Premiership action among top sporting events of week

By Martin Green30 December 2018
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Premiership football

There is a full round of midweek Premier League fixtures to look forward to, starting with Everton v Leicester at lunchtime on New Year’s Day. Both teams suffered extremely disappointing defeats last time out, as Everton lost 1-0 at Brighton and Leicester were lost 1-0 at home to relegation threatened Cardiff. Defenders’ legs are starting to tire after a hectic festive schedule and this game should see plenty of chances for the attackers, so both teams to score looks interesting at 5/6 with 10Bet and 4/5 with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Coral.

Arsenal are veering towards a full-blown crisis after losing 5-1 to Liverpool last time out, a result that leaves them 16 points behind the league leaders. They desperately need a win against Fulham, and they beat the Cottagers 5-1 on the road earlier this season. Since then Claudio Ranieri has replaced Slavisa Jokanovic in the Fulham dugout and inspired an upturn in results, but Arsenal at home should still be too strong for them. Arsenal to win and "over" 2.5 goals is 3/4 with Ladbrokes, which looks tempting. If you have given up on Arsenal winning games, "both teams to score" and "over" 2.5 goals might appeal at even money with Coral as both of these sides have defended abysmally this season.

Cardiff host Tottenham in the late game, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men should be able to bounce back from a shock defeat against Wolves last time out. The pick of the Wednesday games sees Newcastle host Man Utd and an away win looks appealing in that one. Then on Thursday night it is the big one: a six-pointer at the top of the table between defending champions Man City and runaway league leaders Liverpool. It should be an extremely gripping encounter and Liverpool are attracting a lot of attention at 5/2 with Unibet. But it would be folly to write Man City off at The Etihad, so the goals markets might be the way to approach this one too.

La Liga

Real Madrid are fresh from winning the Club World Cup with a 4-1 victory over Al-Ain, and now they return to domestic competition with a trip to Villarreal on Thursday. Black Type has 10/11 on an away win for Los Blancos, while Marathon Bet has 9/10 and big bookmakers like Bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill are offering 17/20. Sevilla take on Atletico Madrid in a big game on Sunday and that should see goals, as Diego Simeone’s men are not so solid at the back when they are on the road. Real Madrid are straight back in action with a home game against Real Sociedad later that day, and they have a big enough squad to cope. Barcelona are then favourites to beat an in-form Getafe side, and you will need to look at handicaps to find value in that one.

Sentry Tournament of Champions

The first tournament of the calendar year is always played in Hawaii and it brings together all the golfers that won a tournament during the previous year. World number one Justin Rose has decided to skip it, so Dustin Johnson is the 11/2 favourite with Sportingbet. Unibet has a lot of market-leading prices for this event: Justin Thomas at 8/1, Jon Rahm at 9/1, Brooks Koepka at 9/1 and Rory McIlroy at 10/1. Big names like Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Partick Reed and Francesco Molinari will also line up, so it should be an entertaining contest. Right now Reed is attracting the most attention at 18/1, while Cameron Champ and Xander Schauffele look like interesting long shots.

T20 Big Bash

The highlight of the week in the Big Bash sees a Melbourne Derby as the Stars take on the Renegades on Tuesday. The Renegades are 53/50 underdogs with Marathon Bet to win it and that looks like a good option in what should be a tight match. The Renegades have won two out of their opening three games and they are hunting down the league leaders, Hobart Hurricanes, while the Stars have lost two of three and need a win to boost their confidence. On the same day, Brisbane Heat are 4/5 to pick up a first win of the season against the Sydney Sixers and that also looks tempting.