New Year’s Eve football

Published by on December 30, 2016

2016 will almost certainly go down in history for all the wrong reasons, but at least it will end with one of the most hotly-anticipated Premier League games of the season.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola meet for the first time in charge of their new clubs, though Liverpool will be without Philippe Coutinho for the headline clash. You’d have thought that would have swung the odds in Manchester City’s favour, but the Reds are still favourites at 13/10.

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Despite his off-field worries, Roberto Firmino spearheaded Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Stoke, and without Coutinho, they’ll be relying on him again. A double of the Brazilian and Sergio Aguero both to score is at 7/1. Surprisingly, City winning 2-1 is at an even better 11/1, so it seems like a lot of bookies are already discounting their chances. It’s only a couple of weeks since Guardiola’s men beat Arsenal, albeit at home, so it’s too early to write them off here.

Burnley vs Sunderland

Jermain Defoe as first goalscorer at 5/1 seems as good a shout as any. The former England striker has found the back of the net eight times this season, and he may just see an opportunity to put himself in the shop window ahead of the January market too.

Chelsea vs Stoke

Last week, a lot of people will have wasted money on Michy Batshuayi, who it seemed was finally going to get his chance in the absence of Diego Costa. We were all wrong, and Antonio Conte gave him a grand total of about five seconds on the pitch right at the end. If you’re looking for Chelsea goalscorers, Costa will be back, and he’s at 5/2 to score first.

Leicester vs West Ham

West Ham might have problems, but they proved against Swansea they can still perform against their fellow relegation candidates. On the other hand, Leicester could be in real trouble if they lose this one. The best bet here is probably the Hammers to win with over 2.5 goals in the game – that’s at 9/2.

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

Jose Mourinho has warned he’s going to have to rest Zlatan Ibrahimovic soon, so it may be worth keeping an eye on his starting XI. As long as the Swede is up front, though, he’s the only United player worth putting money on to score – even then, there’s little value in it, as he’s at 11/4. An Ibra hat-trick, however, is at 9/1.

Southampton vs West Brom

You’d have to fancy West Brom for this after Southampton’s capitulation against Spurs on Wednesday. The Baggies to win 1-0, 2-0, or 2-1 is at 5/1, and they can overtake the Saints with a win.

Swansea vs Bournemouth

Swansea begin life after Bob Bradley knowing things can’t get much worse. They’re only not bottom of the table because Hull City are even worse, but without a permanent manager on the horizon, the disarray is set to continue. Bournemouth must be relishing this one. The Cherries to win and ‘both teams to score – no’ is at 4/1.