As if it being the festive period wasn’t reason enough to be merry, football fans and punters have got a whole host of eye-catching Premier League fixtures to look forward to – and none more so than on Boxing Day.

Chelsea v West Ham

In the lunchtime kick off West Ham will have to brave the Christmas Sale traffic as they travel across London to take on Chelsea.

The bad news for Hammers fans is that they have only beaten the Blues once in ten years, and the last time they triumphed at Stamford Bridge was way back in 2002. This might not be the game that spirits away those post-Christmas blues.

That being said, the Hammers will be looking to build on the impressive season they have enjoyed so far; with manager Sam Allardyce revolutionising the way that the Irons go about their football. With new recruits Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia bedding in nicely at the Boleyn Ground, and Big Sam finally getting the best out of the likes of Stewart Downing and Winston Reid, and there’s reason for optimism at Upton Park.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are destroying everything in their path on domestic soil this campaign under the surly gaze of Jose Mourinho. They’re the top scorers in the Premier League, thanks mostly to the exploits of Spanish goal machine Diego Costa, and have a mean defensive record to boot.

And for punters who love a stat, well, you’ll be impressed to hear that Chelsea have only tasted defeat once in their last ten games against West Ham (six wins, three draws).

Incredibly, West Ham striker Carlton Cole has scored three in three in December 26th games for the Hammers.

We can even go one better than that: Chelsea have never lost on Boxing Day whilst Mourinho has been in charge (both times). What a Grinch!

Man Utd v Newcastle

These two teams have enjoyed similar campaigns so far, although you fancy that Manchester United will be more disappointed than Newcastle with their performances so far.

Louis Van Gaal has spent some serious cash on this United side – and has yet to see much of a return on his investment. But as things stand they look to be struggling once again to secure a Champions League spot. They’ve been beset by injuries, illness and suspension, sure, but that’s no excuse for a squad made up of more than twenty international players and around £300 million worth of talent.

The Dutchman will be buoyed by this incredible stat however: Manchester United have won 17 of their last 18 games on Boxing Day! Red Devils fans do get truly spoilt at Christmas time.

Newcastle are sitting quite prettily in the upper echelons of the table, and after a dismal start to the campaign the Magpies really turned things around in October and November. Much of the credit must go to the much-maligned Alan Pardew, who has brought in some talented youngsters in the shape of Remy Cabella and Ayoze Perez.

The Christmas period could be the making or breaking of the Magpies’ season – a good run could propel them into the European places, but a torrid time could see them sink into mid-table mediocrity.

For those fancying a Yuletide flutter will be delighted to hear that in their previous five games, Man United and Newcastle have served up a whopping 18 goals between them, so get involved in the Over 3.5 Goals market. How’s that for a Christmas cracker.

Arsenal v QPR

The evening kick off sees another all-London affair as Harry Redknapp’s QPR head across the city to take on Arsenal.

The Hoops have endured a torrid time on the road in the 2014/15 campaign, and that will be music to the ears of an Arsenal side who tend to dominate at the Emirates Stadium.

QPR are languishing at the wrong end of the Premier League of the table, and a productive Christmas period will be crucial in them climbing out of the relegation places. But when we look at the stats, they might have to wait for the next opportunity to do so….

The big problem is that they don’t know how to defend – conceding an average of 2.8 goals a game. Arsenal, meanwhile, have no problem with breaching their opponent’s defences, rattling in an average of 2 goals a game themselves.

Indeed, both teams have recorded ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ in 80% of their fixtures – although this is for quite opposite reasons. It’s fair to say that punters will be licking their lips for a repeat here.

Fun fact: Arsenal are the only team to score six goals in a Boxing Day clash, trouncing Leicester City 6-1 back in the year 2000. Could we be heading for a similar result come December 26th?

Leave a Reply