The Premier League action comes in thick and fast over the festive period. There are nine games to look forward to on Boxing Day and then Wolves host Man City on Friday. The pick of the Boxing Day matches sees second placed Leicester take on league leaders Liverpool at Anfield. The Foxes’ eight-game winning streak came to an end with a disappoint draw against struggling Norwich and they were then swept aside by Man City at the weekend. This will be Liverpool’s first game back in England after winning the Club World Cup in Dubai, but they should still have enough energy to grind out victory and odds of 23/20 at Bet365 on an away win look great.
Some punters might also be tempted by taking a punt on Arsenal to win away at injury-ravaged Bournemouth in Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge. If you fancy that new manager bounce to arrive, the Gunners are even money. Man City are on fire right now, with four wins on the bounce, and you would fancy them to edge Wolves on Friday. They are just 2/5 to pull it off, but Man City and over 2.5 goals looks appealing at 19/20.
There is very little time to rest, as another round of fixtures begins on Saturday, meaning managers will need to shuffle their packs. Spurs have a bigger squad than Norwich and they should win at Carrow Road, while Watford might just pick up their second win of the season when they host Aston Villa at Vicarage Road. Arsenal take on Chelsea in the big game on Sunday, before Liverpool host Wolves and Man City meet Sheff Utd at The Etihad. The Blades are 20/1 underdogs, but they are yet to lose a game on the road this season. Could we see a big upset?
One of the most important races of the National Hunt season takes place at Kempton on Boxing Day. The King George VI Chase always attracts many of the leading chasers in the business to battle for fame and fortune. It is an extremely prestigious race in its own right, but it is also an important clue as to who might thrive at Cheltenham in March. The bookmakers have Lostintranslation and Cyrname neck-and-neck for this race, with Betfred offering 7/4 on both horses. Cyrname is fresh from vanquishing the mighty Altior in the Christy Chase, while Lostintranslation won the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park last month, setting him up for a crack at the Chase Triple Crown (the King George is the second leg, and then the Cheltenham Gold Cup). Defending champion Clan Des Obeaux is 4/1 with Paddy Power and some punters might fancy going each-way at those odds.
England are in South Africa on Boxing Day for the first of a four-Test series that could determine Joe Root’s future. They played out a series draw with Australia in the Ashes and then lost 1-0 in their series in New Zealand, which finished earlier this month, so the pressure is building on Root. Some bookmakers have installed England as the narrow favourites to win the series, but many have them level at 11/8 each. England are best priced at 13/10 with Bet365 if you think they can make a winning start in the first Test.
Mighty Michael van Gerwen is the even money favourite with Paddy Power to win the World Championship. The tournament is already underway at Alexandra Palace in London and it draws to a close on New Year’s Day. Several big names are still in the mix, and the likes of Gerwen Price, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson could prevent the Green Machine from triumphing. Punters currently like the look of price, who can be backed at 5/1. Bookies will pay half the odds on a runner-up finish if you go each-way.