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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (Boxing Day edition)

The Premier League’s top two meet on 26 December with Leicester looking to cut the gap on runaway leaders Liverpool. While the Reds were away in Doha, winning the FIFA Club World Cup, the Foxes have fallen out of form, and have now gone three games without a win in normal play. Manchester City will have two objectives in mind at the Molineux – revenge for their defeat to Wolves in October and leapfrogging Leicester City to second in the standings. Mikel Arteta will make his managerial debut with Arsenal at the Vitality stadium while Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton reign begins with a home game against Burnley.

FESIG focus is on the English Premier League during this festive period.

AFC BOURNEMOUTH v ARSENAL – THUR. 26 DEC 2019, 16.00HRS
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Struggling Bournemouth with five defeats in the last six Premier League games can move within a point of 11th-placed Arsenal with a home win. Mikel Arteta will be aiming to secure the Gunners’ first victory in three matches as he makes debut as the club’s head coach. The Cheeries promising start to the season which saw Eddie Howe’s team win three of their opening five matches seem a distant memory right now as the South Coast club look like a team in crisis. The visitors aren’t exactly flying high either, but a new optimism has emerged and it is a crucial time for the Londoners. They have won just one of their last 10 Premier League matches.

VERDICT – Both teams are battling a long list of injury absentees which would handicap the managers. The Cherries have lost their last three home Premier League fixtures, conceding six goals in the process and Arsenal have won seven of their nine Premier League meetings with Bournemouth. Bournemouth might just be the perfect opponent for Arteta to get off to a winning start as manager of Arsenal. An away victory is likely with both teams getting on the score sheet.

EVERTON v BURNLEY – THUR. 26 DEC 2019, 16.00HRS
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A season that was believed to provide Everton with the right platform for their lofty vision turned into a disastrous one under former boss Marco Silva. Despite huge investments made, the Toffees have flirted at the wrong end of the table but the club ambition has no limits with the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the new manager. Under caretaker boss, Duncan Ferguson, there has been slight improvement and the former Chelsea boss will hope to lift his new team immediately. Burnley will be no easy walk in park. They are coming into this clash on the back of a victory over Bournemouth, a result which puts them in the top half of the table and only three points off the top six.

VERDICT – Both teams showing defensive issues this season – Everton have kept two clean sheets in their nine top flight games at Goodison Park. On the other hand, Burnley have conceded 1.61 goals per game this season and have kept just two clean sheets in their nine Premier League away games. We think Both Teams to Score is a good idea here.

SHEFFIELD UNITED v WATFORD – THUR. 26 DEC 2019, 16.00HRS
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Sheffield United could win four consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since 1993 while bottom club Watford look to move to within three points of safety by following up Nigel Pearson’s first victory as head coach with victory at Bramall Lane. Considering Sheffield United were touted as prime candidates for relegation at the start of the season, the Blades could only have dreamed of being in their current position at the halfway point in the campaign. By contrast, Watford have had a dreadful campaign so far and they’re already on their third manager of the season. It remains to be seen if the victory over Manchester United will inspire the Hornets in the relegation fight.

VERDICT – Watford face a tough test at Bramall Lane; the visitors have scored just 11 goals in their 18 league games so far, and have failed to find the net on five occasions away from home this season. Chris Wilder’s team have been excellent defensively not giving much away to visitors; they are only four points off fourth place and will look to pick up as many points as possible against teams perceived to be weaker. Sheffield are well organized, they shouldn’t lose this at home.

LEICESTER CITY v LIVERPOOL – THUR. 26 DEC 2019, 21.00HRS
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The top two sides go head-to-head at the King Power Stadium. Second-placed Leicester City are seeking to bounce back after their nine-match unbeaten run was ended by Manchester City. Liverpool return to Premier League action aiming to increase their 10-point lead at the top after their Club World Cup success. Leicester saw their title challenge hit a bump at Manchester City but this Boxing Day fixture is an opportunity for Brendan Rodgers to cut that gap at the top of the table as he faces his former employers. Liverpool remain the team to beat in the Premier League this season; the Reds hold a 10 point lead at the top of the standings but cannot be overconfident coming into this game.

VERDICT – Both teams are undeniably talented in attack, Jaime Vardy is the league’s top scorer while Liverpool boast arguably the best front three in Europe. The hosts have scored in each of their last eight Premier League home games, while Liverpool haven’t failed to score on the road since March. Attack should trump defense in the game. Over 2.5 goals

WOVERHAMPTON WANDERERS v MANCHESTER CITY – FRI. 27 DEC 2019, 20.45HRS
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Wolverhampton Wanderers lie two places and five points outside Champions League spots, are targeting a second win in a row while Manchester City have moved within one point of second-placed Leicester City and are seeking a third successive victory. Wolves’ long unbeaten streak came to an end in their last home game against Tottenham Hotspur but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side wasted no time in returning to winning ways at Norwich. The defending champions may be well off the pace in the Premier League title race, but they won’t be ready to throw in the towel just yet. They have won just 12 of their 18 league games this season and have failed to win three of their last seven.

VERDICT – Wolves built a name for themselves last season thanks to a number of very impressive performances against the ‘top-six’ of the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s team has already lost to Wolves this season back in October with their host having lost only one of their last four competitive meetings against them. Wolves will fancy their chances on Friday with both teams fancied to get on the score sheet.  

This wraps up our Boxing Day FESIG preview. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers in all matches available in the English football leagues.

From all us at Babaijebu, Merry Christmas!!

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