More Stuffing Mr Bielsa?

While most European countries have a winter break, not so the English Premier League. Boxing Day sees nine games scheduled to take place. It could be a Boxing Day bashing for Leeds United as their shaky defence travels to Anfield. Let’s look at the top games being played and the latest odds.

Liverpool v Leeds United (12.30pm)

What’s the connection between Leeds United and a Christmas turkey? Both look like getting stuffed at the weekend. Injury hit Leeds are in a right mess at the moment, conceding goals all over the place. Now is not the time to play Liverpool away.

Manchester City put seven past Leeds and then Arsenal hit four against them. Leeds have conceded 16 goals in their last four league games. That’s one more than Liverpool have in 18 Premier League fixtures.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 13 home league games and scored at least twice in ten of those games. A win over Leeds will take them to the top of the table on goal difference. A bet on them to beat Leeds to nil has odds of 11/10 at 888sport.

Manchester City v Leicester City (3pm)

The best Christmas present for Manchester City would be Liverpool not beating Leeds. If that was to happen, then a home win over Leicester would take them at least five points clear at the top. More likely is that City will need to draw to return to the top.

City are on one of those winning streaks of theirs that usually wins them the title. They have eight league wins in a row with 11 goals in the last two victories. Pep Guardiola’s side have the advantage of not having been on EFL Cup action in midweek. They have won their last four home league matches but it’s not all about scoring goals. City have kept eight clean sheets in their last ten Premier League games at the Etihad.

Leicester won 5-2 away at City last season. A repeat of that looks extremely unlikely indeed. The Foxes have had an inconsistent season and are ninth, ten points behind the final Champions League place. 27 goals have been scored, but the same number conceded. Only four sides have conceded more than them in the Premier League this season. Three more were conceded as they blew a lead at Liverpool in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

With only one win in their last six away league games, it’s hard to see them getting anything here. Manchester City are 13/20 at BetVictor to win this and be ahead at both half and full time. Six of their seven home league wins this season have seen that stat come up.

Aston Villa v Chelsea (5.30pm)

Chelsea are in the final Premier League game on Boxing Day. They will be hoping that Liverpool and/or Manchester City drop points earlier in the day. If the top two were both to win, then Chelsea will start this game six points behind Liverpool and nine adrift of City.

The Blues have just one win from their last four league games. The next month is going to be crucial for their title hopes. January sees them face both Liverpool and Manchester City. They will need to keep in touch with the top two before playing them. This trip to Aston Villa won’t be at all easy though.

Chelsea have one point from their last two away league games. Aston Villa have suddenly found their form since the arrival of Steven Gerrard. They are ninth and only six points behind fifth place. Home form has seen them win two of the last three, the other being a defeat by Manchester City. Of 17 league fixtures, only one has been drawn. Another must be due and it’s 11/4 at Coral this ends level. It’s 20/23 at the same bookies that both teams score in this match.