THE festive fixture list is well underway and we’ve some late Christmas crackers on the cards after a dramatic Boxing Day weekend.
With every Premier League team in action over the coming days, we’ve got betting tips for you from FOUR top-flight matches – starting at Stamford Bridge…
Lampard’s men are back in action just two days after losing to ArsenalCredit: AFP or licensors
Chelsea vs Aston Villa, Monday 5.30pm
It’s just a two-day turnaround for Frank Lampard after the disappointment against Arsenal.
Chelsea were given a huge knock to their title hopes after being out-fought and out-muscled by a young, much-changed Gunners side.
It was a sobering night for the Blues boss, who openly admitted his players deserved nothing from the game.
Villa meanwhile arrive in terrific festive spirit following a 3-0 demolition job over Crystal Palace – despite only having ten-men for half the contest.
Tyrone Mings will be a big miss for Dean Smith’s side, but they look fearless this campaign and will rock up to the Bridge believing they can win.
Chelsea have lost three of their last four top-flight matches and the wheels are close to coming off after such a good run through October and November.
The blessing for Frank is this is a home game – and the Bridge remains a fortress.
It was a miserable outing for Chelsea in the London derby on Boxing DayCredit: EPA
Chelsea have lost just once in 18 games here, a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool earlier in the campaign.
They’re the second highest-scorers on home soil – 17 in just seven games – and boast the joint-best home defence (seven conceded).
Expect a reaction from that dismal showing at the Emirates, but don’t expect the goals to flow on Monday night.
The Blues may have scored three or more in four of their last five home matches, but rock-solid Villa have conceded just TWO on the road all season.
That’s a remarkable achievement considering they’ve played some tough sides – and we’re tempted by the huge 7/5 on under 2.5 goals.
We can see Villa playing on the counter and digging in, looking to replicate the steel which has seen them take six clean-sheets in their last seven away matches.
With that in mind, don’t expect this Blues side to simply breeze through this excellent back-line – backing one half to finish 0-0 at 7/5 is another big, big price.
Timo Werner was hauled off at half-time against Arsenal and his failure to adapt to the Premier League is fast becoming a problem for Lampard.
If you want a goalscorer bet, the value pick is Mason Mount.
The England star might only have one goal this season, but averages two shots per game – more than anyone on the Chelsea team bar the luckless German.
Chances win matches – you can get 7/2 on him scoring anytime, which is £45 back for a tenner. Far too big.
SunSport’s best bets
Brighton vs Arsenal, Tuesday 6pm
The last few weeks have been the nightmare before Christmas for Mikel Arteta.
But that Boxing Day victory with cross-London rivals Chelsea was definitely the tonic he needed.
The Spaniard ditched a number of his overpaid, disinterested star names and trusted youth to deliver – and how they repaid his faith.
No such Christmas bounce for the Seagulls, who have won just one of their last 14 games across all competitions.
Graham Potter’s side have kept their heads above the danger zone by picking up vital draws, but just two wins so far suggests a real battle to avoid the drop this term.
Luckily for the home side, they’ve an excellent record against Arsenal at this ground since promotion in 2017.
The Gunners have yet to win at the Amex, losing twice and drawing the other in three visits to this ground.
Their away form this season has been hopeless too, with just two wins from seven on their travels.
Still, against a Brighton side who won’t set up in a defensive block, we really like the 5/4 on Arsenal picking up three points.
Boxing Day felt like a turning point, with the younger players brought in bringing a freshness and drive rarely seen by the Gunners this season.
Emile Smith Rowe was a livewire on loan at Huddersfield last season and deserved his chance, taking it with both hands.
Finally Arsenal had a midfielder who was happy to pick up the ball, turn and drive his team forward.
If you’re not impressed with trusting Arsenal on the results market, backing them to score twice at 13/10 is another excellent price.
Brighton’s defence hasn’t been on song here against the big six this term, conceding three against Man Utd (twice) and Chelsea.
Gabriel Martinelli is back in the fold and was a real breath of fresh air upfront.
Even if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns from injury, the young Brazilian is a terrific price at 2/1 to net anytime.
SunSport’s best bets
Man Utd vs Wolves, Tuesday 8pm
It’s never an easy game when Wolves are in town.
Man Utd are enjoying a winter up-turn, currently five unbeaten and crashing in 14 goals during that period.
Sadly for the visitors, the story is slightly bleaker after four defeats in their last five.
In between those losses was a superb win over Chelsea though, proving that the bite hasn’t gone despite the loss of talisman Raul Jimenez to a horrific head injury.
Scoring goals is proving to be Wolves’ main problem this term, with just 14 in fifteen games.
United have scored more than double that – but Old Trafford has proved a tough place to play without any fans on the terraces.
Rashford was on target in the 2-2 draw with Leicester – and we’re backing him to score again vs WolvesCredit: AP:Associated Press
Ole’s men are unbeaten in three at the Theatre of Dreams though and their form is definitely on the turn.
But 4/7 on them winning? We’re looking for more value than that.
Games between these sides rarely feature many goals, with four of the last H2H’s featuring less than three.
But with United carving teams open at will – plus Wolves’ matches seeing four of the last six feature over 2.5 goals – that’s the way to play.
Three goals or more is 10/11, while we also like the Red Devils to score in both halves at 31/20.
That’s been a winner in each of their last three Premier League matches.
Marcus Rashford continues to impress with 14 goals from 25 games for club and country this season.
He looks to have a fire in his belly at the moment and netted in the 2-2 draw with Leicester at the weekend.
At 9/5, he’s the value pick in the goalscorer market.
SunSport’s best bets
Newcastle vs Liverpool, Wednesday, 8pm
It felt like the Liverpool title defence was finally clicking through the gears – then West Brom and Big Sam rolled into town.
After a bumpy start – and the loss of arguably their best player – Jurgen Klopp’s men are back at the summit though and were ruthless in the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace last time they were out on the road.
Newcastle meanwhile continue to plod about in mid-table, with Steve Bruce keeping the Toon safely away from any relegation danger.
But does mediocrity keep him in the job?
They went down 2-0 to Man City at the Etihad last time out, and also crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Championship side Brentford at the last-eight stage.
Historically this is a fixture which promises goals and five of the last seven meetings have featured three or more.
Expect Klopp’s men to arrive fresh and fired-up to St James Park after that disappointing draw with the Baggies, where they had enough chances to be out of sight.
Klopp will be hoping his side can bounce from drawing with the BaggiesCredit: EPA
The home side are 10/1 to win but we won’t be going anywhere near that, despite the big price.
Liverpool have scored three on their last two visits to Tyneside and we’re instead backing them to do the same again.
After a run of three straight away draws at Brighton, Fulham and Man City, the shackles came off against Palace and the confidence returned.
The Reds to net three or more is evens, while we’d also recommend a play on Liverpool winning both halves at 17/10.
Mo Salah is an odds-on favourite to net in this game but we often shy away from those sort of prices when it comes to a goalscorer.
Leave the Egyptian well alone and instead back Sadio Mane at evens.
He’s got two in his last two after ending a lengthy drought – he’s the man to be on.
SunSport’s best bets
*All odds from Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication. More