Chelsea extended their winning run to 11 consecutive Premier League matches last time out, beating Crystal Palace by a goal to nil at Selhurst Park. It was another solid performance from Antonio Conte’s charges, who have now conceded only two goals in their last 1,040 minutes of action in the top flight.
Bournemouth await in the traditional Boxing Day round of fixtures, with the Blues likely to come out on top for the 12th encounter in a row. The absence of N’Golo Kante and Diego Costa through suspension could harm Chelsea’s fluency, but my tip for this clash at Stamford Bridge is a home win. Another option could be backing Conte’s charges to triumph with both teams to score – that wager is available at odds of 1.86 in the sportsbook.
My betting tip: Chelsea to beat Bournemouth.
Manchester United have started to click in the last few weeks, with their 2-0 success against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday making it 10 games without defeat in all competitions. The gap separating them from the Champions League places now stands at just four points, a margin that Jose Mourinho will believe is surmountable. Sunderland, conversely, are struggling near the bottom despite their 1-0 defeat of Watford last weekend, so it is unlikely to be a happy return to Old Trafford for David Moyes. I would recommend lumping on the Red Devils to get the better of the Black Cats here.
My betting tip: Manchester United to beat Sunderland.
Manchester City kept their championship hopes alive with a come-from-behind triumph over Arsenal in gameweek 17, a result which keeps them seven points behind table-toppers Chelsea. Pep Guardiola’s men remain suspect defensively but there can be no doubts that their attacking quality, with the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling among the best players in the division in their respective positions. Hull will struggle to halt the Citizens at the KCOM Stadium, so I would advise putting your money behind an away win in this one – that bet fetches a price of 1.30 in the sportsbook.
My betting tip: Manchester City to beat Hull.
Liverpool left it late before securing a victory against Everton in the Merseyside derby on Monday night, with Sadio Mane’s winner coming deep into stoppage time in the second half at Goodison Park. Stoke are now without a win in their last three outings in the Premier League, with a two-goal lead squandered in their most recent meeting with champions Leicester City. The Potters will find things difficult against a team with the attacking output that Liverpool possess, so I think a bet on the Reds to emerge victorious would be wise. To spice things up a little, consider a wager on Liverpool to win with over 3.5 goals scored in total.
My betting tip: Liverpool to beat Stoke.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur may have to settle for a share of the points when they travel to the south coast to take on Southampton on Wednesday evening, while Watford could pile even more pressure onto the shoulders of beleaguered Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew by taking all three points at Vicarage Road.
Arsenal should have little trouble overcoming West Bromwich Albion in front of their own supporters at the Emirates Stadium, so it could be worth considering including a home victory in north London alongside any of the above suggested wagers to make a combi bet. As a standalone, an Arsenal win is available at odds of 1.34 in the sportsbook.
By Greg Lea
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer for The National, FourFourTwo, Goal and others. Follow his Twitter account @GregLeaFootball for anything and everything related to soccer and more.