New Year Sports Betting Starts Here

In the final programme of festive football games, will my first betting tips of 2018 be more accurate than some of the poor predictions I made in the latter part of 2017?

Here goes!

Southampton vs Crystal Palace (January 3, 03:45 GMT+8)

The way the congested fixture period has favoured some clubs is why I’m favouring the hosts here.

They will have had the bonus of 24 hours extra recovery than Palace going into this, and I think that will prove crucial.

My 🌟🌟🌟 tip is over 2.50 goals @ 2.06, with a 🌟 extra bet of First Half 1X2 Southampton @ 2.57.

Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur (January 3, 03:45 GMT+8)

The arrival of a new manager in Carlos Carvalhal made an immediate impact with the thrilling last-gasp win at Watford.

Suddenly, Swansea are a victory away from climbing out of the bottom three.

However, after only their fourth success in 21 Premier League matches, it’s still a big ask to match the achievements of predecessor Paul Clement who triggered such a positive response—with a stronger squad—when he was appointed 12 months ago.

Spurs, fresh from a week’s rest, will surely prove too strong.

My 2 x 🌟🌟🌟 tips are First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 Spurs @ 2.12 and Over 2.75 goals @ 1.99.

West Ham United vs West Bromwich Albion (January 3, 03:45 GMT+8)

Again, the fixture list and the differing rest periods between games plays a key factor in this prediction.

With West Brom in action 48 hours before this match – West Ham have two games in a similar space of time later in the week – fitness could play a key part.

West Brom could also be bottom going into this one which isn’t good for morale.

I’m going for a 🌟 tip of First Half 1X2 West Ham United @ 2.65 and a 🌟🌟🌟 bet of Over 2.25 goals @ 2.12.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

Click for more football betting options.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Manchester is Mad for Premier League Betting!

The Blue Moon has risen so far this year that fans nationwide, and football betting pundits, have been drooling over Manchester City’s beautiful game.

But Pep Guardiola’s squad aren’t infallible and their incredible run of winning 18 league football games ended in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Manchester United failed to win for the fourth match running, in all competitions, to concede Premier League’s second spot to Chelsea and fall 15 behind the Premier League leaders.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester City

This game was a measure of how far Roy Hodgson has lifted the Eagles. They were dead and buried before he arrived but he’s lifted them out of the drop zone, and it could have been even better has City keeper Ederson not saved a penalty in stoppage time. City, still, suffered blow as Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus were injured for the Sky Blues on this difficult afternoon.

Manchester United 0-0 Southampton

Some fans left the Theatre of Dreams early in the Saturday teatime kick-off; presumably to get their supper early, after the Red Devils drew a blank against the Saints, who played with confidence throughout. Top scorer Romelu Lukaku was stretchered off with a head injury and could be out for two games, compounding Jose’s problems.

Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City

A double strike from the prolific Mo Salah turned this game on its head after Jamie Vardy had given the Foxes a shock third-minute lead. The visitors held on until half time but Salah’s constant threat wore them down. He could have had five but two were enough.

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Arsenal

A highly controversial penalty gave West Brom a point after Alexis Sanchez thought he’d scored a late winner for Arsenal with a deflected free-kick. Callum Chambers was bizarrely adjudged to have handballed and Jay Rodriguez converted the 87th-minute penalty.

Huddersfield Town 0-0 Burnley

The Terriers and Clarets played out their second goalless draw of the season, a result which keeps Huddersfield’s survival campaign on track. Burnley had the best of the chances and Jeff Hendrick was unlucky not to win a penalty when felled by Jonas Lossl midway through the second half.

Bournemouth 2-1 Everton

A Ryan Fraser double gave Bournemouth a vital win to lift them out of the relegation zone and at the same time handed Big Sam Allardyce his first defeat as Everton boss. Idrissa Gueye equalised Fraser’s first-half goal but the Scot hit home again on 88 minutes to grab all three points.

Watford 1-2 Swansea City

A stunning late comeback gave Carlos Carvalhal the perfect start as Swansea boss and breathe life into the Swans’ Premier League survival hopes. Andre Carrilo headed the Hornets into an early lead but Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh both struck in the last five minutes to send the visiting fans home very happy indeed.

Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

It was honours even at St James Park in this nervy tussle between two promoted teams. Brighton keeper Mat Ryan earned his money to keep out the Geordies. However, they just joined their hosts in the relegation mix with the draw.

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Late penalty denies Arsenal

Arsene Wenger's record-breaking day did not go to plan, a late West Brom penalty denying Arsenal all three points at the Hawthorns.

The Gunners boss took charge of his 811th game for the club, breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League record, but he was denied a happy ending.

His side took the lead late on, a deflected Alexis Sanchez free-kick beating Ben Foster in the West Brom.

However, six minutes later, with time fast running out the referee adjudged that Calum Chambers handled the ball in the area and James Rodriguez fired the resulting penalty home.

It was a controversial call and Wenger was unhappy with the decision as well as the Christmas schedule.

He told the BBC: "He (the referee) didn't see it. There was a player in front of him. That's why I questioned his decision, he didn't see it.

"I felt we have a very tight schedule to prepare for this game. The Premier League has to look at the schedule. You have to look to see if you have the same amount of recovery days as the opposition. Come back to me when that happens."

The point moves Arsenal above their London rivals Tottenham into fifth while they are three points off the top four.

At the other end of the table Alan Pardew is still looking for his first win in charge of Albion since taking over from Tony Pulis.

However, they have what could prove to be a very valuable point and it enables them to climb off the bottom of the Premier League table, albeit on goal difference and they are now three points off safety.

Both teams have a Premier League game in midweek, the Baggies travelling to West Ham on Tuesday with Arsenal in action a day later, at home to Chelsea.

Arsenal are 8/5 to win with Antonio Conte's side 8/5 and the draw is priced at 12/5.

The Gunners are 2/1 to finish the season in the top four.

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Have a Great 2018 with Asian Handicap Betting!

This year has been a cracker in the Premier League and we have high hopes of 2018 being just as explosive.

Manchester City have set the standard, and there’s a fierce battle for Champions League spots. In the bottom half, ten teams are in the relegation mix, which makes every week a blast for football betting fans. These three blockbuster football games should get us started in the New Year.

Burnley vs Liverpool (January 1, 23:00 GMT+8)

Burnley meet Liverpool In a replay of the 1914 FA Cup Final, which Burnley won 1-0 (I bet you didn’t know that), and the Reds are hoping to buck the trend of more recent meetings. Sean Dyche’s team drew 1-1 at Anfield earlier in the season but beat Jurgen Klopp’s side 2-0 in the last Turf Moor clash. The Clarets have James Tarkowski available after suspension, and they’ll need him to thwart the threat of the brilliant Philippe Coutinho and pals.

This will be a real tussle and I’m backing total goals being 2 or 3 for a 🌟🌟 bet, paying 1.92.

Everton vs Manchester United (January 2, 01:30 GMT+8)

Two disgruntled bosses come face to face at Goodison Park. Everton have much to be pleased about since the arrival of Big Sam Allardyce but he suffered his first defeat to Bournemouth at the weekend. Meanwhile, Jose’s Red Devils have had to settle for holiday draws with Burnley and Southampton.

Sam will make this hard for Jose, and a likely draw pays 3.35 for a 🌟 bet.

Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur (January 3, 03:45 GMT+8)

Suddenly, there are smiles again in South Wales after the arrival of new head coach Carlos Carvalhal inspired the Swans to a late comeback and three vital points against Watford. Since losing to Manchester City, Spurs have won twice, scoring eight goals, with Harry Kane bagging two hat-tricks!

Maybe the feel-good factor will continue for the Swans and for a 🌟🌟 bet, a win, with a +1.50 goal advantage pays 1.89.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

Click for more football betting options.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

Bet NOW!

Wagner claims Terries on track

Huddersfield boss David Wagner claims that the Terriers are "on track" to ensure Premier League survival though he wants an improvement in 2018.

Town brought the curtain down on a memorable year for the club with a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley, a result that keeps them mid-table in the league.

