Man City aim to close gap at top with Boxing Day Baggies win
Manchester City (9/4 with Coral to win the title) will be looking to close the gap at the top of the Premier League when they travel to The Hawthorns on Boxing Day and league leaders Chelsea meet West Ham United. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently only three points behind Jose Mourinho’s men going into this exciting set of Boxing Day fixtures. Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers’ lacklustre Liverpool travel to Turf Moor, and the Eagles host Southampton.
West Bromwich Albion v Man City
Title contenders City have won the five previous Premier League head-to-heads between these two sides, and have not been beaten by the relegation-battling Baggies since December 2008.
In the last meeting at the Hawthorns, Yaya Toure helped City to a 3-2 victory, bagging a second half Baggies brace. City’s clinical centre midfielder is 7/1 to score two or more again at any time in the latest clash.
Pellegrini’s second-placed side are in fabulous form, winning six consecutive league games, including a comfortable 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace in their last outing. Sublime Spaniard David Silva struck twice in the simple home win, and is 6/1 to open the scoring again at The Hawthorns.
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Palace have not beaten the high-flying Saints since December 2008, when the two sides met in the Championship. The Eagles claimed a 3-0 victory that day, but Southampton did the double over Warnock’s side last season, winning both games to nil. Ronald Koeman’s men are 12/5 to do so without conceding yet again, when the teams clash at Selhurst Park.
Neil Warnock’s dejected Eagles have been on a miserable run of form, struggling without a league win since the shock 3-1 triumph over Liverpool in November and faltering just above the relegation zone in 17th.
However, the Saints had lost five games on the bounce before their 3-0 triumph over Everton last time out, and have since dropped out of the top four. Graziano Pelle was among the goals against the Toffees, and the inspired Italian is 6/4 to score anytime against Palace.
Burnley v Liverpool
The last time the two sides met was in April 2010, with the Reds running riot in a 4-0 thrashing of the Clarets. Skipper Steven Gerrard grabbed a double at Turf Moor that day, and the Anfield captain is 9/1 to capture another brace or better anytime in the latest game.
Burnley are struggling hopelessly in the drop zone of the Premier League table, after picking up only a single triumph in their previous five domestic outings. Before being toppled by Tottenham in their last fixture, Sean Dyche’s team shocked high-flying Saints in a narrow 1-0 home victory. Ashley Barnes followed up his match-winning goal against Southampton with another against Spurs last time out. Burnley’s in-form forward is 2/1 to make it three from three with another strike anytime against Brendan Rodgers’ struggling Reds.
Liverpool have been this seasons big underachievers, haplessly sliding down to 10th in the league table, after a string of three games without a victory. However, goals from Philippe Coutinho and Martin Skrtel helped to seal a dramatic 2-2 draw with Arsenal in the last outing, and the Reds’ rampant Brazilian is 11/4 to strike again at any time at Turf Moor.