- It’s Matchday 19 in the EPL, with a full Boxing Day schedule
- The top two clash at Leicester’s King Power Stadium
- Man Utd odds-on to beat flying Newcastle and Villa positive money to beat Norwich
Boxing Day is always a big day in the English footballing calendar and Matchday 19 also happens to mark the halfway point of the English Premier League.
The usual two-horse race between Liverpool and Manchester City hasn’t materialized and instead of Liverpool and Man City fighting it out as per usual, Leicester City has gate-crashed the party. But it’s still the Reds’ title to lose
As ever, there’s still plenty of betting value out there in the EPL and so we’ll have a look and see if we can find some for Thursday’s games.
Premier League Matchday 19 Odds
|Tottenham||-1 (-109)||-189||O 3 (-103)|
|Brighton||+1 (-111)||+436||U 3 (-117)|
|Aston Villa||pk, -0.5 (-121)||+111||O 3 (-122)|
|Norwich City||pk, +0.5 (+101)||+211||U 3 (+102)|
|Bournemouth||+0.5 (-114)||+246||O 3 (-112)|
|Arsenal||-0.5 (-106)||-106||U 3 (-108)|
|Chelsea||-1.5 (-101)||-303||O 3, 3.5 (-102)|
|Southampton||+1.5 (-119)||+596||U 3, 3.5 (-118)|
|Crystal Palace||pk, -0.5 (-106)||+124||O 2.5 (-114)|
|West Ham||pk, +0.5 (-114)||+211||U 2.5 (-106)|
|Everton||-0.5, -1 (-113)||-152||O 2.5 (-108)|
|Burnley||+0.5, +1 (-107)||+396||U 2.5 (-112)|
|Sheffield United||-0.5 (-121)||-121||O 2, 2.5 (-118)|
|Watford||+0.5 (+101)||+306||U 2, 2.5 (-102)|
|Manchester United||-1.5 (+105)||-312||O 2.5, 3 (-111)|
|Newcastle United||+1.5 (-125)||+721||U 2.5, 3 (-109)|
|Leicester||+0.5 (-125)||+226||O 2.5, 3 (-119)|
|Liverpool||-0.5 (+105)||+105||U 2.5, 3 (-101)|
|Wolves||+1, +1.5 (+101)||+636||O 3, (-108)|
|Manchester City||-1, -1.5 (-121)||-286||U 3 (-112)|
All odds taken Dec. 24
EPL Pick 1: Leicester City vs Liverpool
Leicester’s chance to make ground on Liverpool at the weekend was denied them by an impressive performance by Man City at the Etihad. City’s 3-1 win closed the gap on the Foxes and went some way to reaffirming their position as Liverpool’s closest challengers for the title, but it was still a performance to be proud of from Leicester who took the lead through Jamie Vardy.
Liverpool’s weekend was spent in Qatar, where they picked up their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup crown after beating Flamengo 1-0 in the final – the winning goal coming in extra-time from Roberto Firmino. They returned to England still with a healthy ten-point lead at the top of the EPL but the celebrations that followed and the grueling journey home from the Middle East will make the trip to Leicester a testing one for them.
The Foxes will be keen that, after such an excellent season, they don’t lose two on the bounce, so the value here looks to be with the draw. It’s hard to see the Reds losing, such has been their dominance with a fit Virgil van Dijk at the heart of their defense, but Leicester will create chances for Vardy. It’ll be tight.
Pick: Leicester and Liverpool to draw (+241)
EPL Pick 2: Aston Villa vs Norwich City
Villa face their second ‘relegation six-pointer’ of the week, after suffering a bruising 3-1 home defeat at the weekend to Southampton. The win for Saints meant they leapfrogged Aston Villa in the table and, in doing so, sent the Midlanders down into the relegation zone for the first time.
The visit of Norwich, who themselves are six points away from safety, makes for another huge game at Villa Park. The Canaries will, of course, be looking not to lose ground on Villa but, more importantly, will be hoping to bridge the gap between themselves and the safety of 17th place.
While Villa were getting beat by Southampton, Norwich were conspiring to lose 2-1 at home to Wolves in a game they really should have won. A fine first-half performance by the Canaries yielded only a single goal when really they could have gone in at the interval with a three or four-goal lead.
They were made to pay dearly for those missed chances when a revitalized Wolves scored twice to claim the points.
Again, this will a tight one but Villa have quality and as they remain in positive money for the win, there is value there.
Pick: Villa to win (+111)
EPL Pick 3: Manchester United vs Newcastle United
After a difficult start to the season for Steve Bruce and his Newcastle team, the Toon – as they are known – have quietly gone about their business. Saturday’s home win over Crystal Palace saw them leapfrog the Eagles in the table and go up to an impressive 9th – not bad for a team who after the first few weeks of the season looked destined for a relegation battle.
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd team, it’s been very much a case of one step forward and two steps back. The thrilling win over their City rivals a few weeks ago has long since been forgotten and at the weekend they were beaten 2-0 away at bottom-of-the-table Watford.
So, let’s not ignore the away win here, which is on offer at a juicy +721. Man Utd will still be reeling from the weekend and the Toon are on a roll.
Pick: Newcastle to win (+721)