CHELSEA are looking less invincible by the week but should start 2015 in a winning note.
The Blues travel to a Spurs side they easily defeated 3-0 at Stamford Bridge recently.
Since losing their unbeaten record to Newcastle Jose Mourinho’s side have been a bit off colour and dropped two more points at Southampton at the weekend.
However, their three-point lead over Man City at the top was maintained after their rivals’ surprise draw at home to Burnley.
Chelsea remain massive favourites for the title and should see off a Spurs side who they haven’t lost to in 10 meetings.
Last season it was a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane but the previous two saw Chelsea notch 4-2 and 5-1 victories.
I’m on the Blues to take the points at 4-5 with William Hill and other and on top man Eden Hazard to score at 21-10 with bet365.
Man City, who have extended Frank Lampard’s loan until the end of the season, will be looking to get back on track against Sunderland and should do so.
The price on a home win is short at 1-4 with Ladbrokes and others so consider over 3.5 goals in the game at 13-10 with BetVictor – as has been the case in five of the last six meetings at the Etihad. Lampard is 7-4 at Betfred to mark his new deal with a goal.
The early game sees Man United travel to Stoke and it’s a tough one to call. United’s last two away clashes at Spurs and Villa have been draws and this could be another at 5-2 with firms such as Betfred.
It’s Loius van Gaal’s first experience of the crazy festive schedule and he and skipper Wayne Rooney have been doing a power of moaning which makes me worried.
United are one of the few sides with a superb record at Stoke, winning five and drawing one of their last six, and while I don’t think they’ll lose a draw is possible with the hosts in better spirits after back-to-back wins against Everton and West Brom and a recent success over Arsenal.
Van Gaal’s side are 4-9 draw no bet which is okay and another stat I like is Robin van Persie scoring 10 goals in 10 Premier League appearances against the Potters, including four in five for United. The Dutchman is 13-8 at BetVictor to strike again.
Crystal Palace booted Neil Warnock after no wins in seven and head to an Aston Villa side who can’t keep 11 men on the park. Villa’s latest red-card receiver was Fabian Delph in the 0-0 draw with Sunderland and key men Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor have also taken early baths recently.
Palace are boosted by the arrival of Alan Pardew from Newcastle and he can make an immediate impact a winning start at a best 5-2 at BetVictor. If that’s too much a leap of faith consider Palace not to lose at 5-8 at 888sport.
Two teams out of form – Hull and Everton – meet at the KC Stadium and while the Toffees have lost five of their last six and I’m on them to win a tight affair at 11-8 at bet365. Everton are better than their results suggest and we should soon see them start climbing the table.
Liverpool were much improved as they swept Swansea aside 4-1 on Monday and should see off Leicester despite players having just two full days to recover. Skipper Steven Gerrard is one who won’t be fatigued after being rested so I like him at 15-2 with 888sport to score first.
The Reds have scored 10 goals in their last four games after a change in tact by Brendan Rodgers whose side have benefited from moving Raheem Sterling up front on his own.
Leicester ended a run of 13 matches without success by beating Hull but I’m confident about Liverpool after being impressed by the way they sunk the Swans.
Newcastle are facing tough times after losing Pardew and with other stars being rumoured to follow him out of the door. Top scorer Papiss Cisse is one of them and he’s banned anyway after the being caught elbowing Seamus Coleman in the win against Everton.
It’s the worst time to be facing a Burnley side who fought back from 2-0 down to draw with Man City and I’m interested in Burnley draw no bet at 5-2 with 888sport – and that’s been cut since I put it on the Super Single shortlist.
Sean Dyche’s men are beginning to enjoy life in the top flight and if they play like they have they can avoid defeat.
QPR couldn’t break down Palace last week but should have better luck against Swansea after their defence looked shaky at Anfield.
Garry Monk’s men have won just once on the road in nine games – at Hull – while QPR have collected all 18 of their points at home.
Back Harry Redknapp’s men at 2-1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes and get back on Charlie Austin to score first at 13-10 with Paddy Power. You can have QPR at 11-10 draw no bet if you have doubts about their chances of winning.
Only goal difference separates Southampton and Arsenal going into 2015 and a draw looks the best bet when they meet on the south coast. A scoring draw is on and that pays 7-2 at McBookie.
Alan Irvine finally paid the price for West Brom’s poor form so again you have to decide what effect his departure will have ahead of his side’s visit to West Ham with new boss Tony Pulis watching from the stand.
The Scot seemed to have the support of players so I’m backing the Hammers to finish a good year in style with a win.
Sam Allardyce’s men have won six and drawn one of their last seven games at home and are a best 9-10 at Stan James.
Palace DNB/Man Utd DNB
Gerrard to score first
(2-1, William Hill)
(9-10, Stan James)