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Premier League predictions

Written: 31st December 2019

Premier League Predictions - Week 21

Happy New Year, one and all, from everyone here at 21.co.uk! However, now is not the time for festivities, as our two football experts go head-to-head once again in a battle of knowledge, wits and hatred for Video Assistant Referees. Seriously, a number of our predictions this year have come short thanks to VAR. When it comes to football betting, VAR can either be your greatest ally or your darkest nemesis and for our two experts, it’s been the latter on more than one occasion this season. So, with that rant regarding VAR completed, let’s get straight into our football betting tips for the New Year.

Brighton Vs Chelsea - Wednesday 1st January (12:30)

Overview

Chelsea have pushed into the New Year as possibly the most inconsistent team in Europe, with wins over Tottenham and Arsenal in their last three, but a loss at home to struggling Southampton in between. As our experts have previously mentioned, Chelsea are very strong away from Stamford Bridge, but are relatively weak against sides who are lower down in the league.

MG’s Prediction

I have absolutely no clue what to expect from Chelsea these days. They were awful against Southampton as well as the first 30 minutes in their London derby against Arsenal. However, they applied the pressure and got the win, demonstrating they do have the quality to cause teams all sorts of problems even when they’re not at their best. Brighton, on the other hand, were dominant against Bournemouth and could have easily won by more. I’m going for a Brighton win here.

Brighton to Win - 57/20

TM‘s Prediction

Despite wins against Tottenham and Arsenal, Brighton are actually two points worse off than at this stage last season, although they look better equipped to win more than the two games they managed in the second half of 2018-19. Chelsea are lacklustre and unpredictable, but their issues have mostly been at Stamford Bridge. A win for them has value.

Chelsea to Win - Evens

Burnley Vs Aston Villa - Wednesday 1st January (12:30)

Overview

Both of these sides have been particularly poor recently, with Burnley struggling to get shots on target ,while Aston Villa have won just one of their last seven Premier League games - a run which included defeats to Watford, Southampton and Sheffield United. One thing we do know for sure is that the battle of claret and blue won’t be a classic. We may see goals but we can’t imagine the standard of football will be particularly good. However, if you offered either of these sides a tragic affair but three points, they - like most - would take your hand off.

TM‘s Prediction

After an early sequence of mixed results, Burnley have now found themselves either winning or losing games since September, and the inability to earn draws rather than defeats could drag them into a dogfight. Aston Villa also showed early promise, but look devoid of ideas, even in their win against Norwich. I think the home side will edge it, but it won’t be pretty.

Burnley Win to Zero - 39/20

MG’s Prediction

Aston Villa need Jack Grealish more than ever during this barren run. He was poor against Watford and after a dismal performance against the ten men of the Hornets, Dean Smith might be starting to feel the pressure. That being said, Grealish is a special talent without a doubt. I can see him causing a few problems here and for the first time ever - I’m going for a bet under evens.

Grealish to have over 2.5 shots - 10/11

Newcastle Vs Leicester City - Wednesday 1st January (15:00)

Overview

Newcastle were condemned to their second home defeat of the season against Everton last time out, although they were unlucky not to have a penalty late in the game, which may have turned the tide. They host a Leicester side that rested 8 players in their win over West Ham and the same Leicester team beat them 5-0 earlier in the season. Back to back home defeats look likely for Steve Bruce’s Magpies.

MG’s Prediction

As I watched the Newcastle match last weekend, I was infuriated before Everton’s second goal. Newcastle are not a side capable of pressing high, they tried it once during the entire match, won the ball back, lost it immediately and Everton scored probably the easiest opportunity they’ll get all season. They won’t make the same mistake here, so while the likes of Jamie Vardy will probably struggle to get space, playmakers usually shine against this defensive side.

James Maddison to score from outside the box - 9/1

TM‘s Prediction

Newcastle caused Everton a few problems, but ultimately slipped to defeat, and their reliance on their defenders for goals highlights some issues across the team. Leicester looked fairly good against West Ham, even with several changes, so I can’t see their usual first team having any issues at St James’ Park.

