In what was a hugely hectic period for the Premier League over Christmas and the New Year, the league has taken on a somewhat slightly different shape as we head into the second set of fixtures in the new year this weekend.
No longer are Liverpool unbeaten after the Reds were defeated 2-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad and then they followed that up with a defeat to Wolves in the FA Cup Third Round by the same scoreline, the second time in three years that Wolves had booted the Anfield side out of the FA Cup.
That defeat meant that Manchester City, who had suffered a torrid Christmas with defeats to both Crystal Palace and Leicester City over the festive period, closed the gap on Liverpool at the top of the table to four points ahead of FA Cup Third Round Weekend and with Tottenham firing in plenty of goals at the minute and just a couple of points further back, the Londoners are not out of the title race.
Chelsea and Arsenal however may be after both suffered mixed results over the festive period, Arsenal were thumped 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield, and Chelsea were beaten at home by Leicester City and it looks like these teams may be embroiled in a battle for fourth place in the Premier League with a resurgent Manchester United, who have won all of their last five games since appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the manager.
This weekend there are some key games to enjoy in the Premier League and as always we are going to give you our top tips on the games. Remember, if you fancy a flutter on the games, then bet365 is the place to head. New customers can sign up with the bet365 Sport New Customer Promotion, which could see you benefit from up to £100 in bet credits once you are betting on the site.
Premier League Matchday 22
The games will be played from Saturday 12th to Monday 14th January. Games kick off at 3pm unless stated. All odds shown are correct with bet365 Sport as of 1.20pm on Tuesday 8th January.
Saturday 12th January
West Ham v Arsenal (12.30)
Arsenal have a brilliant record against West Ham, losing just one of the last 23 games between the teams over the years. West Ham’s form this season has been up and down and in truth, so has Arsenal’s of late, but the Gunners have shown an impressive ability to put lesser teams to bed and I think that is precisely what they will do here. I’d back the Gunners to win this one 3-1 in a game that traditionally usually has plenty of goals.
Tip – The visitors have a great record against the Hammers so back Arsenal to land the win here at even money.
Brighton v Liverpool
Liverpool come into this game on the back of two successive defeats, albeit it was a very under-strength team against Wolves last time out. Brighton have done well at home against a number of top sides this season but Liverpool have a good record on the road against the Seagulls and after two defeats, they are going to want to get back to winning ways to maintain their lead at the top of the table and I I think they’ll do precisely that. Liverpool to win 2-0.
Tip – Liverpool (2/7) have a good record at Brighton and I expect them to keep that run going here.
Burnley v Fulham
This is a crucial game for both sides as they seek to avoid relegation but the fact is that Fulham’s recent form isn’t great, while Burnley have won all their last three. Add to that the fact this is at Turf Moor and that Burnley have a generally good record against Fulham over the years and I think this will be a hard fought game that Burnley will just about win 2-1.
Tip – A real relegation six-pointer, but Burnley have the edge in recent form and they are worth backing here at 11/8.
Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town
Another crucial relegation battle sees Huddersfield, who have lost their last nine, face a Cardiff side that are eight points clear of them in the table. A win for the Bluebirds here would be crucial to their hopes of staying in the top flight and in truth, I think that is precisely what they will get. Back Cardiff to win this one 1-0.
Tip – Another crucial bottom of the table clash, but Huddersfield’s form is so poor that Cardiff City are great value at 6/5.
Crystal Palace v Watford
These two teams are amongst the more inconsistent in the Premier League. Palace should be doing better than they have been while Watford have picked up solid results throughout the season. That gives Watford the edge, but something tells me Palace will be up for this one and as such, I think a 1-1 draw is the most likely outcome.
Tip – Two sides that are hard to predict, which makes me feel that a score draw at 11/5 is the wise option.
Leicester City v Southampton
Leicester suffered an FA Cup shock at the hands of Newport County last weekend and they’ll want to bounce back at the King Power against an out of sorts Southampton. The Saints are playing better under Ralph Hassenhuttl, but things are still tough for them. I expect this to be a close one but I am backing Leicester to come out on top by a 2-1 scoreline.
Tip – Leicester City do blow hot and cold but after their FA Cup defeat to Newport they’ll bounce back here with a win at 19/20.
Chelsea v Newcastle United (5.30)
Can I make any case for Newcastle to get a result here? Rafa Benitez men have been tough to beat on the road this season but Chelsea is a very tough place to go and get a rare away win. Chelsea may have been a little below par of late but even so, that should still be more than enough for them to record a win, probably by a 3-0 scoreline.
Tip – Chelsea (1/4) are not looking quite as invincible of late and while Newcastle will make it tough, the home side should win this easily.
Sunday 13th January
Everton v Bournemouth (2.15)
Bournemouth have been really out of sorts of late and are struggling to get anything going in any competition and I can’t see that improving here against an Everton side that have been slowly improving under Marco Silva, despite the odd blip. Everton have struggled a little at home of late but I am backing them to get back to winning ways here with a 3-1 victory.
Tip – Bournemouth are right out of sorts at the moment and Goodison Park is a tough place to go. Take Everton to win at 8/11.
Tottenham v Manchester United (4.30)
These two teams are amongst the form teams in the Premier League at the moment and this should be a cracking game at Wembley. Spurs are the favourites but I think United will really push them hard as they did Chelsea earlier in the season and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turning things around, I am backing United to give Spurs their first taste of a draw this season. This one will end about 2-2.
Tip – Spurs won 3-0 at Old Trafford but I am expecting a much closer game here between a resurgent United. Take the draw here at 13/5.
Monday 14th January
Manchester City v Wolves (8.00)
After beating Liverpool and then thumping Rotherham, City look back to their best and they will feel they have a point to settle with a Wolves side who drew with them at Molineux earlier in the season. Wolves beat Liverpool on Monday and have a great record against the top sides, but I think this will be a really tough ask for them. City should win this one and 4-1 looks about the right scoreline.
Tip – Man City (1/6) at home, even against Wolves should be a sure fire selection for a home win.
Ian has been a lifelong avid poker player, and is also well-versed in the worlds of online sports betting, casino gaming, and the burgeoning eSports industry. UK-based Ian has written for several years for a wide variety of online publications, and is especially adept at bringing readers inside the latest and greatest games.