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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (New Year Day edition)

Relentless Premier League leaders Liverpool will complete a full calendar without defeat if they keep their impressive run going at home when overachieving Sheffield United visit Anfield on the second day of the New Year 2020. 24 hours earlier, Carlo Ancelotti will lead his new team Everton to the Etihad stadium in search of his third successive win against Manchester City as the Toffees new boss and in the English capital, Mikel Arteta will hope to motivate his Arsenal team against an old rival in Manchester United.

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

BRIGHTON HOVE & ALBION v CHELSEA – WED. 01 JAN 2020, 13.30HRS
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Chelsea travel down south with renewed confidence as they seek their eight away win of the season and a league double of Brighton after triumphing two nil at Stamford Bridge in September. Their host can move into the top half of the take if they secure back-to-back home victories having defeated Bournemouth in the final game of 2019. The Seagulls ended their four-match winless run with that victory over South Coast rival and will hope to make home advantage count again when they host Chelsea on Wednesday afternoon. Chelsea recent problems are well spelt out; the Blues have shipped 28 goals in the Premier League this term – the second worst defensive record in the division’s top nine.

VERDICT – Graham Potter has remodeled Brighton this season, the Seagulls will go into this game with a real shot at causing their visitors huge problems. However, both teams have not impressed defensively which could make this an open game. We expect both teams to get on the score sheet.  

NEWCASTLE UNITED v LEICESTER CITY – WED. 01 JAN 2020, 16.00HRS
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VS

Three defeats in the last four Premier League matches has seen the Magpies endure a poor patch considering their recent run. The home loss to Everton was the first loss at St. James Park in nine league outings. On the other hand, Leicester have bounced back quickly from successive defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool with a victory on the road at West Ham. Brendan Rodgers made whole changes for the West Ham game, giving rest to the regular starters who should be ready to return to action on New Year day. The Foxes brushed aside Newcastle easily in the reverse fixture and will look to maintain their position on the log with a victory up north.

VERDICT – Leicester should approach this game in better physical condition than their host having been able to rotate for the previous game. The Foxes overall defensive display this season has been very good until recently where they have conceded in each of their last six outings. However, their host have averaged one goal per game in Premier League this season. On the strength of both teams, Leicester should be considered favorites for all three points. Over 1.5 goals

MANCHESTER CITY v EVERTON – WED. 01 JAN 2020, 18.30HRS
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VS

Manchester City bounced back from their defeat to Wolves with a hard fought 2-0 victory against Sheffield United last time out, but the defence of their Premier League crown looks all but over right now. They are 14 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool in the title race, but Pep Guardiola’s men still nurse a faint title and won’t be ready to throw in the towel just yet. Since the departure of Marco Silva, Everton have not lost in the league including back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season under Carlo Ancelotti. A trip to the home of the defending champions is a definitely the Italian’s biggest test since he arrived at Merseyside.

VERDICT – City kept a clean sheet at home for the first time since October in their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United. Everton have scored in each of their last six away matches and will look to keep that run going. This is the third meeting between Guardiola and Ancelotti since the Italian mastermind victory over the Spaniard when both coaches were in charge of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. The circumstance are different likewise the team, City are favorites and they should deliver at home

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool closed down by Ryan Bennett of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on December 29, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED – WED. 01 JAN 2020, 21.00HRS
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VS

12th placed Arsenal entertains fifth placed Manchester United in what is still regarded as a big game between the rival fans. Mikel Arteta lost his first home game against Chelsea and will be looking for an immediate reaction from his team. Manchester United have fared better winning four of their last six league matches including the last two. The Red Devils aren’t exactly flying high but Ole Gunnar Solskajer has managed to steady the ship and he will look to pick up more wins and confidence as they try to make a push for a top-four place. Both teams know that a victory against an old foe will serve as a catalyst to propel them in the right direction at the midway point of the season.

VERDICT – Manchester United will look to exploit the Gunners defensive frailties; Arteta looks constrained with a list of injuries to important players in defense leaving him with David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi as the fit senior central defenders available. Solskjaer record against fellow top-six members is remarkable and there is a feeling Manchester United might just be too strong for Arsenal at the moment. Both teams should score.

LIVERPOOL v SHEFFIELD UNITED – THUR. 02 JAN 2020, 21.00HRS
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Liverpool have now won 10 Premier League matches on the bounce, and that draw at Old Trafford remains the only time they have dropped points this season in the league. They are now unbeaten in 50 Premier League home games, 40 of which have ended in a Liverpool win. Their last failure to win a top flight match at Anfield came at the end of January 2019. Sheffield’s impressive unbeaten record away from home came to an end on Sunday as they lost 2-0 at Manchester City, but the Blades gave a battling display and should be commended for their exploits in the top flight so far. Can they reorganize themselves and create a huge upset at Anfield on Thursday?

VERDICT – This is the first Premier League meeting between the two sides at Anfield since 2007. Liverpool won the reverse fixture and are unstoppable at home.  The Reds have been winning at both half time and full time in 11 of their last 12 home matches. Despite a huge injury list, Jurgen Klopp’s team are favorites at home.

This wraps up our New Year 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.

Babaijebu wishes you the very best 2020 has got to offer. Happy New Year!

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