IT’S the start of a packed period of football in England and one of the games of the day is Liverpool v Leicester.
In my opinion bookies have underestimated the Foxes and while I’m sorely tempted by 3-1 on the Premier League leaders the best advice is to keep the draw on side and go with Claudio Ranieri’s men not to lose at 6-5.
Last week my main tip was goals at Everton v Leicester and I gave three reasons – Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku.
Bet365 have priced a book on the combined total of Vardy and Mahrez goals at Anfield and go 11-10 none, 13-8 one, 9-2 two and 12-1 for three or more.
Spokesman Steve Freeth said: “Deeney and Ighalo bullied Liverpool last Sunday and now Klopp’s rearguard have to face a different kind of in-form pairing but equally, if not more, effective.”
Leicester are 1-4 to finish the campaign above Liverpool and bet365 have updated their market on where the Foxes will finish in this fairytale of a season quoting 10-11 about a top-four finish.
While Leicester continue to set a hot pace at the top Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have lost the plot. Dazzling displays at Man City and Southampton have long been forgotten and replaced in the memory bank by a 2-0 loss at Newcastle and a 3-0 thumping at Watford which could have been much worse.
The only teams Liverpool have beaten at home since August are Swansea and Aston Villa so the Foxes have nothing to fear at a side who have lost centre-half Martin Skrtel. They haven’t lost away from home for nine months and have picked up 26 points from their last 30 games.
Meanwhile, Lukaku who has scored in all three starts in an Everton shirt against Newcastle has bagged in seven consecutive Premier League games and is 50-1 to break the 11-match hot streak of Vardy. Lukaku is 25-1 to score in 11 or more consecutive PL games.
That’s the 5.30pm game and having taken seven points from nine I can see Newcastle grabbing another draw.
The early game sees a straining Louis van Gaal take Man United to Stoke at lunchtime. Again the underdogs look a big price at 29-10 with betfair against a side who the Dutchman admits are lacking in confidence.
If Chelsea play like they did against Sunderland they should hand Guus Hiddink his first win at home to Watford. The Blues look short though at 9-20 with Betway considering Watford are 10 points better off.
With Watford’s Idion Ighalo one of the hottest hitman around I can see both teams scoring at 19-20 with William Hill.
The late, late game sees Arsenal head for Southampton on the back of their defeat of Man City on Monday. Arsene Wenger’s side are beginning to look like champions elect and should beat a side going down the table in reverse gear. Take the away at 11-10 with Paddy Power.
In the Championship best bets could be Derby at home to Fulham and I like Middlesbrough to follow their battering of Brighton by taking care of Paul Lambert’s Blackburn at Ewood Park. They are 7-5 with William Hill.
Bookies don’t often hand out gifts but here’s a late Christmas one – League One Blackpool at 6-4 with William Hill at home to Oldham. Blackpool boss Neil McDonald has found a way of stopping the opposition and last week’s 2-0 defeat of Peterborough was particularly impressive.
That followed 1-0 victories against Wigan and Fleetwood so the tangerines are going for four wins in a row to nil. To win without conceding they are 7-2 at Paddy Power.
In League Two I have to against Jackie McNamara’s York despite their losing run ending last week. Northampton visit Bootham Crescent and have the firepower to do some damage so take the away at 21-20 with William Hill.
Bets to Consider
Leicester not to lose
Chelsea v Watford btts