Leicester to Score Over 2.5 Goals - 11/5

Southampton Vs Tottenham - Wednesday 1st January (15:00)

Overview

Southampton will be content after they were gifted an equaliser against Crystal Palace. Taking on an attacking Tottenham side should suit them a little bit more than their tie against the counter-attacking Palace, however, Spurs will need to respond after only scraping a draw against Norwich at the weekend. The good news for Spurs was that Harry Kane scored in consecutive matches for the first time since October, when they faced - that’s right - Southampton.

TM‘s Prediction

Danny Ings has stolen the headlines, but Southampton have improved as a unit in recent weeks, and confidence is high. Tottenham have the quality, but a defensive ineptitude still causes them issues. The result is tough to predict, but I can certainly see Southampton scoring a couple of goals.

Southampton to Score Over 1.5 Goals - 31/20

MG’s Prediction

Spurs will have most of the possession here and Southampton will hit them hard on the break. When you look at the two sides, Southampton will aim to make this a scrappy affair and then hit Jose Mourinho’s side with pace and precision on the counter attack, so in my opinion Tottenham having more corners than Southampton seems like a banker.

Most Corners: Spurs 6/5

Watford Vs Wolves - Wednesday 1st January (15:00)

Overview

Watford picked up a fantastic win over Aston Villa at the weekend and it looks like the return of Troy Deeney has come at the perfect time. Nigel Pearson has brought the passion back to Vicarage Road and considering Watford are now under evens to avoid relegation, it’s clear the progress they’ve made as a team. That being said, you can’t talk about progress without talking about Wolves, who just keep going from strength to strength. Wolves seem to have put last season’s disastrous form against the bottom six behind them’ but some might be surprised to see that Wolves are the favourites here.

MG’s Prediction

Wolves are a great side to watch’ but when I watch Watford they’re so much more organised than they were at the start of the season. I’ve said since day one that you can’t defend like Watford and stay in the Premier League, but I think they have a fantastic chance of staying up now they’ve returned to form. I think they’ll nick a point here.

Draw - 47/20

TM‘s Prediction

I’ve been a big fan of Watford since they returned to the top flight in 2015, but it’s fair to say they’ve been mis-managed this season. Few would have thought Nigel Pearson would get Vicarage Road rocking again, but that’s exactly what he’s done, and even a flashy Wolves side will be nervous ahead of this one. Chiefly, I foresee a few goals.

Over 2.5 Goals - 21/20

Man City Vs Everton - Wednesday 1st January (17:30)

Overview

This is an intriguing tie as Manchester City still aren’t at their best, but Everton haven’t particularly impressed in their back-to-back wins. They’ve been effective though, which is all teams seem to need to be to break down the Citizens at the moment. Pep Guardiola is beginning to look as stressed as Jose Mourinho did at Real Madrid and obviously, we all know what followed that. Nethertheless, Carlo Ancelotti vs Pep Guardiola should be a brilliant tactical affair.

TM's Prediction

Everton are a good side, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been the primary beneficiary of Duncan Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti’s managerial input. Manchester City have been getting good results since effectively conceding the title race, and I can see them winning again here, but not without a scare.

Manchester City to Win & BTTS - Evens

MG’s Prediction

Everton have been good so far, but I can see Manchester City simply overpowering them here. I correctly predicted their 3-1 win in September, so I’ll go for another correct score here.

Correct Score: 2-1 - 8/1

Norwich Vs Crystal Palace - Wednesday 1st January (17:30)

Overview

Both of these sides shared the spoils in their games at the weekend. However, Norwich are just a few games short of an unwanted record, as they have conceded at least two goals at home in each of their last nine games. The current record is held by Wolves (11), however, if there was ever a side you perhaps wouldn’t concede two goals against, it’s Crystal Palace, who have scored just 18 goals in their 20 league games this season.

MG’s Prediction This scoreline could literally be anything and when that’s the case, I usually make a casino pun, but at this point Norwich City need to decide whether they’re going to stick or twist with their squad. A few arrivals could keep them in the Premier League and I think after a defeat here, they might want to make a few changes.

