NEW YEAR’S DAY PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews the Premier League fixtures on Saturday starting with a cracker – ARSENAL v MAN CITY at 12.30pm. All matches include a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.


12.30pm 2022 starts with a bang this Saturday as we have three fantastic Premier League fixtures, and all football bets are 0% Commission on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! We start the day with Arsenal hosting Manchester City – a great way to start the New Year! I saw Sky Sports put up the Premier League table for the calendar year on Friday, of course Manchester City topped the table by a distance (27 points!) but Arsenal were sitting in the Top Four. There was only two points between Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United so there wasn’t much in it, but it shows Arsenal aren’t as bad as everyone makes out. That being said, they are well short of the top sides this season and you wouldn’t be surprised to see City win 3-0 or 4-0 here – hence why Arsenal are viewed as an average side these days. Arsenal do come into this game full of confidence after putting some wins together, however apart from the West Ham fixture here they have had an easy fixture list again. It will be interesting to see how they cope with a City side absolutely firing at the moment.

City have been fantastic this season, and Guardiola had to spend more time saying the title isn’t won yet when interviewed by the media this week. City have an eight point advantage going into 2022, and to be honest the title looks pretty much all over bar the shouting. It’s hard to see anyone closing that gap given the level City are playing at. They have an excellent recent record against Arsenal, and they tend to score plenty of goals too. I am tempted by the handicap prices here because I expect a smooth City win, but the 1.56 in the match odds market is too big to ignore. Arsenal have been scoring for fun against weaker sides, so we could see a crazy end-to-end game here but I can’t look past the City win. They are on a completely different level to this Arsenal side, and this should be one way traffic. The 1.56 is a Max Bet for me.

The Striker Says:
Five points win Manchester City to beat Arsenal at 1.56 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Arsenal have lost their last nine Premier League games against Manchester City since a 2-2 draw in April 2017 – it’s their longest ever losing run against an opponent in their league history.
● Man City have won each of their last four away league games against Arsenal, by an aggregate score of 9-0. It’s as many victories as the Citizens had picked up in their previous 50 league visits to Highbury/Emirates Stadium combined (W4 D14 L32).
● Arsenal have failed to score in their last five Premier League games against Man City – only against Chelsea (6 between 2013 and 2016) and Liverpool (6 between 1997 and 2000) have the Gunners failed to score in more consecutive league games against an opponent.
● Manchester City have opened the scoring in the first 15 minutes in all five of their Premier League away games against Arsenal under manager Pep Guardiola, netting in the first two minutes in each of the last two seasons.
● Arsenal have only lost one of their last 10 Premier League games on New Year’s Day (W8 D1), going down 2-0 at Southampton in 2015. At home, the Gunners are unbeaten in 11 New Year’s Day games (W9 D2) since a 2-1 loss against Tottenham in 1985.
● Manchester City have won seven of their last eight Premier League games on New Year’s Day, with the exception being a 1-0 loss at Sunderland in their title-winning season of 2011-12.
● Arsenal have won each of their last five Premier League home games, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four. They last won five in a row without conceding at home in the competition between January-April 1999.
● There have been 16 occasions of a team winning 10+ consecutive Premier League games, with Manchester City responsible for more of those than any other side (5). On each of the previous four occasions the Citizens have won 10 in a row in the competition, they’ve gone on to win their next game.
● Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances, and a goal here would make him the third youngest (21y 157d) player to score in five in a row in the competition for any side, after Nicolas Anelka in 1998 (19y 239d) and Jose Antonio Reyes in 2004 (21y 10d).
● Man City’s Raheem Sterling has scored in each of his last three Premier League away games against Arsenal. The only player to score in four consecutive Premier League away appearances against Arsenal is Nicolas Anelka, who did so between 2002 and 2009 (twice at Highbury with Man City, and at the Emirates with Bolton and Chelsea).


3pm Unfortunately we lost Leicester v Norwich today due to Covid19, so we only have one 3pm fixture and that’s Watford v Spurs. Watford returned from a long break due to Covid19 with a 4-1 loss at home to West Ham here after Christmas and although they have had a tough fixture list, they have put together five losses just at the wrong time. They are under immense pressure in the relegation battle, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop down into the bottom three soon. I put the question out prior to the Southampton v Spurs game that it would be very interesting to see how they get on against a reasonably solid side away from home. Conte has enjoyed home advantage for most of his time as Spurs manager, and Spurs had to settle for a 1-1 draw. I was happy with the performance though, as they played very well and created an xG of 2.90. They deserved to win the game, and it looks like Spurs are in the best position for that fourth spot in the table with Conte in charge. United are all over the place, and Arsenal will more than likely come up short. After being a laughing stock at the start of the season, Spurs could have Champions League football again!

With Spurs in such good form at the moment, the 1.66 is worth taking here. Watford are a very average side who play an open game, and that will suit Spurs here. Since the Everton game when Conte had just come in, Spurs have since created xG figures of 2.48, 2.43, 2.14, 2.87, 2.53 and 2.90. That is quite consistent, and as I said it was nice to see a decent performance away from home too. It’s hard to see how this Watford side can stop them from scoring a few times with figures like that, especially when you consider how many chances Watford are conceding too. Given the open nature of Watford, I wouldn’t put anyone off over 2.5 goals here too as we should see an open game, but Spurs are too big at 1.66 to outclass an average Watford side.

