Football News

Five ‘what if’ predictions for the Premier League’s Boxing Day schedule

By Ben Green

Five 'what if' predictions for the Premier League's Boxing Day schedule

Published: 18:48, 23 December 2022

After an enforced six-week hiatus for football’s unprecedented winter World Cup, the Premier League returns on Boxing Day with a smorgasbord of mouthwatering showdowns.

Club football moved to the back-burner while the game’s very best descended on Qatar to vie for the coveted Jules Rimet Trophy, which was ultimately sealed by Argentina and Lionel Messi. But, few sports move at such a relentless pace as football, and already focus has shifted back to the domestic scene.

The EFL Cup whet the appetite of Premier League fans worldwide as Man City and Liverpool returned with an instant classic on Thursday, with Pep Guardiola besting Jurgen Klopp in a seesawing, five-goal thriller. “We’re back!” Jamie Carragher extolled on the gantry. And it was hard not to get just a little excited.

Of course, the Premier League rarely ever does things by the half-measure and on Monday, there are seven games to keep an eye out for. It’s a tricky endeavour, of course, but with the new Squawka Live app, you will be kept constantly in the loop.

Squawka Live not only allows you to keep track of the latest scores and your favourite teams but also brings stats to the small screen, providing real-time updates so you never miss a beat.

With the Alerts feature you can also preset triggers that will notify you if specific in-play events such as match time, odds changes and goals/points happen. So we’ve come up with five matches for you to follow with predictions and which triggers will come in useful to track your options.


How to use Squawka Live's Alert triggers

With Squawka Live's Alert triggers, you can preset triggers that will notify you if specific in-play events occur. To set up your own triggers, follow the steps below.

  1. Download the Squawka Live app on the App Store or Google Play (here's the link). Currently, the app is available in the UK only.
  2. Find your selected live event and navigate to the Alerts tab.
  3. Click on create your first Alert and select a specific trigger.
  4. Select the event detail you want to receive a notification for.
  5. The Alert will be added to your home screen and you will be notified when your chosen event has occurred.


 

Arsenal vs West Ham

The trigger: Match time: 15 minutes

The prediction: Arsenal to score first

Current Premier League pace-setters Arsenal will spend Christmas atop the table for first time since 2007/08, but Mikel Arteta won’t be allowing his players to feast on too many mince pies as it’s all guns blazing on Boxing Day against West Ham — though don’t expect a frantic start to the game.

The Gunners have tended to keep things tight in the opening sequence of games, while West Ham are exceptionally shy in the final third until later on. In fact, the Gunners are the only Premier League side not to concede in the opening 15 minutes this season, while the Hammers are the only team not to score in that same timeframe.

We’re, therefore, recommending that you set a ‘trigger’ to alert you when the 15-minute mark chimes to place your bet. The average minute Arsenal have opened the scoring this term is in the 24th minute. They have also opened the scoring more times than any other Premier League side (12), while only Southampton (11) have conceded the opening goal of the game more times than West Ham (10).

 

Southampton vs Brighton

The trigger: Exact score: Southampton 0-1 Brighton

The prediction: Brighton to win to nil

Brighton have taken the lead on seven occasions this season and picked up a result in six of those contests, including five wins. It’s a testament to their ability to start games on the front-foot and remain compact to stifle opposition attacks as the game wears on — and explains why they are up in seventh at the minute.

The Seagulls are also one of only two sides in the Premier League this season not to concede in the final 15 minutes of a game, alongside league leaders Arsenal. So if Brighton do go 1-0 up — our recommended trigger — keep an eye out for the timeframe, as they tend to stand firm the later a game goes on.


Download the new Squawka Live app

  1. Download the Squawka Live app on the App Store or Google Play (here's the link). Currently, the app is available in the UK only.
  2. Follow your favourite sports, teams and leagues to receive notifications.
  3. Compare odds and set alerts for specific match scenarios.
  4. Use Squawka Live as your second screen with real-time updates from free-kicks to blocked shots and offsides.


Brentford vs Tottenham

The trigger: Match time: Between HT and 60 minutes

The prediction: Harry Kane to score and Tottenham to win

Spurs have a quite sensational record on Boxing Day — as does Harry Kane. In fact, the England international has bagged every time he has played on Boxing Day, and needs only one more goal to set an all-time record (currently on nine). On top of that, Spurs are unbeaten in their last 15 Boxing Day games.

However, under Antonio Conte, the Londoners have been slow starters this term, so don’t expect them to come racing out of the traps. As such, we are recommending you to set a ‘trigger’ to alert you later on into the game — and if the sides are still drawing, back Kane to score and Spurs to win.

They’ve made Boxing Day dominance a tradition, but under Conte, they may take a while to get the job done.

Everton vs Wolves

The trigger: Exact score: Everton 0-1 Wolves

The prediction: Everton to win or draw

Wolves are under new leadership in Julen Lopetegui, but that has rarely been a good omen for the Black Country club. Incredibly, each of the last 10 Wolves managers have failed to win their first game in charge. Good luck Julen.

Not to dampen the hopes of Wolves fans even more, who are no doubt brimming with confidence over their new Europa League-winning tactician, but the club have never won on Boxing Day in the top flight in seven attempts. Once again, good luck Julen.

So, if Wolves do find a moment in the game where they go 1-0 (which is our recommended ‘trigger’), history would dictate that Everton come back into the game at some point, so your best bet at that point is for Frank Lampard’s men to win or draw.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool

The trigger: Exact score: Aston Villa 1-0 Liverpool

The prediction: Aston Villa most cards/Liverpool to win

Unai Emery has previous with Jurgen Klopp, famously beating his Liverpool side with Sevilla in the 2015/16 Europa League final and fractionally losing 2-3 in the Champions League semi-final second leg last season. It is, therefore, not outlandish that Villa take a lead in this showdown, with a certain Philippe Coutinho no doubt itching to bite the hand that once fed him.

If Villa do lead, though, expect Liverpool to bounce back emphatically and for Emery’s men to start picking up cards. Klopp has taken charge of four Boxing Day game and won all four while watching his side score 14 goals, while no side has picked up more yellow cards in the Premier League this season than Villa (37) who — if they are leading — may get out the dark arts to slow the game down.

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