We've a new found respect for ol' Santa as the games are coming thick 'n' fast at this time of the year! Week 20 of the Premier League gets going with Spurs hosting Southampton in the early kick-off. There's a massive eight games to get through, with the first match starting at 12.30pm, so make sure you get your scores in before then as we cover them all in Week 20 of the FREE-TO-ENTER StanJames Predictor Competition.
So, what do I have to do to enter this FREE COMPETITION?
All you have to do is head over to our Predictor Competition, complete the quick registration form then simply enter your selections for the upcoming Premier League fixtures. Three points are awarded for a correct score and one for a correct result. The overall winner will bag a £25 Free Bet and anyone who finishes in the top 25 players will receive a £5 free bet.**
Don't forget, in order to collect your prize you must have placed at least one bet (any stake) in the 14 days prior to playing. Full T&Cs can be found here!
An ethralling eight Premier League matches to predict for Game Week 20. If you please, all predictions to be entered before 12.30pm on Tuesday, December 26th. Don't have an account yet? Click here to open one.
** Free bets will be credited within 48 hours.
TOTTENHAM 3 V 0 SOUTHAMPTON
Another game, another hat-trick. Harry Kane smashed his seventh hat-trick of 2017 when he helped Spurs to a dominant 0-3 win away at Turf Moor and the England hitman will be looking to add to his goal tally as he tries to break Alan Shearer’s record of 36 goals in a calendar year. Fifth in the league, Spurs know that picking up points now is vital to their European aspirations.
The Saints are struggling for form, their winless streak now stretches to six matches, though they have been scoring during that spell, with Charlie Austin their chief go to man. Unfortunately, Southampton haven’t traveled well this term, and time will tell if they are able to return to the South Coast with a share of the points today.
Toby Alderwiereld and Victor Wanyama both miss out against their old club. Winks faces a late fitness test, as does Dier. Austin is out for a month or so after damaging his hamstring on Saturday. Needs must, so Virgil van Dijk may return to bolster a defence missing Betrand and Soares.
What We Sayin'?
Spurs seem to have consigned the defeat against City to the back burners and we're simply brilliant against Burnley. Kane wants that record... He's 13/8 to score first. Spurs to win 3-0 is 7/1.*
BOURNEMOUTH 1 V 2 WEST HAM
It’s that time of the year when every point counts. Just one point and one place separate Bournemouth and West Ham in the table, and both are struggling for consistency. After a good start Moyes’ West Ham have struggled, losing the last two games, including Saturday’s fantastic game against Newcastle. Bournemouth went down 4-0 to City, but Eddie Howe’s men will simply need to shake that one off and go again. Many have, and many will lose against this City team. The trick is to pick up points against fellow relegation strugglers.
Junior Stanislas and Jermaine Defoe both sit this one out against their old team, joining Smith and Mings on the sidelines. Joshua King, Charlie Daniels and Harry Arter are all major doubts for the Cherries as well. Manuel Lanzini returns after suspension, whilst Fonte, Byram, and Fernandes all remain injured.
What We Sayin'?
West Ham look good for the away win, despite having the joint-worst defence on the road. Marko Arnautovic is in fine form and is 12/5 to score at anytime. The return of Lanzini is a big plus, though given West Ham's defensive record the BTTS market at 5/6 appeals. Lastly, 1-2 pays 9/1 - cheers!*
CHELSEA 2 V 0 BRIGHTON
Everton frustrated Chelsea last time out and it’s safe to say Brighton will adopt a similar containment policy. However, the reigning champions will want to do more than pick-up draws, especially against the newly-promoted teams, so expect the Lions to come out roaring.
Brighton’s dip in form has coincided with a barren streak in front of goal, the Seagulls no scoring in their last three away games. They come up against a team who have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven games and leaked just four in their last ten PL games. A point would be a decent result, but we just can’t see the Seagulls holding out. You?
Morata returns from suspension, though David Luiz remains sidelined with injured. Izzy Brown is ineligible to face his parent club, though Shane Duffy is injury-free and could be recalled.
What We Sayin'?
HUDDERSFIELD 1 v 1 STOKE CITY
Huddersfield Town are unbeaten in their last five league matches against Stoke City, though the Potter’s impressive win at the weekend hints at an upturn in their fortunes. That said, The Terriers are in good form themselves, with two wins and a draw in their last four games. Laurent Depoitre scored a second-half equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton and Wagner will want to build on this.
Stoke’s 3-1 win against West Brom has given under fire manager Mark Hughes a little breathing room and he’ll be looking to his charges to build on that result. The Potters are 14th in the table and victory here would see them move level on points with the Terriers.
Michael Hefele, Philip Billing and Jon Stankovic remained sidelined, though Hogg returns from suspension. Stoke’s Stephen Ireland remains a long-term absentee, though Glen Johnson could return from a knee injury.
What We Sayin'?
