Barclays Premier League Boxing Day Previews 2014

The busy Premier League festive schedule continues on Boxing Day and this is a time of year can make or break a team’s season. So who will be this year’s Christmas turkeys and who will be the shining stars?

Two teams that will be hoping to use this period to shape the rest of their campaigns will meet at Turf Moor on Friday afternoon.

Burnley v Liverpool

15:00 Friday December 26

Turf Moor

Burnley remain in the bottom three of the Premier League but have shown glimpses of improvement in recent weeks after a tough start to the season. Sean Dyche’s men had to wait until November 11 to record their first victory and have lost just twice in seven games since. At home, they are unbeaten in four and have an overall home record of: played nine, won two, drawn four and lost three.

A win could lift The Clarets out of the drop zone and with trips to Manchester City and Newcastle looming; this could be there best chance of gaining any points from their tricky holiday schedule.

The last time Liverpool travelled to Turf Moor in April 2010, they strolled to a 4-0 victory under the guidance of Rafa Benitez. Captain Steven Gerrard bagged a brace and Alberto Aquilani provided three assists. Despite the result, it was a tough season for the Reds that ended with the departure of their Champions League-winning Manager.

Liverpool are arguably in even worse shape this time round and will spend Christmas in 10th spot with just 22 points from 17 games. If they manage to finish in the top four from that position; it will be a league first. With just 4 cleans sheets in their last 23 league outings and a depleted strike force, it’s not too hard to see where the current problems lie for Brendan Rodgers and his team.

Although there have been signs of improvement at the Merseyside club, confidence is still low and results have been hard to come by, particularly on the road, where they have lost five out of eight games this term. Their away defensive record is the 19th worst in the league but surprisingly they also have the fifth best attacking record on the road.

This is a tough game to call and it is hard to make a convincing case for either team to win the game – therefore, the draw looks like the best value bet at 11/4. If you do fancy Liverpool, consider the fact that all of Burnley’s home defeats have ended with a score line of 1-3. You can get 16/1 on the Merseysiders to repeat this feat.

Get the best odds at Betfair.

Sunderland v Hull

15:00 Friday December 26

Stadium of Light

Our second preview focuses on two teams that are looking to break free from the magnetic pull of the relegation zone.

Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side may not be getting much attention in the media but that might not be a bad thing. This time last year, they were firmly in the spotlight and rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table. After their narrow victory in last weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby, they are now nine points better off than at the same point last year, and four points clear of the bottom three.

Only the top three have lost fewer games than the Black Cats but they have just three wins to their name, highlighting their penchant for a drawn game. With 10 stalemates already this season (more than any other team); it is clear that Poyet is concentrating on not losing games first and foremost. With less than half the season gone, they are well on target for Premier League survival with a tally of 19 points. However, home fans have witnessed just one league win this season and this is the type of game where they will be hoping to pick up more than just a point.

Their opponents Hull City are also prone to a deadlock and only Sunderland have drawn more games than Steve Bruce’s team. Unfortunately, they have also lost eight matches and only managed two wins all season with their only away win occurring at QPR way back in August. They have lost three out of their last four away fixtures but two of those games were against sides in the top three. A better benchmark would be the recent trip to Goodison Park where they came away with a point following a 1-1 draw.

With a total of 17 draws between them, it is hard to make a case for any other result. You can back that outcome at a decent 12/5 with most bookmakers. For those looking to bet on the correct score; the 1-1 draw stands out at 13/2.

Get the best betting bonus at Bet365.

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