Premier League Matchday 18 Preview – Prediction + Tips 2018/19

As Christmas and a time to kick-back and relax for most of the world approaches, Premier League footballers are preparing for their first of four games to be played within ten days.

The hectic Christmas period can make or break a team’s season. Manchester United head into it without José Mourinho in charge, with the manager sacked on Tuesday. Cardiff may fancy their chances against the Red Devils then, while Manchester City will surely be licking their lips at the prospect of a visit from Crystal Palace.

Match of the Day

West Ham have recorded four wins in a row and have flown into the top ten. Watford ended a dire run with a win last weekend, though it was nervier than it should have been.

West Ham v Watford
West Ham Form Guide DWDWD
Watford Form Guide DLWLW
  • Venue: The London Stadium
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Lee Mason
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 13/10 D: 11/5 A: 21/10

About the Game:

West Ham have more than made up for their poor start to the season with four wins on the bounce. Before this run, the Hammers had gone two years without winning back-to-back games. You’d have to look back to the 2013/14 season for the last time West Ham won four consecutive games.

Not only are the Hammers winning, but they are scoring goals freely. That will be a worry for Watford, whose defence is far from solid at the moment. Robert Snodgrass is the most in-form player in the league, while Felipe Anderson is showing the EPL just what he is capable of. Andy Carroll will be pushing Chicharito for a start here, as West Ham, despite an injury to first-choice forward Marco Arnautovic, finally seem to have depth to their team. West Ham recorded a clean sheet last week, but it was just their second of the season, and defensive solidity remains the one negative aspect of this West Ham team. Improve there and they will be a match not just for Watford here, but for any Premier League team.

Bet on the West Ham vs Watford game this weekend

Watford finally won last week, but it was a lot closer than it should have been. Despite being three goals up, they then shipped two goals at home to Cardiff, who could have grabbed a point.

That points to the nervousness in a team who hadn’t won in six games prior to the match against Cardiff. Having got that win, we could see a return to form from the Hornets. This match and the next against Chelsea will be tough, but the fixture list easens afterwards. A lack of defensive cohesion has also been the problem for Watford. They have three clean sheets, just one more than West Ham, and will have a tough job of keeping out one of the league’s most in-form attacking lines.

Prediction: Both teams to score – These teams have just five clean sheets between them all year and both play attacking, free-scoring football.

Rest of the Premier League Games

League leaders Liverpool make a tricky trip to Wolves, while Manchester City host Crystal Palace. There are important games at the other end of the table, where Huddersfield host Southampton and Newcastle host bottom place Fulham.

Wolves v Liverpool
Wolves Form Guide LLDWL
Liverpool Form Guide WWLDD
  • Venue: Molineux
  • Friday 21 December 20:00
  • Referee: Craig Pawson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 5/1 D: 7/2 A: 1/2

About the Game:

Wolves’ poor run seems an age away now after three wins in a row. Making it four is going to be exceptionally difficult though. They face league leaders Liverpool, who are unbeaten all season. Wolves did take points from Manchester City earlier in the season, so they may fancy their chances of grabbing at least a point.

Liverpool raised their game for the visit of Manchester United last weekend, where their win resulted in ex United boss José Mourinho losing his job. They must maintain that level of energy here though, which won’t be easy. Wolves are a very tough oponent at home and a Liverpool win is far from certain.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals – Wolves are inform and strong at home. They will make things very tough for the league leaders here.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal Form Guide LLWDL
Burnley Form Guide DLLDW
  • Venue: The Emirates
  • Saturday 22 December 12:30
  • Referee: Kevin Friend
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/9 D: 11/2 A: 10/1

About the Game:

Arsenal’s incredible unbeaten run finally came to an end last weekend, when a catastrophic error from keeper Bernd Leno cost the Gunners the match, and handed Southampton a vital three points. Arsenal are at home here and will surely be better, but their defending is still sloppy, and with most first-choice defenders out injured, is unlikely to improve here.

Burnley too were denied a point after a last minute goal from Tottenham. That was a hammer blow to the Clarets, who already need every point they can get. Arsenal at home is a tough fixture and Burnley may be forced to defend for the majority of this match.

Prediction: Arsenal Win & Over 2.5 goals – Neither team are capable of a clean sheet, while Arsenal are scoring freely.

Bournemouth v Brighton
Bmouth Form Guide LDWWD
Brighton Form Guide LLLDD
  • Venue: Vitality Stadium
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Mike Dean
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 5/6 D: 13/5 A: 16/5

About the Game:

Bournemouth were poor again last weekend and defeat has seen them slip outside of the top ten. Callum Wilson should return to the starting lineup here which will give the Cherries more edge upfront, but Bournemouth’s tough fixtures are not through yet.

Brighton too fell to defeat last weekend and face perhaps the toughest run of fixtures of any EPL team. Getting points on the board where they can is vital, and this is as good a chance as any over the next six weeks or so. 

Prediction: Bournemouth Draw no bet – Bournemouth are strong against teams outside of the top six and shouldn’t let home advantage slip here.