MANCHESTER UNITED 3 V 1 BURNLEY
Man Untied was our question last week, and we’re not convinced that United aren’t unravelling before our very eyes. Leicester grabbed a late draw in a pulsating match last time out after Juan Mata scored twice to give the Red Devils a 2-1 lead. Jose’s mutterings seem to be leading to a chasm in the dressing room and the Portuguese maestro needs to get things back in harmony as quickly as possible, starting against a Clarets team punching above their weight this term.
The Clarets went a little flat on Saturday, Spurs popping the cork and producing moments of champagne football in a 0-3 victory. It was always going to be a tough ask for Sean Dyche’s men to keep up the momentum of a cracking season that sees them sat in seventh in the league. With United’s home record so fearsome, Burnley will once again need to produce a knockout performance to come away with anything.
Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick are long-term absentees, whilst Valencia is a doubt with a pulled hamstring. Ex-United boys Tom Heaton and Robbie Brady miss this one for Burnley, whilst Chris Woods faces a late fitness test. Jamess Tarkowski is suspended.
What We Sayin'?
United will want a convincing display in front of their home fans and Burnley may just be the side's who's blood is let to appease those selfsame fans. Lukaku seems to enjoy these types of games and he's 9/4 to open the scoring. BTTS and over 2.5 goals is 2/1, whilst 3-1 pays 12/1.
WATFORD 0 V 2 LEICESTER
The Hornets have seen the sting removed from their game of late; with the heaviest injury list combining with the speculation over manager Marco Silva’s future taking their toll. Since going down 4-2 in a thrilling game against United, Watford have only picked-up one point from a possible 15, which has seen them slip into the relegation fight, with three defeats on the bounce. With key men missing, his will be another tough afternoon for the Hornets.
Leicester took the lead against United and then saw Harry Maguire’s late header salvage a point in a thoroughly entertaining game against United. The pace of their counter-attacks seems perfect to hurt Watford, with new manager Claude Puel having them playing with abandon and verve, much like their title-winning team.
Kiko Femenia, Miguel Britos, Younes Kaboul, Craig Cathcart and Nathaniel Chalobah are all out injured, whilst Troy Deeney remains suspended. Robert Huth and Matty James are out for the Foxes, who see Amartey suspended after his dismissal against United.
What We Sayin'?
We can't see anything but an away win here. Vardy is back on the top of his game and the England hitman is 100/30 to score first. Leicester are 14/5 to keep a clean sheet, and our score prediction, 0-2 pays 14/1.*
WEST BROM 0 V 2 EVERTON
Ex-Spurs star Nacer Chadli is having a 'mare at West Brom, in World Cup year as well! The Belgian International suffered a recurrence of a thigh problem against Stoke City and will sit this one out. Alan Pardew is still waiting for that ‘new manager bounce’ and he will not fancy facing a resurgent Everton. His team are playing well, they’re just not securing results, and it could be that they’ll have to go to the transfer window come January, especially if they want to skip a relegation dogfight for the remainder of the season.
On the other side of the coin Sam Allardyce has come in and got the Toffees flying. Unbeaten in his tenure, with draws against Chelsea and Liverpool, he has made the Merseysiders a tough nut to crack. Okay, some say they got lucky in those games, but you make your own luck, and with Everton a much more solid proposition he’ll be looking for a maximum return in points Boxing Day.
Chadli joins James Morrison on the sidelines for the Baggies. Rooney missed the match against Chelsea with flu, which has also hit Ashley Williams. Idrissa Gueye is injured and joins Leighton Baines, Maarten Stekelenburg, Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori in the treatment room.
What We Sayin'?
Again, an away win and West Brom misfiring. Rondon grabed is first goal in a month at Stoke, but simply can not be relied upon to score. Rather, Rooney is a tasty 19/4 to score first. Everton to win both halves is 9/1. A 0-2 scoreline? 12/1.*
LIVERPOOL 4 V 0 SWANSEA
Fab four. Three. Mane. Salah. Firmino. Coutinho. One, two, three, four? Doesn’t seem to matter, really. At Anfield, Liverpool are a frightening force going forward and the Champions League chasing Merseysiders really should have too much in the tank for a Swansea who look all but down. That said, the red machine have drawn their last three at home, but remain unbeaten at home. After the 3-3 thriller at Arsenal, Klopp will not be expecting his charges to drop any points this time round.
Swansea battled to a 1-1 with Crystal Palace after sacking manager Paul Clement and instilling local legend Leon Britton as temporary manager. It’s likely the Swans will continue with this setup as well. True, they looked far more solid against the Eagles, but there’s a reason they’re 16/1 to win this one…Liverpool simply have too much firepower!
Captain Henderson sits this one out for Liverpool after injuring his hamstring. Kyle Naughton joins Wilfried Bony (hamstring), Ki Sung-yueng (calf) and Kyle Bartley (knee ligaments) on the treatment bench for the Swans.
What We Sayin'?
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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