It’s fair to say that last week’s tips didn’t exactly go to plan. Nigel Pearson’s defensive Watford side negated a Liverpool goalfest although The Reds did extend their lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win. In London, Bournemouth picked up their first win in six games with a 1-0 win over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
This week we’re taking a look at two games that will have major implications on the Champions League race and will set the tone for these clubs as we head into the busy Christmas schedule.
Manchester City host Leicester on Saturday evening before Frank Lampard travels to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face his old boss in a mouthwatering tie.
Manchester City vs Leicester City
Saturday 21st December 2019 12:30PM
Both of these teams were victorious on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup. Manchester City beat Oxford United of League One while Leicester progressed on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Everton.
Saturday’s game is a perfect opportunity for both to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s side in action in the Club World Cup Final in Qatar. From a neutral’s perspective, the best outcome is a Leicester win. That would put seven points between the two before Liverpool visit Leicester on the 26th of December.
Manchester City are the favourites though and they are available to back at -270 with CanPlay. This fixture last season proved crucial in the title race too. Vincent Kompany long-range goal all but secured the Premier League title for the Manchester side. You could say that their title hopes rest on the result of this game too. A loss will leave them seven points behind Leicester and 14 behind a Liverpool team with a game in hand.
They have surprisingly struggled in the big games this season. Defeats to Manchester United, Liverpool and an early season draw with Spurs have ultimately been their downfall. Opposition coaches seem to have finally got to grips with Guardiola’s style and there’s no doubt that Brendan Rodgers will relish the opportunity to face the two-time Champions League winner.
Leicester City haven’t lost since the 5th of October and they will be on a high after progressing to the League Cup semi-final. Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes pose a threat to any defence in the Premier League and that is one area where Man. City have looked below par in recent weeks.
We think this one will be a lot closer than the odds suggest. We’re backing Leicester (+2) in the handicap betting at -125 with CanPlay. Jamie Vardy has scored 16 goals in 17 Premier League appearances and we expect to hit the net again this weekend. Bet on Vardy to score anytime at +160.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea
Sunday 22nd December 2019 11:30AM
4th plays 5th in Sunday’s blockbuster clash. Chelsea’s impressive start to the season has faltered in recent weeks and the Blues have slipped to 4th after losing four of their last five games. In contrast, Spurs have been on the rise since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino on the sideline. They have won four of their last five under ‘The Special One’.
The form book suggests only one winner and all things considered, Spurs are a decent price at +135 with CanPlay. A win for Tottenham will lift them above Chelsea into the final Champions League place and a decent run of fixtures on the horizon.
It looks as if Mourinho has already decided on a settled line-up. Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and Harry Kane have combined for 11 goals in the five league games since Mourinho took over. Lucas Moura is the best priced to score anytime at +250 with CanPlay.
Tammy Abraham remains the key man for Chelsea and he can be backed at +350 to score first on Sunday.
Any London Derby is tough to call but we’re tipping Spurs to move above Chelsea with a win. Back Spurs to win at +135 with CanPlay.