They have 24 points so far, six clear of the bottom three, but it is a congested bottom half of the table and, with Swansea winning on Saturday and Crystal Palace ending Manchester City's long winning run, Wagner knows they will have to improve further to ensure they stay clear of relegation worries.

He told Sky Sports: "It's all about survival. This chapter we started with the first game of the Premier League, I think we are on track, not more.

"We know we have to improve. We're on a good starting point to achieve our target, to survive in the Premier League, not more, not less. Anything else is totally irrelevant."

The goalless draw at home to Burnley continued the Terriers good end to 2017; they have suffered just one defeat in six league games but they were fortunate against the Clarets with Sean Dyche's team having the better chances to win the game.

Burnley, even more of a surprise package this season, start 2018 seventh in the Premier League table.

The team in eighth, Leicester are the next opponents for Huddersfield with Wagner taking his team to the King Power Stadium on Monday.

Town are 5/1 for an away win with Leicester 4/6 and the draw 14/5. Aaron Mooy is 11/2 to score at any time against the Foxes.

They then switch their attentions to the FA Cup with the third round taking place next weekend, Town drawn away to Championship side Bolton.

Town are 100/1 to win the FA Cup.

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Guardiola rues Jesus loss

Pep Guardiola saw Manchester City's long winning run come to an end at Selhurst Park, but he was more concerned with injuries to key players.

City drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace but, following the game came news that Gabriel Jesus is out for one or two months with what looked like a knee injury.

The City boss could also be without Kevin De Bruyne for a spell, the Belgian leaving the field on a stretcher.

City went into the game with Palace on the back of an 18-game winning run in the Premier League and it could have been worse still at Selhurst Park, the home side having a penalty late in the game.

Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have fouled Wilfried Zaha in the box but, with the chance to become the first side to beat City this season, Luka Milivojevic's spot kick was saved by Ederson.

That left City 15 points ahead of the chasing pack at the top of the Premier League table and Guardiola paid credit to a Palace side that escaped the bottom three with the point.

He told BT Sport: "Yes you have to give Palace credit. They are a good team. We had problems in the game, but the second half was much better. At the end, keeper Ederson helped us to keep one point."

He also commented on the injuries coming out of the game, saying of Jesus: "He's injured in the terms hopefully it will only be one or two months. Then Kevin we were lucky, well not lucky. I don't know what happen with him in that last action."

City now have two home games in the space of a week, taking on Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday before they are in FA Cup action on Saturday, playing against Burnley.

City are 1/7 to win on Saturday with Burnley 14/1.

City are 6/1 to win the game 2-0 and they are 4/1 to win the FA Cup this season.

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Costa ready to play his part

Striker Diego Costa is looking forward to finally getting back out on to the pitch after being officially unveiled as an Atletico Madrid player once again.

The 29-year-old Spain international will be able to feature for Atleti in the New Year, having agreed a return to Madrid in late September after his relationship with Chelsea fell apart.

Due to transfer window rules he has had to wait several months to make his second debut for Atletico, but he believes he has done plenty of hard work on the training pitch to make himself a more than reasonable option for head coach Diego Simeone.

He told reporters: "Physically I am much better than when I arrived. That shows that I have worked and I have prepared well to play – I come here to help the team and score goals.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, now I have my mind set on playing and I just want to get in shape to play as soon as possible.

"As much as I've trained, it's not like playing a match and I'm tired of training so much. I want to play. If the coach decides to play me, I'll give my best."

Atletico are currently in second place in La Liga, nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona, while they missed out on qualification for the group stages of the Champions League.

Having dropped into the Europa League, Atleti have been paired with FC Copenhagen in the last-32 of the competition.

The men from Madrid are 9/2 to win the Europa League, having previously triumphed in the competition in both 2010 and 2012.

Meanwhile, Villarreal are available at 25/1 and Athletic Bilbao can be backed at 33/1.

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New Year, Old Foes: It’s Time for Premier League Betting!

