Home I Football I Premier League New Year’s Eve Preview
With live football beginning at midday on Sunday, there are going to be some casualties when we usher in the New Year twelve hours later. Many pub-goers will be piling into the double, at just under 6/5, Crystal Palace and West Brom are two of those casualties as they face off against Man City and Arsenal respectively.
Whilst the double will probably be most punters’ play, that’s what the bookies want you to back. Let’s look at the stats and try and dig out some proper value.
First up, Palace hosts City at 12:00 on BT Sport 1. We all know City has won 18 on the bounce and are showing no signs of taking their foot off the gas as they seek to get the Premier League effectively sewn up so they can fully focus on the Champions League come mid-February. Whilst City is clearly firm favourite, they make no appeal at 2/7.
Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace is improving steadily as of late. Wilfried Zaha (pictured) has been outstanding and they appear a constant threat up front, despite Christian Benteke’s shocking selfishness and subsequent penalty miss, which cost them a pair of points against Bournemouth a few weeks back. Palace has scored 10 goals in their last 5 Premier League matches, including a couple against Arsenal the other night.
With the City win seemingly a certainty, Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 8/5 with William Hill represents excellent value. Whilst City’s defense has certainly improved this season, they have still shipped goals on their travels against far inferior opposition on their way to victories- they conceded away at Huddersfield and twice and at the Hawthorns before ultimately getting the job done. Speaking of the Hawthorns…
Sunday’s second live game, on Sky Sports at 4pm, sees the Baggies host the Gunners. With West Brom languishing second from bottom in the table many will think Arsenal bets are good things at 3/4 (1.75), but not us. Arsenal has really let down their backers on the road this season, having won just 3 of their 10 games. They’ve lost to Stoke and Watford and failed to beat West Ham and Southampton away- they were odds-on for all four of these fixtures. In short, if you’re smashing Arsenal at odds-on away from home in the Premier League- very best of luck to you.
We’ll be laying Arsenal at anything shorter than 4/5– particularly when you consider the Christmas fixture list. West Brom has had the luxury of an extra game off- mainly because the TV companies aren’t that bothered about them. A couple more days of rest could prove crucial against some tired Gunner legs on New Year’s Eve, who will be playing their second away game in four days.
We have no problem opposing Arsenal and the bet may very well be the draw at 3/1 (general) when you consider West Brom’s home record this season. They’ve drawn a whopping SIX out of their ten games at the Hawthorns, and three of those have been 0-0. Bet365 is 12/1 No Goalscorer– which is well worth an investment. Arsenal has played out two goalless draws on the road this season- at West Ham and at Chelsea. (Always back no goalscorer rather than 0-0 if the prices are the same, by the way, then you can laugh at own goals without them costing you cash).
West Brom are well-known for bus-parking at home and an Arsenal side- who were really made to work for their victory at Selhurst Park on Thursday night, could struggle to break down Pardew’s well-drilled (albeit toothless) side- to leave us boing boing bouncing all the way to the bank.
West Brom’s last game? Boxing Day, at home, 0-0 draw. More of the same please, lads.
Happy New Year folks and the very best of luck to you all.
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