Paulsy’s Premier Picks – Match Week 19

Boxing day kicks off the next round of fixtures, unfortunately two games at the time of writing have been postponed already (Liverpool v Leeds Utd & Wolves v Watford). I am not sure either game would have been a classic bar the fact Liverpool would have been hunting for goals against Leeds and would have been interesting to see the quality/volume scored. Five games at 3pm kick off the day:

Burnley v Everton 

The Clarets return to action and this is as good a match up they could hope for, Everton are struggling as much as they are. History though favours The Toffees, unbeaten since 2014 on Boxing Day and over the six times the two sides have met on this day the away side are unbeaten in the last five. If this game survives COVID, currently Everton are looking for cancellation, the key man will be the returning DCL. Match fitness wise Calvert-Lewin may only have 60mins in the tank but if he can grab a goal it could be the match winner as both times will be looking not to lose.

One for your FPL – Ashley Westwood £5.3m

Bet Select- Everton win

Manchester City v Leicester City

The game of the day is most likely to end up with the home side winning but if Leicester stopped the recent unbeaten run of the champions it would not be surprising. Losing the cup game in the week to Liverpool will be disappointing for The Foxes but in James Maddison they possess one of the in form players currently, surely he will want to outshine opposing playmakers Foden, Bernando, Grealish or KDB? As always in big games for Leicester though it will be Jamie Vardy who all will be looking at, his match up against Dias feels like box office. Tielmens is the type of player who would fit in at Man City but the home side midfield will squeeze and strangle the visitors. Who scores first will win this game.

One for your FPL – Cancelo £6.8m

Bet Select- Man City win and over 4.5 goals

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Norwich v Arsenal

Merry Christmas Arsenal, your reward for recent good form is a game versus relegation bound Norwich City. The home fans will be buoyant but so was Elland Road last Saturday and their side was blown away that day too! Its hard to see pass the away side winning, the main question is by how many? The Arsenal backline are still a questionable unit, holding tight when playing a top side remains a goal but going forward they are the real deal. The academy products dominate the praise but the real star man is Martin Odegaard, his transfer is a steal. Billy Gilmour and Todd Cantwell will be hoping they can put on good personal performances purely in the sense for future career prospects.

One for your FPL – Todd Cantwell £5.3m

Bet Select- Arsenal win and over 4.5 goals

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace

Many felt last weekends performance by Spurs showed that the Conte affect is taking form but  we all need to remember how many Liverpool players were missing. The dugout is so interesting, two former elite players facing off with the visiting coach holding severe dislike for his hosts. Conor Gallagher is a Conte type of player, seeing him first hand could mean he is a target for the Italian in the future. Harry Kane is back in the goals but should also be missing this game due to suspension after his horrid challenge on Robertson, it was only yellow so he lives to fight another day. Spurs all over the squad are quick but Palace are one of the few sides outside the top six who can match them at that attribute and this could see the visitors ruining Contes Christmas. A Palace win will be their second at White Hart Lane in the Premier League era.

One for your FPL – Sergio Requilon £5.2m

Bet Select- Crystal Palace win

West Ham v Southampton

Form is poor for both sides but overall the quality lays with the home side. Southampton need to decide what they want to be as at the moment they have the look of a side who could go down. Hussenhuti is a manager I like a lot but the recruitment and academy promotions at The Saints over the last few years has been sub-standard. The players are solid but unspectacular, as a unit they offer no excitement or vigour for football fans. It can be argued that’s the managers fault but the board at St Marys know if they relieve the manager of his duties someone else will snap him up while keeping him could offer compensation. January will show where both these teams are heading this season and its more likely the Hammers will be bringing in more talent and gaining the three points in this fixture.

One for your FPL – Manuel Lanzini £5.8m

Bet Select- West Ham win

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Many moons ago Steven Gerrard nearly joined Chelsea, since that day his fortunes have been mixed against the West Londoners, live on Sky he will want to gain the upper hand in his managerial career. Recent form would support Villa’s chances in winning this game but Wednesdays night League Cup win for Chelsea showed us all that the squad is coming back to fitness (COVID permitting) and that does not bode well for The Villains. If on the pitch Lukaku will favour playing against Mings, if you read my previews every match week I always feel Villa’s captain will struggle, its simple he’s not very good. Kante coming back to fitness holds all the keys to the success of his team, he should win more individual honours he is one of the worlds best players.

One for your FPL – Christian Pulisic £7.9m

Bet Select-  Chelsea win

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Brighton v Brentford

The Data Derby closes off Boxing Day and if it finishes nil nil no one will be surprised due to the lack of goals from both sides. Former Bee Maupay will be looking to get one over his old team but even though many of his old team mates are not there the backroom team know him well and will warn the current crop what to expect regarding his sh$thousery. Brentfords last PL game was a win over Watford in the dying seconds, this time round the master marksman Ivan Toney will be playing, all round play he has been second to none but goals need to flow more often now. The key match up is two England hopefuls facing off in the form of Rico Henry and Tariq Lamptey, whoever pushes the further back will enable his side to win the game.

One for your FPL – Ivan Toney £6.6m

Bet Select- Brentford win

The match week ends on Monday night, will we see a classic St James Park night?

Newcastle United v Manchester United

To answer my question yes it could be a classic night but not for the home fans. How will the Newcastle defence handle any of the Man Utd forward line? They can’t its a massive mismatch even more so than the previous elite matches versus City and Liverpool. Utd hold supreme pace within the forward line and Newcastle have no defender who are good enough to counter that, they can structure the mid park to prevent the ball reaching the attack but it will occur. Eddie Howe will be happy to start playing some fixtures where they can be more competitive but that hope comes with the transfer window opening as this current squad does not cut it.

One for your FPL – Jadon Sancho £8.9m

Bet Select- Over 6.5 goals

I hope you all have a great Christmas and enjoy the festive games which are being played. If you have a punt on my bet selects in the form of a acca the odds with Sky Bet are 82,466/1 so it could be a great New Year 😄