The Premier League returns today, with a couple of games for punters to enjoy on this frosty New Years Day.
First up, Everton take on West Ham at Goodison Park, with the comparative advantage of being reasonably fresh at this busy time of the year. While West Ham were playing out a hard-fought goalless draw against Southampton on Tuesday, Everton were undoubtedly feeling the benefit of unexpected rest following the late postponement of Monday night’s game against Manchester City.
This, coupled with their recent strong form having picked up 16 points from their last seven games, makes us lean towards a home win this evening.
One player that has piqued our interest of late has been Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic midfielder made his way back into the side on the injury to James Rodriquez and has scored twice in his last five games, including the only goal against Sheffield United last time out. He is Everton’s penalty and direct free-kick taker, and is never afraid of a shot.
Paddy Power have him at 4/1 top price to score anytime. But in a game where goals may be few, we prefer the 10/1 on offer that he nets first.
The late game sees Manchester United take on Aston Villa, knowing that victory will see them join arch-rivals Liverpool at the top of the table. That said, Villa also have plenty to play for as three points tonight would push them into third, just one point behind’s today’s opponent.
As well as Villa have played this season, and they have been particularly impressive away from home, United are on a run at the moment and confidence is growing. The Red Devils have won seven of their last nine games, drawing their other two, and they will have drawn a lot out of their late winner against Wolves last time out.
The scorer of that goal was Marcus Rashford, and the England striker has scored four goals in his last four games. That’s the sort of goal-scoring form that gives us confidence to tip him up to start the ball rolling tonight.
Everton/West Ham: Sigurdsson to score first, 1 pt, at 10/1, Paddy Power
Manchester United/Aston Villa: Rashford to score first, 1 pt, at 11/2, William Hill