Premier League Boxing Day – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK previews an exciting festive period in the Premier League…

MANCHESTER UNITED v ASTON VILLA (BOXING DAY)

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Both these teams come into the weekend off the back of disappointing pre-Christmas results.

Aston Villa missed the chance to go top of the Premier League table after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Sheffield United when they needed a late Nicolo Zaniolo to salvage a point.

Meanwhile, after last weekend’s battling 0-0 draw at Liverpool, it was once again one step forward and two back for United as they slipped to their customary defeat at West Ham.

The Red Devils have lost more games at this stage of the season than at any point since 1930 and it is now more than six-and-a-half-hours since Erik Ten Hag’s increasingly-bereft team even managed to score a goal.

With the incoming Sir Jim Ratcliffe ready to make sweeping changes, ten Hag has to be fearing for his job, especially given the body language of several of his players at London Stadium.

Villa’s relatively poor away form gives United hope and it will be fascinating to see how Unai Emery’s side respond to losing their perfect home record, but the Spaniard has had United’s measure on several occasions in the past, including last season in his very first game in the Villa dugout.

I think the visitors are more than capable of scoring at least once and, given United’s alarming lack of potency, Aston Villa to win at 17/10 with starsports.bet looks too big a price to ignore.

LUTON v SHEFFIELD UNITED (BOXING DAY)

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It may only be the end of December but this already feels like a relegation six-pointer.

Sheffield United have taken four points from three games since the return of prodigal son Chris Wilder as manager and came agonisingly close to beating high-flying Aston Villa on Friday evening.

Wilder has undoubtedly got the Blades much more organised than they were under Paul Heckingbottom, and it was impressive the way they soaked up Villa’s 78% possession but still posed a genuine threat on the counter attack.

I fancied Luton to beat a jaded Newcastle on Saturday on what was an emotional afternoon in the wake of Tom Lockyer’s collapse at Bournemouth a week previously, but the Hatters are not the same side on their travels as they are at ramshackle Kenilworth Road so for that reason I am going to side with the hosts

Cameron Archer was on the scoresheet against former club Villa and I fancy Sheffield United to win and Archer to score at anytime at 10/3 with starsports.bet.

BRIGHTON v TOTTENHAM (DECEMBER 28)

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This is a game that has goals written all over it.

Tottenham scored for the 30th match in a row in beating Everton 2-1 on an incident-packed afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday while Brighton are on a club record run of 22 games without keeping a clean sheet.

The Seagulls have also won just two of their past 12 Premier League matches and are not quite hitting the same heights as they did last season when they flirted with the top four before eventually finishing 6th.

Both sides are missing key players through injury but, even though Brighton has an extra couple of days rest after playing Crystal Palace last Thursday, Tottenham appear to be coping better with their absentees after putting together a run of three straight wins to climb back into the top four.

I have really enjoyed watching Brennan Johnson since making the summer switch from Nottingham Forest to Spurs and can see him taking advantage of Brighton’s defensive injuries.

A build-a-bet of both teams to score, Tottenham to win and Brennan Johnson to score at any time returns 7/1 with starsports.bet

ALEX CROOK

RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Aston Villa to win 1pt at 17/10 (⭐


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BACK Sheffield United and Archer to score at any time 1pt at 10/3 with starsports.bet
BACK Tottenham to win and Brennan Johnson to score at any time 0.5pt at 7/1 with starsports.bet

PROFIT/LOSS (DEC 2023): LOSS -6.69 points

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Author: Eugene Morris