Festive Football, Darts, And Boxing Action
The Festive Period is always an exciting time of the year for Premier League Football and there are plenty of top of the table clashes to look forward to. Meanwhile, December is also when the PDC World Championship starts, with the final set to take place on New Year’s Day. There are also a couple of big boxing matches scheduled to take place in December.
Liverpool may only be two-points behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League but, as they already have a vastly inferior goal difference to City, Jurgen Klopp will be desperate not to lose any more ground in the run-up to their match on January 3rd. However, Liverpool look to have plenty on their plate this Christmas with matches against both Manchester United and Arsenal before they take on Manchester City. City do have to travel to Chelsea though before then.
Football: Chelsea vs Manchester City (8th December)
Just one win in their last four Premier League games means Chelsea have dropped 10-points behind Manchester City in the Premier League Title race and recent results against Manchester City suggest the gap could widen further come Saturday evening.
Man City won both of last season’s games 1-0 and again kept a clean-sheet at Wembley when they beat Chelsea 2-0 in this year’s Community Shield. However, as City have only kept one clean-sheet in their last five Premier League wins, the value-bet could be for a Man City win and both teams to score.
Chelsea vs Man City Tip: Man City To Win and Both Teams To Score @ 3.46 Marathon Bet, 3.40 Bet365 and Betfred
Football: Liverpool vs Manchester United (16th December)
Liverpool may have a far inferior goal difference to Manchester City, but they still have a decent shot of wrestling the title away from City as they remain just two-points behind the Premier League leaders. However, with a tough Festive period, they’ll need to be at their best if they want to stay in contention.
Indeed, Liverpool have struggled against Manchester United in recent years, but they did beat them 4-1 in the International Champions Cup in July. Liverpool’s more defensive strategy this season could also make life difficult for a Manchester United side that has been inconsistent at best this season.
Football: Liverpool vs Arsenal (29th December)
Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-0 at home last season but have drawn twice at the Emirates Stadium since. The last meeting was also much lower-scoring than many of their previous encounters, further evidence that Jurgen Klopp has put more emphasis on defence this season. Meanwhile, Arsenal continue to get better and forced Manchester United to come from behind twice before drawing at Old Trafford. Another tough game for Liverpool surely awaits and it’s a tough one to call.
Football: Manchester City vs Liverpool (3rd January)
If Liverpool have managed to keep tabs on Manchester City up to this point, they’ll take plenty of motivation from their recent results against Liverpool. They include winning both their clashes in the Champions League last season. However, this season’s game at Anfield unbelievably ended 0-0, perhaps another sign that Klopp is putting defence first. However, if they’re still two-points behind City come January 3rd, surely Klopp will be going all out for a win that would take them to the top of the table.
Darts: PDC World Championships (13th Dec to 1st Jan)
The PDC World Championships offers punters nearly three weeks of fast-paced punting action as matches swing in the blink of an eye as 180s are plundered and finishes are picked-off with both mathematical and arrow-throwing precision.
There are even more matches than normal this year, as 96 players are set to contest the Sid Waddell Trophy, instead of 72. The tournament has even opened its doors to female darts players for the first time, with Lisa Ashton and Dobromyslova having the chance to impress against the men.
Of course, the big question is who will win the PDC World Championships? The bookies again make Michael Van Gerwen favourite, but the odds about the two-times World Champion are much bigger than last year. He was odds on for last year’s tournament but can be backed at odds of around 13/8 this year.
Those odds look will have plenty of punters rushing into back the world’s number one player, though his odds are roughly about right considering he’s won two of the last five PDC World Championships.
Van Gerwen recently said that he thought Gary Anderson is the only player that can take him down this year if he finds his best form and there’s definitely a case for backing Anderson who has won two of the last four finals. Those stats make him around an even-money shot, so odds of 7/2 for Anderson make him look a value bet.
Neither Van Gerwen or Anderson are unbeatable though, and many punters may want to take a chance at double-figure odds on the likes of Peter Wright, Michael Smith, or last year’s champion Rob Cross.
However, the real value could be Daryl Gurney, who recently beat Van Gerwen to win the Players Championship, odds of 33/1 about him look on the big side with his confidence bound to be sky high.
PDC Darts Championship Tip: Daryl Gurney @ 34.00 Widely Available
Boxing: Rocky Fielding v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (15th December)
This could be a true Rocky-like story for Rocky Fielding who, after claiming the WBA super-middleweight champion belt in July with a defeat of Tyron Zeuge, gets the reward of stepping into the ring against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Whether Fielding thinks it’s a reward after the bout is a different matter, as fellow Brits Matthew Hatton, Ryan Rhodes, Amir Khan, and Liam Smith have all tried and failed to take down Canelo. Indeed, as the Mexican’s only defeat came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather in 2013, it’s no surprise some bookies are as short as 1/25 about Canelo. If you fancy a Rocky-like upset, there’s some 9/1 around about a Fielding win, whilst the draw is around 33/1.
Boxing: Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton (22nd December)
Josh Warrington may be the latest IBF World Featherweight Champion after his defeat of Lee Selby in May, but the first ever world champion from Leeds has been made the underdog by the bookies for his fight against Carl Frampton.
Warrington will also go into the fight full of confidence as his professional record now stands at 27-0. However, Frampton is a former three-time world champion that says he’s hungry to feel the euphoria of being a world champion again. The bookies make Frampton the 1/2 favourite with Warrington at 2/1 for their fight at the Manchester Arena, where both camps are expected to have plenty of vocal support. It’s a tough one to call, but 2/1 doesn’t seem a bad price for a boxer that’s very much on the up and is still undefeated.
What are you most looking forward to during the festive period?