PREMIER LEAGUE: 20th ROUND

In this post betting tips and previews of the 20th round of english Premier League matches scheduled on 2 and 3 January 2016.

In this post betting tips and previews of the 20th round of english Premier League matches scheduled on 2 and 3 January 2016.


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WEST HAM - LIVERPOOL

 

TEAM NEWS

 

West Ham
  • Slaven Bilic could tinker with the team that beat Southampton 2-1 on Monday.
  • Dimitri Payet has returned to full training for the first time since the start of November and is in line to start against Liverpool, although Bilic will be aware of the consequences of rushing him back too quickly.
  • Manuel Lanzini should come into the starting XI after marking his comeback against Southampton from the subs' bench.
  • Aaron Cresswell will come back in at left-back if he can recover from the muscle problem that saw him miss out against Saints.
  • Slaven Bilic could opt to start Andy Carroll up front if he wants to play long ball tactics, which has been so effective in cancelling out Liverpool's high intensity press this season.
Liverpool
  • Minimal changes are expected despite only having a few days to recover from Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Sunderland.
  • Jordan Henderson is extremely unlikely to feature having limped off in their win in the North East and will be replaced by Lucas.
  • Jordon Ibe is also in contention to replace Adam Lallana in the starting XI, with the latter unlikely to be able to handle two 90-minute performances in such a short space of time.
  • Daniel Sturridge claims to be fit, but isn't expected to start. And Jon Flanagan is still a distance from making his first-team return, despite getting minutes for the Under-21's earlier this week.

 

 

PREDICTION

 

  • West Ham ended a run of five straight draws with a hard fought 2-1 win over Southampton on Monday. The Hammers will have recieved a boost by the return of Dimitri Payet, although it's not known whether he will feature from the start against Liverpool on Saturday.
  • Liverpool slogged out a 1-0 win away to Sunderland on Wednesday and will only have a few days before making the trip to London to face West Ham, who have had two extra days to prepare for this clash. This should really hinder Liverpool's ability of deploying the high intensity press that Jurgen Klopp prefers.
  • West Ham won the reverse fixture 3-0 earlier this season, but it should be a much tighter affair here.

 

 

DRAW (3.50, Matchbook)

UNDER 1.5 FIRST HALF (1.32, Matchbook)

WEST HAM DOUBLE CHANCE (1.75, Matchbook)

 

 

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ARSENAL - NEWCASTLE

 

TEAM NEWS

 

Arsenal
  • Mathieu Flamini is a doubt for this fixture, which could give Calum Chambers another start in central midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey.
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also retain his starting berth on the wing at the expense of Joel Campbell and Gabriel could feature once more at the heart of the defence after a faultless showing last time out.
  • Nacho Monreal is expected to return after being given a break in their 2-0 win over Bournemouth last time out.
  • Petr Cech kept a Premier League ecord 170th clean sheet against Bournemouth and will have his eye on another here.
Newcastle United
  • Steve McClaren will be hoping to recall upon the services of Rob Elliot after the goalkeeper withdrew from the starting XI moments before kick off against West Brom threw illness.
  • Vurnon Anita isn't expected to recover from the muscle injury he picked up in the defeat at the Hawthorns, with Cheick Tiote in line to start.
  • Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic will be hoping to keep their places in the starting XI, although Siem de Jong is pushing for a recall.

 

 

PREDICTION

 

  • The team that has started the year top of the Premier League has gone on to win the league in five of the last six seasons and Arsenal will be looking to continue that trend. They, however, led the way at this stage in the 2013/14 campaign and would only finish fourth, so Arsene Wenger will be looking to avoid another collapse in the title run-in.
  • The Gunners will welcome a Newcastle side that has been hit and miss in recent weeks. Steve McClaren's men are still two points from safety and are winless in their last three outings.
  • The Magpies haven't triumphed in this fixture since November 2007 and have lost eight encounters with Arsenal in the Premier League. They could be set for further misery here as Arsenal looked to start the season in emphatic fashion.

 

 

 

HOME WIN (1.32, Sporting Bet)

HOME WIN HANDICAP (-1.0) (2.00, Sporting Bet)

GIROUD TO SCORE ANYTIME (2.00, Sporting Bet)

 

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LEICESTER - BOURNEMOUTH

 

TEAM NEWS

 

Leicester
  • Claudio Ranieri welcomed back Danny Drinkwater to the team on Tuesday night, leaving Jeffrey Schlupp and Matt James as his only injury absentees for this fixture.
  • The Leicester manager put five in midfield for the 0-0 draw against Manchester City, but is expected to revert to a more attacking formation this time around with one of Leonardo Ulloa or Shinji Okazaki expected to partner Jamie Vardy up front.
  • Gokhan Inhler could be the man to miss out here.
Bournemouth
  • Eddie Howe has no new injury concerns for the trip to the King Power Stadium and will name his strongest possible XI.