Crystal Palace to win - 19/10

TM‘s Prediction

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell have been the stars of this Norwich team, but there seems to be too much reliance on them. Hopefully Mario Vrancic’s goal against Tottenham is a sign that the rest of the team will start to pull their weight, but Crystal Palace have lost just once in seven league games. I can see this petering out to a draw.

Draw - 49/20

West Ham Vs Bournemouth - Wednesday 1st January (17:30)

Overview

West Ham had a chance to wipe the slate clean, start fresh and bring in a young manager that could inspire hope and confidence in the club. Instead, they rehired the man they sacked for being incompetent. Luckily, David Moyes has told the media that he was rehired because “winning is what he does”, therefore we compared him to the best manager we could think of - ADO Den Haag’s Alan Pardew, who won just 3 games in 21 in his last job. Here is their win rate in the Premier League since 2015:

David Moyes - Managed 74, Won 17, Win Percentage = 22.9% Alan Pardew - Managed 108, Won 38, Win Percentage = 35.1%

TM‘s Prediction

I’m possibly the only one who thinks David Moyes will do a good job at West Ham over the remainder of the season, but that’s largely because I think he’ll benefit from players returning from injury. Their situation can’t get much worse, so if he’s judged on steering them clear of the drop zone, then he’ll be a success. Bournemouth are easy prey for a first game in charge, as they’ve been woeful for two months. The Hammers to win, in my eyes.

West Ham to Win - 20/21

MG’s Prediction

Guess who’s back, back again. Moyesy’s back and it’s absolutely tragic. I could have understood if Everton came back in for Moyes, but West Ham? Shocking. They might get a new manager bounce against a Bournemouth side who have been absolutely dreadful against mid-table sides. Honestly, this could be anything, but if the Hammers lose, it will be painfully comical to see a club with such potential slapped in the face.

West Ham Win & BTTS = 41/20

Arsenal Vs Manchester United - Wednesday 1st January (20:00)

Overview For 80 minutes, Arsenal looked like a different side under Mikel Arteta. The first 30 minutes were fantastic and the next 50 they looked solid. Unfortunately, they didn’t hold onto that for the full 90 minutes and Chelsea capitalised. Meanwhile, Manchester United look like a half-decent side now. They’re full of pace and precision and will cause a lot of problems for this Arsenal defence. Could we see a goal-fest?

MG’s Prediction

I am oh-so looking forward to this one. Manchester United look like they have their swagger back, while who knows what is going to happen with Arsenal and Arteta? One thing I will guarantee here - GOALS!

Over 3.5 Goals - 6/4

TM‘s Prediction

I actually think Chelsea’s performance made Arsenal look better, and the Gunners ultimately showed that their issues are far from gone. Manchester United earned a hard-fought win at Burnley, but their away form hasn’t been great. I think it will finish 1-1, but with odds of 25/4 I’ll simply back a stalemate of any kind.

Draw - 27/10

Liverpool Vs Sheffield United - Thursday 2nd January (20:00)

Overview

This should be an interesting one, as Sheffield United rested a number of players against Man City and Liverpool had a very tough tie against Wolves last time out. Liverpool have a real chance of finishing this season as invincibles, but Sheffield United and Chris Wilder would take a lot of pleasure in being the first side to beat the Merseysiders in the league after nearly being the first to take points off them earlier in the season.

TM‘s Prediction

Liverpool have been incredible and are worthy champions in my eyes. They may shy away from that word, but it would take a serious ‘wheels falling off’ situation for them to throw it away. I don’t see them emulating the 2003-04 Arsenal Invincibles, however, and Sheffield United are the kind of side that could ensure it doesn’t happen.

Double Chance: Draw or Sheffield United - 59/20

MG’s Prediction

I hate to say it, but I can’t see Liverpool losing here. Sheffield United will cause a tonne of problems for them, but they grind out results. They won 1-0 in the first fixture and against Wolves at the weekend, but I think they’ll concede, so I’ll go with a new scoreline here.

Correct Score: 2-1 - 15/2

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