The champagne corks may have all been popped, but the fireworks are from over when it comes to the Premier League.
2016 has to be considered one of the craziest calendar years in the history of the league. A year when all the top teams forgot how to defend, Liverpool went goal-crazy and Leicester captured a miracle title.
Yes, 2017 has a lot to live up to in terms of entertainment – but can we ever say stranger things have happened after the year that’s just gone by?
The first day of the year opens with two live games the whet the appetite once more – ahead of a another raft of fixtures in mid-week.
Looking forward to the New Year’s Day fixtures we’ve picked out a delicious double that could deliver at odds off just over 9/1 if it lands. Here’s what we’ve gone for…
After being knocked from pillar to post by criticism of their shambolic Champions League campaign, Tottenham’s form has had a bit of a rebirth over the Christmas period.
Spurs are smack-bang in the middle of the race for the top four again, as three wins on the spin has them just a point behind North London rivals Arsenal in fourth. Mauricio Pochettino’s men even enjoyed their trip to the south coast last time out, easing past a tough Southampton outfit 4-1 on the night and that came despite Harry Kane sending a penalty higher into orbit than Felix Baumgartner.
Sunday’s opponents Watford’s form has been mixed of late to say the least. A decent home victory over Everton three weeks ago has been followed by away losses to Man City and Sunderland, as well as a draw with Crystal Palace last time out.
As you’d expect that kind of unpredictable run has made Walter Mazzarri outfit underdogs and with Spurs coming in as heavy favourites we’ve had a look for some extra value.
With Tottenham conceding at least one in their last four away games and Watford netting in four home contests out of five we are pointing towards a Spurs win with both teams scoring at to open our double.
Even though he’s just taken the managerial post at Crystal Palace, there’s always been a ‘sting’ in the tail on Sam Allardyce’s trips to the Emirates Stadium.
Sides managed by the former one-game England boss have let in a whopping 26 goals – the most of any boss to take up the opposing dugout. To make matters even worse for fans of the Eagles, Big Sam has also never tasted victory at the new home of the Gunners either.
The draw away at Watford gave Allardyce a chance to give his new outfit a once over, the first game of 2017 could tell us a lot about what he plans to do with Palace going forward.
As for Arsenal, they needed an 86th minute winner from the gorgeous Olivier Giroud to prevent them dropping points for a third game in-a-row. Their early season title ambitions seem to be sinking faster than the Titanic, as they now find themselves nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
We fancy a similar outcome to this contest as the earlier one – Arsenal’s defences have been breached in 12 of their last 13 outings. You couldn’t see Palace springing a surprise though, so the punt on Arsenal to win with both teams scoring closes out our New Year’s double.