Football clubs enter this weekend in search for some Christmas cheer as the Premier League enters Gameweek 18.
League leaders Liverpool will stay top at Christmas with a win away at Wolves, while the Reds will be looking to former manager Roy Hodgson for an early present as his Crystal Palace side take on Manchester City.
At the other end of the table, Cardiff host a new-look Manchester United side now led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Wolves v Liverpool
Liverpool have a score to settle here after Wolves knocked them out in the FA Cup the last time these two met in 2017. Since then, Wolves have settled well in the Premier League while Liverpool, having signed Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Allison since, are a much stronger outfit.
Still unbeaten, Liverpool looked very impressive in their 3-1 victory over Manchester United, and having Xherdan Shaqiri score twice off the bench shows the strength of depth this Liverpool side possesses. Wolves go into this one having won three on the bounce and a victory against Bournemouth last weekend lifted Nuno Espirito Santo’s men into seventh place.
As Premier League leaders, Liverpool enter odds on favourites at 8/15 while Wolves will fancy themselves at 11/2. Since the acquisition of Virgil Van Dijk a year ago, Liverpool’s defence have been superb and a 2-0 away win looks good value at 6/1 with Grosvenorsport.com
Manchester City v Crystal Palace
Facing this Man City side away from home is a tough ask for any team, but Roy Hodgson will be extra fearful as two of their last three meetings have ended up 5-0 to the Citizens. Both sides go into this match with momentum following their victories last weekend over Everton and Leicester respectively.
Pep Guardiola’s side have coped terrifically despite many injuries within their squad but now with Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne back to full fitness, Man City will expect a comfortable win here and at 1/8, they are heavy favourites. Palace have to go back to 1990 to find the last time they beat Man City away from home and at 20/1, they face very little chance.
Roy Hodgson will need his side to perform a Christmas miracle to get anything from this game and I think Man City will triumph 4-0 which can be backed at 8/1.
Cardiff v Manchester United
This is a fascinating match which sees Ole Gunnar Solskjaer take charge of Manchester United against a side he previously relegated as a manager. All eyes will be on the Red Devils to perform here, but Cardiff have been good at home and they can go into this one hopeful of a result.
With 11 points separating Man Utd and the top four, a win here is paramount if they are going to stay in the hunt for a Champions League spot and at 8/11, Cardiff have exceeded expectations this season since their promotion and staying outside the relegation zone during the Christmas period would be a massive achievement.
Manchester United’s problems go beyond the manager and given their impressive home form, I can see an upset here and a Cardiff victory can be backed at 5/1.