Chelsea v Leicester
Leicester Form Guide DWDDL
Leicester Form Guide LDLDW
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Lee Probert
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/3 D: 4/1 A: 15/2

About the Game:

Chelsea won again, but Sarri is right to say that his team currently seems to panic when leading matches. His team made things much more difficult than they should have been last week, so Sarri will surely be focusing on keeping his defence in order.

Back-to-back defeats has seen Leicester slip out of the top ten. Jamie Vardy is back in the team, but the Foxes have a tough game here, then face Manchester City next.

Prediction: Chelsea Win & Both teams to score no – Eden Hazard should be fit and we expect Chelsea to improve defensively. 

Huddersfield v Southampton
Huddersfield Form Guide WLWWD
Soton Form Guide WDWLD
  • Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Stuart Atwell
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 2/1 D: 21/10 A: 29/10

About the Game:

Huddersfield have lost four games in a row and are now second from bottom in the table. They could leapfrog Southampton with a win here, but the visitors may be on a high after winning last weekend. 

Southamptons’s new manager inspired an impressive win against Arsenal last weekend. Could that be the start of a rise up the table? That remains to be seen, but the Saints will at the very least head into this match with confidence.

Prediction: Southampton Draw no bet – This will have the feel of a six pointer, but we expect to see an improvement from Southampton.

Manchester City v Crystal Palace
Man C Form Guide LLLLL
Crystal Palace Form Guide DWDWW
  • Venue: The Etihad
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 1/8 D: 8/1 A: 14/1

About the Game:

City bounced back from defeat as expected with a routine win last weekend. Once again they were unable to keep a clean sheet, meaning they are now seven games without a clean sheet. A win is surely on the cards here, especially when we could see both Sergio Agüero and Kevin de Bruyne back in the starting lineup.

Palace finally broke the curse of winning without Wilfried Zaha in the team. Zaha will return here, but few Palace fans will expect even his presence to inspire a victory.

Prediction: Manchester City Win & Over 2.5 goals – Palace struggle against the best teams and City could run riot here.

Newcastle v Fulham
Newcastle Form Guide WDLDD
Fulham Form Guide WWWLW
  • Venue: St James’ Park
  • Saturday 22 December 15:00
  • Referee: Martin Atkinson
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 19/20 D: 5/2 A: 11/4

About the Game:

Newcastle earned a vitally important three points against fellow strugglers Huddersfield last weekend. This week’s match is just as important. Beat Fulham here and they could start to put real distance between themselves and the relegation zone. 

Claudio Ranieri, despite a win five games ago, hasn’t had a particularly great start to life as Fulham boss. Three points here would be even more important for Fulham than Newcastle. Should Fulham lose, and other teams around them win, they will be even further adrift of the teams above them.

Prediction: Newcastle Draw no bet – Newcastle look much better than Fulham currently and will surely not lose in front of their own fans.

Cardiff v Manchester United
Cardiff Form Guide LDDDW
Man U Form Guide WWLWD
  • Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
  • Saturday 22 December 17:30
  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 11/2 D: 14/5 A: 11/20

About the Game:

Cardiff are out of the relegation zone, but things are tight down there. They host an out of sorts Manchester United who have just sacked their manager, so Cardiff have every right to believe they have a good chance here.

Mourinho José Mourinho was relieved of his duty as manager on Tuesday and is to be replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim until the end of the season. No-one really knows quite what to expect from United here then. It’s possible Mourinho’s departure may lift the shackles off the players, but it really is anyone’s guess.

Prediction: Both teams to score – A tough match to call, but Cardiff are strong at home and United are sure to be at least a little unorganised.

Everton v Tottenham
Everton Form Guide DDWLL
Spurs Form Guide LWDLL
  • Venue: Goodison Park
  • Sunday 23 December 16:00
  • Referee: Paul Tierney
  • Quick Glance Odds H: 23/10 D: 12/5 A: 23/10

About the Game:

Everton are without a win in four after a number of tough fixtures. They face another top team here, but at least have home advantage. Everton set up very defensively against Manchester City last weekend, but Silva may deploy a more balanced formation here, as the Toffees go for the win.

Tottenham are managing to pick up wins even when not playing so well. A last minute winner sunk Burnley last weekend, as Spurs keep up the pressure at the top. Harry Kane may miss this match through illness and would be a big loss, so Spurs’ luck may runout here.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals – Both teams play attacking football and we expect goals with or without Kane.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
West Ham v Watford Both teams to score 8/13 1.61
Newcastle v Fulham Newcastle Draw no bet 2/5 2.26
Arsenal v Burnley Arsenal Win & Over 2.5 goals 8/5 5.88
Wolves v Liverpool Under 2.5 goals 1/1 11.76
Bournemouth v Brighton Bournemouth Draw no bet  4/11 16.03

Place a bet on this at Coral

Bookie of the week: Our Pick

Coral are our bookie of the week. To find out all you need to know about Coral you can read our Coral 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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