Santa is currently preparing for his busiest night of the year, while the rest of us brace ourselves for days of over-indulging and silent cursing our family members. But for Claudio Ranieri the Christmas nightmare has only just begun. While we tuck into the box of Roses and use the ‘festive’ rule to start drinking before 10.30am, Ranieri’s Leicester prepare to take on Everton, and the Foxes have the worst Boxing Day record of any side in the top flight.
In the last 20 years Leicester have won two, drawn five and lost a whopping 13 of their games on December 26th. In the last six years they can only boast of one St Stephen’s Day success – a David Nugent penalty securing a 1-0 win at home to Reading in 2013. It’s the worst Christmas record since Bob The Builder nicked the number one spot in 2000. That terrible run of Foxes form might give you good reason to blast away the turkey hangover by backing Everton at 7/4 on Monday.
Another team with horrendous form the day after Christmas is West Brom. The Baggies have won just twice on a Christmas Day hangover, and this time around face a daunting trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. West Brom have won just once away to Arsenal in the league since 1984 – a shock 3-2 win in 2010 the only moment of joy for fans travelling to face the Gunners.
And to make it even worse for manager Tony Pulis, Arsenal have one of the best Boxing Day records of the last 20 years. Arsene Wenger’s team have won 13, drawn five and lost just twice on December 26, and now the Gunners have their targets locked on the Baggies. Despite a recent blip in form, Arsenal are 1/3 favourites for Monday’s game, with West Brom at 9/1.
A Christmas Gift
Arsenal’s form is good, but the honour of top dog falls to Manchester United who have won a massive 18 of their last 20 games on Boxing Day. Clearly the Christmas dinners up North are filled with better stuff. Three points for the Red Devils is as common as a murder on Albert Square at Christmas time, and this year they take on Sunderland at Old Trafford.
The return of David Moyes to his former club is unlikely to be a pleasant one – did he have any happy memories at the Theatre of Dreams?! – and United are well worth backing at 2/9 to continue their tradition of winning. Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United make up a treble of 7/2, and that’s almost as tasty as those left-over turkey sambos.