power with a 1-0 win. Another hat-trick of wins came next; A good 1-0 at the Emirates against Arsenal, thumping Leeds 4-1 at Elland Road and a 1-0 victory at home to Wolves. Leicester the once again suffered back-to-back defeats (3-0 Liverpool and 1-2 Fulham) before getting back to winning ways against Sheffield United (1-2) and Brighton (3-0). Recent form has been erratic with a 2-0 defeat at home by Everton followed by an excellent 2-0 win at Tottenham, the former league leaders. Foxes fans will be hoping to claim a top-four spot, having let top four slip through their fingers last season.

Prediction: Leicester win, over 2.5.

Southampton v Liverpool
Southampton Form Guide DDWLL
Liverpool Form Guide LWDLL
  • Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium
  • Monday 4th January 20:00
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 4/1 D: 18/5 A: 7/10

About the Game:

Since Southampton was re-promoted in the 2012/13 season, it has been a rollercoaster ride for Saints fans. From the heady heights of 6th in the 2015/16 campaign to escaping relegation by three points in the 2017-18 season, only saved by the terrible form of 18th placed Swansea who lost their last five games in a row. This season, Southampton have at times been excellent, even topping the Premier League table. The season start didn’t start well though, losing their opening two games against Crystal Palace 1-0 and Tottenham 5-0. Southampton then went on a seven-game unbeaten streak that included wins against Burnley (0-1), West Brom (2-0), Everton (2-0), Aston Villa (3-4) and Newcastle United (2-0). The Saints suffered a 2-3 defeat against Manchester United despite a 2-0 lead in the first half but bounced back with victories against Brighton and Sheffield United. 

Liverpool won the title at a canter last season, finishing on 99 points, 18 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City and an incredible 33 points ahead of the third-placed team, Manchester United. This season they were handed a tough start to the season with games against Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal. They passed this test, beating Leeds 4-3 in an incredible game, beat Chelsea 2-0 and 3-1 against Arsenal. They did, however, suffer defeat in their fourth game. Aston Villa providing the greatest shock of the season by beating the champions by seven goals to two. This would be the only defeat they would suffer in 2020, going the next 12 games unbeaten. Despite this run, their current form has not been what we would expect from Liverpool with the Reds dropping points in six games (Everton, Manchester City, Brighton, Fulham, West Brom, and Wednesday against Newcastle). They currently lead the Premier League by three points, but Manchester United in second do have a game in hand.

Prediction: Liverpool win, BTTS.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Everton v West Ham United Everton win 19/20 1.95
Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United Tottenham win 3/4 3.41
Crystal Palace v Sheffield United Crystal Palace win 19/20 6.65
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal Arsenal win 3/5 10.64
Newcastle United v Leicester City Leicester win 8/13 17.19

Place a  bet on this 5-fold accumulator at 888sport

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.

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