The Striker Says:
Three points win Tottenham to beat Watford at 1.66 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Watford have won just one of their last 17 league games against Tottenham (D6 L10), beating them 2-1 at Vicarage Road in September 2018.
● Tottenham have won just two of their last 10 away league games against Watford (D5 L3), and are winless in their last three visits to Vicarage Road since a 4-1 win on New Year’s Day 2017.
● Watford have won their first league game in just one of the last 10 calendar years (D1 L8), beating Wolves 2-1 on New Year’s Day 2020.
● Tottenham lost on New Year’s Day in 2020 (0-1 vs Southampton), having won each of their previous six Premier League games on 1st January before this.
● Watford are the only side without a Premier League clean sheet this season. They’ve conceded in each of their last 27 games in the competition, the longest run without a clean sheet by any club in the division since Burnley’s run of 29 games between November 2009 and August 2014.
● Tottenham’s opponents have had a player sent off in each of their last three Premier League games. Only once has a team seen their opposition see red in four consecutive games in the competition – Arsenal in August/September 2001.
● Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is unbeaten in five Premier League games against fellow Italian managers (W4 D1), including two 3-0 wins against Claudio Ranieri in 2016-17. Meanwhile, Watford manager Ranieri has lost each of his last four Premier League meetings with fellow Italians.
● Tottenham’s Son Heung-min has been involved in six goals in his last six Premier League starts against Watford (5 goals, 1 assist), netting the winner in the reverse fixture back in August.
● In Premier League history, no player has scored more goals on New Year’s Day than Tottenham striker Harry Kane (5). He also has three assists in such games, with only Cesc Fàbregas providing more on 1st January in the competition (4).
● Emmanuel Dennis has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last eight Premier League games for Watford (6 goals, 4 assists), having a hand in 67% of the goals the Hornets have scored in these games (10/15).


5.30pm We finish the day with the most open market of the day as Crystal Palace host West Ham. Both these sides got back to winning ways on the 28th, with Crystal Palace beating Norwich 3-0 and West Ham hammering Watford 4-1. That was a very important win for West Ham as they had put together a pretty poor run of results. It was always likely that they would come up short in the race for the Top Four, but they have dropped out in a matter of weeks. With United and Spurs behind them too, they’ll probably miss out on Europa League football too – although we do tend to see some extra spots depending on who wins the domestic Cups. The Hammers would have been pleased with the 4-1 win at Watford, but they still conceded an xG of 1.59 and when you put that with their other recent performances you can see that they just aren’t firing at the moment. They only created an xG of 0.85 away to Burnley, and then 0.43 away to Arsenal.

Crystal Palace will be looking at this game as a good chance to upset the odds. West Ham are favourites at 2.42, and although we have quite an open market, I expected it to be a little more open. I would have West Ham a little higher in the betting and Crystal Palace a little lower. Nothing went right for Palace against Spurs on Boxing day, but their last three home games have been good. They created an xG of 1.93 v Everton, 1.79 v Southampton and then 2.64 v Norwich. West Ham are a step(s) up on those sides, but you can see that Palace are creating good chances at home while West Ham are struggling a little at the moment. I feel the value play is a West Ham lay at the odds. We should see a closer game than the odds suggest here, and Palace can make life very difficult for West Ham.

The Striker Says:
Two points lay (liability) West Ham to beat Crystal Palace at 2.42 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 13 Premier League games against West Ham (D6 L5), with these victories both coming in the 2019-20 campaign.
● West Ham have won four of their last seven away Premier League games against Crystal Palace (D2 L1). The Hammers have scored in all seven of these visits, but have also conceded at least once in six of them.
● Both teams have scored in each of the last nine Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and West Ham; only three fixtures have ever seen longer such runs in the competition – Fulham v Man City (15), Newcastle v Wolves (13) and Arsenal v Chelsea (11). The team scoring first has won none of these nine meetings between the Eagles and the Hammers (D5 L4).
● West Ham have won just one of their last nine away London derbies in the Premier League (D2 L6), though that victory did come at Crystal Palace last season (3-2).
● Crystal Palace have won just one of their 10 top-flight matches played on New Year’s Day (D5 L4), beating Notts County back in 1992.
● West Ham won on New Year’s Day in 2020 (4-0 v Bournemouth) and 2021 (1-0 v Everton) – they’ve never won three consecutive league games on 1st January before.
● Crystal Palace forward Odsonne Édouard has been involved in four goals in his last three Premier League games (1 goal, 3 assists), one more than he had in his first 13 in the competition combined (3 goals).
● Declan Rice has played 149 Premier League games for West Ham, and will become the 17th different player to reach 150 for the club in the competition. At 22 years and 352 days on the day of this game, he’ll be almost three years younger than the previous youngest player to reach the milestone for the Hammers (Mark Noble in 2013, 25y 267d).
● West Ham forward Michail Antonio has been involved in 11 goals in his last 12 London derby appearances in the Premier League, scoring five and assisting six.
● West Ham’s Saïd Benrahma has been directly involved in eight goals in 19 Premier League games this season (5 goals, 3 assists), one more than he managed in 30 appearances in the competition last season (7 – 1 goal, 6 assists).