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Premier League: Fulham Top New Year's Day Treble


Premier League: Fulham Top New Year's Day Treble

The way the days have fallen means New Year’s Day is not quite the footballing bonanza we expect.

There are just three Premier League matches this time, partly because there were four matches on 30th December.

It’s a schedule that could impact all areas of the table, however.

There’s a marginal title contender in Spurs, a top four contestant in Arsenal and two of the stronger mid-table teams battling for best of the rest.

And, of course, we have Cardiff and Fulham, who are scrapping for every point they can get to avoid the drop.

EVERTON vs LEICESTER CITY

Everton’s festive period has been about as Everton as it gets. A loss to Spurs was followed by a thumping of Burnley, then they disappointed away to Brighton.

Marco Silva’s results are yet to meet the optimism at Goodison Park, though the football has been far easier on the eye than the drab displays under Sam Allardyce last season.

Leicester have matched that inconsistency. Wins against Chelsea and Manchester City released the pressure on Claude Puel, only for it to pile back on when the Foxes lost at home to Cardiff on Saturday.

Puel’s side played well on the afternoon, but a James Maddison penalty miss and a wonderstrike saw them lose their eighth game of the campaign and relinquish seventh spot.

Split by just one point in the congested mid-table, this is an intriguing matchup between two good, if unpredictable, sides. There’s talent aplenty, but both sides have shown vulnerability this campaign.

Everton come into this on the back of three consecutive disappointing results at Goodison. Leicester will be desperate to bounceback after the shock defeat to Cardiff.

Goals are always good value with Silva’s teams, and 19/20 on over 2.5 looks the best bet in this one.

TIP: Over 2.5 goals @ 19/20

PREDICTED SCORE: Everton 2-2 Leicester (Priced at 12/1 with 888sport)

Arsenal vs FULHAM

Arsenal reverted to the Arsene Wenger years with their 5-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday evening. Misfortune and a comedy of errors combined for a nightmare match for Unai Emery, which leaves them five points behind Chelsea.

Injuries to the defence have forced Emery to change system and put square pegs in round holes. The former Sevilla manager may opt to make significant changes again for this one.

Claudio Ranieri was fuming with the penalty fiasco against Huddersfield on Saturday, but the Italian’s anger was calmed by Aleksandar Mitrovic’s dramatic late winner.

Fulham are 18th at the moment, despite not losing in their last three matches. The defence is notably more solid under Ranieri, but the attack has suffered as a result.

Mitrovic will fancy his chances against this Arsenal defence – Ranieri may name Ryan Sessegnon in the starting line-up to give his main man additional support.

Arsenal have won their last three at the Emirates. Fulham have the worst away record in the league, having picked up a mere two points in their 10 road outings this term.

The records this season make it hard to back a positive result for Fulham, but we cannot ignore the contrasting fortunes of these sides at the weekend. Fulham are a great price to take something from north London.

TIP: Fulham to win or draw @ 5/2

PREDICTED SCORE: Arsenal 1-1 Fulham (Priced at 9/1 with 888sport)

CARDIFF CITY vs Tottenham Hotspur

Cardiff finally got their first away win of the campaign at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Neil Warnock’s side were solid at the back, pulling themselves four points clear of the relegation zone thanks to Victor Camarasa’s stunning late goal.

Despite a drubbing in their last home match, their form in the Welsh capital is good, having picked up 13 points from their 10 matches so far.

Tottenham were edging their way into the title race. That all changed with home defeat to Wolves at the weekend, as fatigue caught up with Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who are short on options with several first teamers injured.

Spurs are nine points behind Liverpool ahead of this fixture, but they have won the most away matches in the league this season and will be confident of returning to winning ways on New Year’s Day.

Cardiff can climb as high as 14th with victory in this one. They are still one of the favourites for the drop, but even the ultra-pragmatic Warnock must be feeling more positive about their survival chances right now.

Tottenham looked exhausted in the closing minutes at Wembley. Pochettino’s team have not got long to recover before this one – this could be another difficult afternoon for Spurs.

TIP: Cardiff to win or draw @ 9/5

PREDICTED SCORE: Cardiff 1-1 Spurs (Priced at 19/2 with 888sport)

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing

 

 

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Alex McMahon
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