EPL: 2021 Boxing Day Picks: City Can Tame Foxes

The English Premier League doesn’t stop for Christmas and there’s a full slate of top flight action during the Christmas holiday, with nine games on December 26.

Who do Bettors Favor?

EPL fans checking out the latest prices on their favorite online sportsbooks will find that the bookies are not taking any chances ahead of the latest round of Premier League fixtures.

League leaders Manchester City and closest rivals Liverpool are short odds to beat Leicester City and Leeds United respectively. They are predicting closer games in the West Midlands and north London, with Wolves at -130 favorites to beat Watford and Tottenham a -135 chance against Crystal Palace.

Manchester City v LeicesterBetUSBetOnlineMyBookie
Manchester City-500-520-500
Leicester+1200+1400+1100
Draw+625+650+540

Manchester City v Leicester, 2021-12-26

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City roll on, and it seems like no one, with the possible exception of Liverpool, know how to stop them.

The reigning league champions have now recorded nine wins in a row, the latest being a 4-0 victory against a woeful Newcastle team at St James’ Park. That made it three clean sheets in a row for City, who boast the division’s best defensive record – though only the second-best goalscoring tally.

Goals are hardly a problem, however. The main concerns for Guardiola at the moment appear to be the familiar one of fixture congestion and a less familiar disciplinary problem with Phil Foden and Jack Grealish. Neither of those issues are likely to slow City’s advance this winter, and they certainly won’t be concerned by the impending visit of Leicester.

The Foxes secured a welcome victory last time out – also over Newcastle – but that was only their second in seven games. Their last two games have been postponed due to COVID-19 issues, but even with the extra few days of rest, they will not be able to match the champions.

Manchester CityTo beat Leicester City
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
-500
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Liverpool v Leeds, 2021-12-26

The fact that Manchester City are not showing any signs of weakness means that the pressure is on Liverpool to maintain their own high standards and so keep the gap between the two clubs to manageable proportions.

Six consecutive wins from the middle of November kept them in the chase, but dropping two points at Tottenham at the weekend was not part of Jurgen Klopp’s plan and Liverpool know that they can’t afford many more slip-ups if they want to be in a position to regain the title in May.

Their home form, however, has been excellent. Four consecutive wins at Anfield have seen them score 12 goals and conceded only one and they will have a good chance of extending that run of success on Boxing Day when they entertain the inconsistent Leeds United.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds remain one of the Premier League’s most entertaining and exciting teams, but they are finding life in the top division a lot harder this season. Injuries have not helped but their performances have been too variable to enable them to build a platform and they go into this game only five points clear of the drop zone. Consecutive defeats to Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal will not have boosted their confidence and I can’t see them getting anything out of this game.

LiverpoolTo beat Leeds United
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
-769
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Tottenham v Crystal Palace, 2021-12-26

There are plenty of London derbies every year in the Premier League, but this looks like being one of the most competitive we will see this season.

Tottenham have improved significantly under Antonio Conte, and although their efforts have been disrupted by COVID-19, which has led to player absences, a postponement, and a cancellation, they have kept to their upward curve, underlining their progress with a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at the weekend, in which key striker Harry Kane looked back to something like his best.

Conte will not take these opponents lightly, however. Under Patrick Vieira, Palace are one of Europe’s most improved top-flight teams, and they have put in some impressive performances. Most of those, however, have been at Selhurst Park. On the road they have been less successful – aside from one shock victory at the Etihad – so Tottenham should be able to edge this one.

Tottenham To beat Crystal Palace
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
-135
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Wolves v Watford, 2021-12-26

Wolves have been solid under new manager Bruno Lage so far this season but fans may soon start to become a little restless with the lack of goals and creativity in the team.

The statistics certainly make for stark reading. Wolves are a respectable tenth in the table, with the third-best defensive record and the second-worst goalscoring record. Their last four home games have produced a paltry two goals in total, and while the team have earned plenty of praise for some of their performances against the bigger teams in the division, they are lacking dynamism.

Fortunately for Lage, the arrival of Watford on Boxing Day gives them an ideal opportunity to improve those goalscoring stats. The Hornets have lost their last four and have the fourth worst defensive record in the division. On the road, they have been conceding approximately two goals a game so even Wolves should be able to capitalize and earn a comfortable win here.

WolvesTo beat Watford
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
-120
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CTA Back Wolves to beat Watford at -120 BetUS

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Noelle Matthews

Noelle Matthews was born in the Big Apple, so she grew up among some of the biggest sports rivalries. After studying journalism at CUNY, she went on to specialize in sports journalism. She happily writes about her passion for sports and continues to live in Manhattan.