OUR Asian Handicap man Dark Dyson (@dark_dyson) has been in fantastic form of late. He wasn’t getting New Year off!
Stoke v Manchester United | Thursday 12:45
Starting with two in form teams today, Stoke registered their first back to back victories over the Christmas period and both came with clean sheets which will obviously please Mark Hughes coming into the clash with his old employers.
Louis Van Gaal has found a winning formula with Manchester United in the last few months and their run of just one loss in 14 games has seen them cruise into third place in the table.
Although, most of United’s points have been won at Old Trafford, they have also proved hard to beat away from home, largely thanks to the inspired form of young goalkeeper David De Gea and goalscoring exploits of their star studded attack.
Traditionally Stoke do very well against the bigger teams when they visit the Britannia, but they have not had much joy when facing the Red Devils, with just one win in six Premier League encounters.
My tissue price for this match shows a nice bit of value on United and if they continue their current form, they should be able to take all three points from what is bound to be a physical match from the first whistle onwards.
I’m backing Manchester United -0.5 at Evens with BetVictor and expect to see them win by a single goal which would return us a full profit from the bet.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace | Thursday 15:00
For some reason I keep trying to make a profit from Aston Villa and this week is no different! There’s solid value on them tomorrow and playing against managerless (at the time of writing) Crystal Palace, I can only see one winner on New Year’s Day.
Villa are solid at the back but haven’t clicked yet up front, despite having more than a few decent striking options. Perhaps, it’s time Paul Lambert gave Joe Cole another start to add some creativity to his team.
Palace have been pretty awful this season and without a win in seven games, it’s a club that desperately needs a new manager to reignite their relegation battle.
As we all know, that is due to happen any day now but it won’t happen in time to have any meaningful impact on the side for this match. Palace have looked solid enough at the back themselves but I think this opportunity to take three points at home is simply too big for Aston Villa to miss, they should be winning games like this without too much fuss.
I still can’t trust Villa 100% so I’ll be backing them -0.25 at 21/20 with Bet365, so if they only manage a draw it will be just a half loss.
Liverpool v Leicester City | Thursday 15:00
Liverpool are slowly finding their way back to full goalscoring form and after the morale boosting 4-1 win over Swansea a few days ago, they should be flying for the visit of Leicester on New Year’s Day.
Adam Lallana’s brace against the Swans would have been a great relief to Brendan Rodgers as he tries to find a way of coping with the loss of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front.
With Raheem Sterling and Philipe Coutinho completing the attack, the Reds look very quick and dangerous when going forward and Leicester will do very well to avoid a big defeat.
The Foxes travel to Anfield having won just their second away game of the season last week at Hull, but the Premier League’s worst team have been woeful on the road this season. Their record reads P10 W2 D0 L8 and they have only scored five goals in those 10 games.
On top of this, they have been beaten by two or more goals five times. Despite the Reds league position and points total in comparison to last season, they have actually been playing very well.
They totally dominated and outplayed both Manchester United and Arsenal but in the end were lucky to claim one point from the six available.
Now they have found their scoring boots, this visit by the Foxes could not have come at a better time and I’d be stunned if Liverpool didn’t win handsomely in their first match of 2015.
Thus, it’s no surprise that I’ll be backing Liverpool -1.50 at 6/5 with BetVictor as my banker bet of the day!