Football Tips: Paddy’s top traders pick their banker, value and long-shot punts in our Christmas Cheat Sheet

Boxing Day, St Stephen's Day, whatever you call it, it's a good day to be a football fan.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

It’s a marathon day of football this Sunday as England dives head first into the Boxing Day round of fixtures. It’s a big day for football fans across the world as the rest of the planet puts their feet up over the festive period.

But Paddy’s relentless team of football traders wouldn’t even think about picking up a tactical 5th booking of the season the weekend before the festive fixtures and they’re all fit and ready for selection once again.

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And, as a little Christmas treat, we’ve unleashed out lethal front three of Jason Murphy, Emmet O’Keefe and Brian McDonnell to deliver their best bets for a handy St Stephen’s Day Cheat Sheet.

Mercifully for Leeds fans their away trip to Liverpool has been called off because of Covid and the thriller (ahem) between Wolves and Watford has bitten the dust too. Much to the despair of our trader Brian, Everton’s trip to Burnley was also given the axe on Christmas Eve – a mere couple of hours after he picked an away win as his value bet of the day…

We’ve still got Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea in action as well as a bundle of EFL games. So, here’s our best bets from the brainy lads on Boxing Day.

Emmet O'Keeffe

Jason Murphy

Brian McDonnell

Emmet O'Keeffe

Arsenal to Beat Norwich

Arsenal will be the staple of many a punter’s accumulator and it’s easy to see why. Norwich don’t have the required quality to be a Premier League side with their XG numbers matching up with a meagre points tally of just 10. Arsenal have the 3rd best record in the league over the last 15 matches and the re-emergence of Gabriel Martinelli has given their attack some much needed dynamism.

Jason Murphy

Double Chance: Southampton to Win or Draw at West Ham

West Ham have beaten the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea at home this season (both 3-2) which shows they can score against the best teams in the league but cannot keep them out. Remove those results, though, and West Ham’s home record against teams around them or below them is not as impressive.

They failed to beat the likes of Palace and Brentford, teams similar in stature to the Saints. With doubts over key man Michail Antonio being fit, it points to Southampton or Draw Double Chance as my NAP of the fixtures.

Brian McDonnell

Tottenham to beat Crystal Palace

Tottenham are starting to build some momentum under Antonio Conte and home advantage should be a big factor here, where they’ve only lost against Chelsea and Man United. They’ve beaten the teams you would expect them to on paper: Aston Villa, Leeds, Brentford and Norwich who you would have in and around the same level as Crystal Palace.

Emmet O'Keeffe

Brentford to beat Brighton

Brentford are not the team you want to face without your first-choice centre halves but that looks to be the task ahead of Brighton. Captain Lewis Dunk is definitely out and doubts surround both Adam Webster and Joel Veltman. Brentford will test the physicality of any defence through their strike pairing of Bryan Mbeumo and the returning Ivan Toney. Given Brighton’s absentees and a winless run spanning eleven Premier League matches, I’m more than happy to take a chance on Brentford.

Jason Murphy

I could just do a copy and paste job on what Emmet has said! When two traders come up with the same tip (independently) then it is usually one to take note of. It’s not the most exciting game, and it might not win, but at the current price Brentford are value. Fun fact for anyone but Brighton fans, they haven’t won now in 12 games since beating Swansea in the EFL Cup in September!

Emmet O'Keeffe

Aston Villa to beat Chelsea

Steven Gerrard has made an immediate impact by improving Villa’s struggling defence which was conceding close to two goals per game under Dean Smith. They’ve only shipped five goals in his six matches in charge, despite having to play Manchester City and Liverpool in that stretch.

It was the performance against City that really caught the eye with Villa giving the champions as close a game on expected goals as few teams have managed all season. Thomas Tuchel should have a stronger hand to choose from than in previous weeks but Chelsea look like a limited side in attack that have no idea what their best forward line is.

Jason Murphy

Double Chance: Leicester, Arsenal, Palace & Man Utd all to Win or Draw

I looked at the 117 games in the last four seasons at the fixtures between December 26 and January 4, and based on closing prices home teams performed ~0.1 of a goal worse than closing prices expected. Is that players taking advantage of being at home as opposed to in a hotel for an away game?

To give context, if your home team was 13/8 shot, they (under)performed like a 7/4 shot. The teams that performed best over this holiday period were Leicester, Arsenal, Palace and Man Utd. Those four teams are also away from home for the 26th/27th fixtures. They are around a 130/1 shot all to win, but if they overperformed on those fixtures like they did over the last four seasons, then they should be 40/1.

But for a better chance of the selection landing, I’ll take all four teams to avoid defeat in the Double Chance market.

Brian McDonnell

Double Chance: Norwich to Win or Draw v Arsenal

Jason says not to over-complicate things, but I wouldn’t be so sure of an Arsenal win at Norwich. Their away form has left a lot to be desired this season, with just three wins from nine. They went to Everton a few weeks ago on a good run against a team in freefall and lost 2-1. That score line flattered them too.

Norwich (like Everton did) will be missing some players, but this is the shortest Arsenal will be away from home this season and I wouldn’t fancy having them onside.

We’ve taken our lads’ three banker bets to create a boosted PP News treble for all the action on December 26.

The latest football odds are on PaddyPower.com right now

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