A hectic week awaits sports betting fans in the Premier League, and it’s bound to get more exciting as Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham aim to settle matters against clubs they failed to beat in the first half of the season.

All three will look to start the year right and give their European dreams a boost; however, although betting odds favour them to bag the win, it’s easier said than done.

Burnley vs Liverpool (January 1, 23:00 GMT+8)

Unbeaten for more than two months now and coming off back-to-back victories with seven goals to boast, Liverpool are looking good and bound for a top-four finish.

Burnley, however, should be able to at least slow down the Reds’ attack, just like how they did it the first time they met this season. After all, the Clarets have only lost once in six and managed to keep four clean sheets in the process.

I like the chances of Liverpool winning, though I don’t think it will be as high-scoring as their previous games especially with Mo Salah an injury doubt for the Reds. Hence, for a 🌟🌟 bet, go for Goals Under 2.50 @ 2.05.

Leicester City vs Huddersfield Town (January 1, 23:00 GMT+8)

There’s no doubt Claude Puel has brought a much-needed stability at Leicester since taking over the club, but he will surely want to take the win here to end their winless run of four in the competition.

They host the Terriers who don’t have much to boast offensively, having scored only 18 goals in 21 matches, though it should be noted this is David Wagner’s team that haven’t lost in their last four and held Burnley to a goalless draw during the weekend.

I expect a fierce fight at King Power Stadium; nonetheless, I believe the Foxes can exploit Huddersfield’s poor away form to dictate the pace of the game. With that said, for a 🌟🌟🌟 bet, I’m plumping for Leicester to have a hot start and beat a First Half Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.33.

Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur (January 3, 03:45 GMT+8)

Really, who’s stopping Spurs from marching to another victory?

The Swans are in high spirits after beating Watford in Carlos Carvalhal’s first game in charge, and they will be confident in this fixture knowing that they already held Tottenham to a 0-0 stalemate last September.

However, with a set of fresh legs after a week off since their Boxing Day victory, Spurs are well poised to reign supreme.

News of Harry Kane possibly missing this game due to a cold is undoubtedly a concern, but should the England goal machine sit out, it’s just a chance for the Spurs to prove they are not a one-man team.

Both clubs have the motivation to earn all three points, though I think Tottenham’s current form gives them the edge. If you’re punting, another 🌟🌟 bet for me is Spurs First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.09.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

Click for more football betting options.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

Bet NOW!

Liverpool Lead 7/1 New Year’s Day Accumulator

If you’re reading this on the 31st, have a great New Year’s Eve! If you’re reading this on the 1st, Happy New Year!

Okay, pleasantries done. Now let’s get down to the real business. New Year’s Day is a footballing feast, and that means another ‘Saturday’ acca from me. Yes, we know it isn’t a Saturday, but we can make an exception to welcome 2018 in.

 

Burnley vs Liverpool

Liverpool are undefeated in their last 12 matches, and have scored three or more in their last five on the road. Jurgen Klopp’s men are flying. They are now only four points off second-placed Chelsea, while playing some of the best attacking football in Europe.

In contrast, suspensions and injuries have hurt Burnley. Sean Dyche’s side have not won in four straight league games, but remain three points behind Spurs and Arsenal. What they have done this season is remarkable, and it will remain such regardless of what happens in the rest of the campaign.

We all know the pattern of this match. Liverpool are going to dominate the ball, Burnley will aim to close gaps by sitting on the edge of their own box. The hosts’ hope will be a counter-attack or set piece.

The potential absence of Mohamed Salah could cause a large outwards breath at Turf Moor. That relaxation may well vanish when they remember the other forwards that Klopp will name. Liverpool’s form and the stretched Burnley squad lead me towards an away win. I doubt it will be another three goals for the Reds, but they will be happy enough with the three points.

TIP: Liverpool to win @ 4/9

 

Stoke City vs Newcastle

Mark Hughes has heaped pressure on this match with his team selection against Chelsea. That match ended in a 5-0 defeat for the Potters, who hold the league’s worst defensive record. I happen to agree with Hughes’ decision, but the Stoke fans will quickly become restless if things go wrong against the Magpies.

