Premier League football returns on December 26 for the traditional Boxing Day matches, as teams and players knackered from the World Cup jump right back into the fray to compete for one of the most prestigious titles in European club football. Here is our preview of the action for EPL crypto betting enthusiasts and all other football fans around the world.
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Premier League betting odds: Boxing Day fixtures and predictions
2022 Boxing Day schedule: adjustments and surprises abound
Boxing Day in 2022 (and the festive fixtures in general) are a little different this time around because of the impact of the Qatar World Cup. The showpiece event was controversially moved to the winter to ensure playable temperatures, which meant an enforced six-week break in domestic leagues and a congested fixture list to accommodate a normal schedule.
The Premier League is unique in its non-stop action over the December holidays, but this year, the games between Boxing Day and the New Year were spread out to ensure that the clubs and the players have a little more time to recover than the usually allotted minimum of 48 hours.
This means that the Boxing Day fixtures are played out on the 26th, the 27th and the 28th of December and the next round of games are spread out across the 29th, the 30th and the 31st. The New Year matchweek, in turn, will play out between January 2 and January 5. Keep this in mind when considering your Premier League betting odds: the impact of fatigue is tangible, but it might be a little different than what you think at first glance.
EPL Boxing Day matches: what to expect
The return of Premier League football will mark an important and exciting milestone for the season, with players returning in very different mental and physical conditions depending on how their World Cup experience shook out. This could very well mean an advantage for lower-ranked teams with fewer players involved in the showpiece affair, with a higher potential for upsets.
Brentford v Tottenham (December 26, 13:30)
One has to wonder how long Harry Kane’s nightmares will last after that penalty miss. With the home-field advantage and the involvement of multiple Spurs players in the World Cup (with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris going all the way), a cheeky punt on the plucky underdogs playing at home at 3.55 might not be the worst idea in the world.
Crystal Palace v Fulham (December 26, 15:00)
A midtable clash that’s impossible to call: Patrick Vieira’s earned many plaudits with his managerial exploits early on in the season, but damaging defeats to Everton and Nottingham Forest soured the mood somewhat. They are still the deserved favorites against Fulham, according to the EPL betting odds.
Everton v Wolves (December 26, 15:00)
Is it too early to call this one a relegation six-pointer? Frank Lampard’s Everton never really got off the ground, but it’s the struggles of Wolverhampton that served as one of the biggest surprises of the season so far. The Premier League betting odds suggest that Everton are the outright favorites here, and it’s tough to argue with that assessment: it’s gotten that bad for the black-and-orange side.
Leicester v Newcastle (December 26, 15:00)
Brendan Rodgers somehow managed to turn around a seemingly moribund regime, but he faces a tough test against the petro-money machine of Newcastle, who are expected to win this match.
Southampton v Brighton (December 26, 15:00)
It’s a brave new world for both teams: the Hasenhüttl regime has ended in the south, while Brighton need to make do without Graham Potter, who’s been poached by Chelsea. It’s going to be quite the derby on the south coast, with Brighton being the more likely to edge it with 2.07 odds to win at the time of writing.
Aston Villa v Liverpool (December 26, 17:30)
We’ve lost a bit of added drama here after Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was sacked as Villa’s manager, but even as the Unai Emery pickup turned out to be a marked improvement, not even the 4+ EPL odds offered for Villa’s win is convincing enough for us to take a punt on the upset.
Arsenal v West Ham (December 26, 20:00)
Another London derby on the cards, and the high-flying Arsenal side are likely to swat aside Moyes’ struggling Hammers. The 1.52 odds offered for the home side’s victory reflect the likelihood of this outcome.
Chelsea v Bournemouth (December 27, 17:30)
Winless in five games and with back-to-back-to-back defeats, Graham Potter must know that the clock is ticking at Chelsea. Though Bournemouth also has four losses in their last five games, many of them were creditable efforts and high-scoring affairs, which makes the 5.14 odds of a surprise draw irresistible to us.
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest (December 27, 20:00)
The Ronaldo saga is officially over, and it seems like the Portuguese national team is also beginning to move past the aging superstar. No doubt this will raise the mood in the United camp, and though they are clearly capable of losing any game, they are still the runaway favorites for this matchup at Old Trafford with Premier League betting odds of 1.31 offered for their victory.
Leeds v Manchester City (December 28, 20:00)
Last but certainly not least, the champions visit Elland Road to take home the three points. The 1.28 odds offered for City’s victory are the shortest for any side for this round of fixtures. There’s no reason to bet against Pep Guardiola here.