 

 

PREDICTION

 

  • Leicester have now not scored in consecutive league games for the first time this season, but they did come against Liverpool and Manchester City. Their title challenge was expected to collapse around the festive period, but they will start 2016 level on points with Arsenal and have the chance to get back to winning ways against newly promoted Bournemouth.
  • The Cherries have been in good form lately, but saw a run of six games without defeat come to an end at the hands of Arsenal last time out. The defeat wouldn't have knocked confidence too much and they will be hoping to get some points on the board here, although that could prove too much for them.

 

 

HOME WIN (1.95, Betfair)

 

 

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MANCHESTER UNITED - SWANSEA CITY

 

 

TEAM NEWS

 

Manchester United
  • Louis van Gaal may not make any changes from the team that showed signs of improvement in their 0-0 draw with Chelsea last time out.
  • The Dutchman is still without Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Jesse Lingard.
Swansea
  • Alan Curtis rung the changes for their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace last time out and could recall many first-team regulars for the trip to United, with the likes of Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero pushing for starts.
  • Wayne Routledge and Federico Fernandez both missed the trip to Selhurst Park and will have late fitness tests before this fixture, while Franck Tabanou and Eder are out.

 

 

PREDICTION

 

  • Manchester United showed flashes of old in their goalless draw with Chelsea on Monday evening but they are still winless in eight matches and the heat is still ramped up on Louis van Gaal, who desperately needs an emphatic win to ease the pressure. United have only scored 11 goals in their last 15 matches and have lost their last three matches 2-1 against Swansea.
  • Alan Curtis has helped steady the ship at Swansea, with the Welsh side unbeaten in their last three. They've also managed three consecutive clean sheets for the first time in the same league campaign since March 2012 in that time. They've not managed to keep four in a row in a top-flight campaign since March 1982, when they recorded six clean sheets on the spin.
  • United may just be on the right side of the scoreline this time around if they can continue from where they left off against Chelsea and finally bury their chances.

 

 

HOME WIN HANDICAP DRAW (-1.0) (3.60, PaddyPower)

DRAW HALF TIME / HOME WIN FULL TIME (4.20, PaddyPower)

MANCHESTER UNITED DOUBLE CHANCE + UNDER 3.5 (1.42, PaddyPower)

 

 

 

 

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WATFORD - MANCHESTER CITY

 

 

TEAM NEWS

 

Watford
  • Nathan Ake is suspended after receiving his marching orders against Tottenham on Monday, with Jose Holebas expected to come in at left-back.
  • Joel Ekstrand and Tommy Hoban remain Quique Sanchez Flores' only injury concerns.
  • Valon Behrami is an option from the bench should Flores look to switch things up, but he is likely to refrain from wholesale changes.
Manchester City
  • Fernando has recovered from injury, but is lacking match fitness, though could make the bench.
  • Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany again miss out for Manchester City, though Manuel Pellegrini has no further concerns following the 0-0 draw with Leicester.
  • He could name the same XI from Tuesday's stalemate.

 

 

PREDICTION

 

  • Watford were unfortunate not to secure a positive result against Spurs on Monday having conceded late on in the 2-1 loss. Nevertheless, the Hornets can take heart from a strong showing and will take confidence into the welcome of Manchester City.
  • The Citizens have failed to win any of their last six league games away from home. Tuesday's draw means they now sit three points behind league leaders Arsenal and need a win here or run the risk of falling further behind the Gunners.
  • While City will hope to turn their away form around, Watford could be too much for the Citizens to handle at Vicarage Road.

 

 

 

BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (1.65, William Hill)

OVER 2.5 (1.70, William Hill)

WATFORD DOUBLE CHANCE + OVER 1.5 (2.70, William Hill)

 

 

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OTHER MATCHES

 

WEST BROMWICH - STOKE           STOKE DOUBLE CHANCE

 

NORWICH - SOUTHAMPTON       DRAW / UNDER 2.5

 

CRYSTAL PALACE - CHELSEA        CRYSTAL P. DOUBLE CHANCE / DRAW / UNDER 2.5

 

EVERTON - TOTTENHAM               BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE

 

SUNDERLAND - ASTON VILLA      DRAW / UNDER 2.5

 


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