Newcastle were involved in a dire 0-0 with Brighton at the weekend. Rafael Benitez’s side are still short on invention in the final third, but have shown defensive solidity in their last two. The Spaniard would surely be happy with a draw….

Separated by just a point and loitering above the bottom three, this – in just the 22nd match of the season – has the trademarks of a ‘relegation six-pointer’. We can be sure a Match of the Day commentator or Soccer Saturday ‘pundit’ will label it just that.

Stoke need the three points more than Newcastle, bizarrely. The visitors’ defensive improvement suggests they might just frustrate the Potters, however.

TIP: Match to be drawn @ 23/10

 

Leicester City vs Huddersfield Town

Having enjoyed a traditional new manager bounce when Claude Puel arrived, Leicester have hit a bump in the road. One point from the last 12 available has left them with a slightly sour Christmas taste.

Huddersfield are just three points off the Foxes. Three straight draws have been acceptable, though a little frustrating. One extra goal could have the Terriers feeling particularly comfortable as we edge into 2018.

Attack is the issue for David Wagner’s men. Their options are limited, especially when compared to their New Year’s Day opponents. Luckily, Wagner’s side have shown resilience. They will need every bit of that if they are to get a result from the King Power.

I fancy Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to do enough to squeak past Huddersfield, even with the Foxes on this poor run of form. The visitors should be safe this season, but the combination of Leicester’s attack and Huddersfield’s offensive difficulties make a home win good value.

TIP: Leicester to win @ 8/13

 

*Odds subject to change – correct at time of writing*

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Brighton vs Bournemouth: 13/2 For New Year Bore Draw

Split by a mere two points, Brighton and Bournemouth’s contrasting starts to the season have met in the (lower) middle of the Premier League. The New Year’s Day lunchtime hosts started well, but their run of one win in 10 league matches has left Chris Hughton’s side teetering.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, had a torrid start. The Cherries have had brief relief by taking four points from their last two matches. The last gasp win over Everton was needed and brought an end to a nine-match winless run. Eddie Howe might just see that as a springboard to find a little comfort.

It’s probably a good time to visit Brighton. The Seagulls are still struggling in the final third, and sit in the bottom three on expected goals (per understat). Additions to their frontline will almost certainly come in January, so Bournemouth are fortunate to get their trip to the Amex in before any new names appear.

Howe’s team are not the same as they were last season. Where Joshua King was a sensation early in 2017, their attack is short of potency. Jermain Defoe has struggled at times this season, and defensive fragility remains.

Pair that with Brighton’s limitations going forward, and under 2.5 goals looks a worthwhile pick. Hughton is a pragmatic manager at the best of times, but a lack of creativity forces the south coast side to prioritise defence. It has worked for the most part, putting them in the top half of the expected goals against table.

At 11/20, the price on under 2.5 is on the short side. I still would consider it, though, as Brighton have failed to score in five of their last six.

As you have probably guessed, this match does not look like a good one for the neutral. Hughton has his Brighton side well-drilled, and will set out to avoid defeat first. Unfortunately, efficiency seldom makes for aesthetically-pleasing football. This match is not going to shake you out of your New Year’s Day hangover, unfortunately.

If there are going to be any goals in this at all, then Pascal Gross to score at 21/5 is certainly the value pick from both teams. It’s far from a nailed-on thing, but the German is very likely to be involved if the hosts do create anything meaningful.

I am going to sit on the fence here. It would be great to see a thriller to start the Premier League’s 2018 adventures, but we will have to wait for one of the later kick-offs for such a match. A point is acceptable for Bournemouth, and it’s no disaster for Brighton, who would keep themselves above the Cherries in the table as they await attacking reinforcement.

The highlight of this might be how people react to it on Twitter. I am expecting a lot of snoring GIFs, and a fair bit of whining that there haven’t been any goals.

Of course, I am hoping that I am hideously wrong. So wrong that we watch one of the best matches of all time. It would be reckless to tip that, though.

TIP: Match to finish 0-0 @ 13/2

 

*Odds subject to change – correct at time of writing*

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