The festive period is a wonderful time of year for football fans as there are plenty of games to get stuck into and Boxing Day always provides a real treat. This year is no different and the action gets underway at Stamford Bridge when Fulham make the short trip across West London.
There was nothing to separate the sides when they clashed in the Carling Cup as Chelsea edged the tie on penalties. Andre Villas-Boas chose to rest a number of his starting XI for that match, but Fulham won’t be afforded the same luxury this time.
Martin Jol’s lot were dreadful against Manchester United last Wednesday and the Blues will be relishing the opportunity to get at their fragile back four. They were all over the place against United and were three down in no time at all. With the game at Stamford Bridge, I fancy Chelsea to walk this one by a couple of goals.
Manchester City have been unstoppable since August and fully deserve their place at the top of the pile as we head into Christmas. Roberto Mancini’s side were ruthless against Stoke last week and Joe Hart barely had a save to make.
This time it’s the Baggies who have to find a way to stop City and I just don’t see that happening. The Baggies were terrific at Newcastle, but City are a different beast. Sergio Aguero and David Silva are a joy to watch and I fear for the home side. City scored three against Stoke and I fancy a similar scoreline at the Hawthorns.
I’ll be at the Britannia Stadium with Sky Sports for Aston Villa’s visit and Stoke will need to sharpen up significantly if they’re to bounce back from the mauling at Man City. It’s not often you see Stoke go down without a fight, but that’s exactly what happened in the 3-0 defeat.
There’s no doubt that Stoke will be up for this one and Villa can expect a serious work out. Tony Pulis will set his side up in the same manner and Villa must be ready for a barrage of balls into the box. Villa conceded a late goal from a corner against Arsenal, so you can bet they’ve been working on set-pieces all week. Villa should be much better defensively this time around and can get a point if maintain concentration.
Betting on BETDAQ – Alan’s Punts:
Chelsea v Fulham: back Chelsea with -1.5 Asian handicap at 2.0
Stoke v Aston Villa: back the draw at 3.5
West Brom v Man City: back City with -1.0 Asian handicap at 1.77
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