5th June 2020



31st December 2014

With no Football League games the Scottish Premier League and Vanarama Leagues get higher profile on New Year's Day.

The Premier League has some interesting encounters given that three sides have new management teams since last weekend!

The most interesting of the changes sees John Carver step up as caretaker boss at Newcastle with Alan Pardew about to take over at Palace.

In truth, Newcastle have played fairly poorly in the last month in part due to injury and suspensions. They particularly miss Tim Krull in goal and the lack of a solid stopper has created insecurity at the back. Jak Alnwick who is 3rd choice has conceded goals in every game.

Newcastle have another big worry as they face Burnley without banned striker Papiss Cisse, who accepted an FA violent conduct charge after elbowing Everton's Seamus Coleman.

But Carver at least has no new fresh injury problems.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche could name an unchanged side for the sixth successive match.

Sam Vokes could be recalled to the squad but Matt Taylor, Michael Duff and Stephen Ward remain on the sidelines.

At face value this is a home win on league position, but anyone who witnessed Burnley's fightback at the Etihad from 2-0 down last Sunday will not want to heap the mortgage on a home win.

Newcastle look well worth laying.

The lunch-time game sees Stoke who have back to back wins following defeat to Chelsea take on Manchester United.

The Reds have been backed into evens - odds-on in places - and that makes them poor value at a venue where plenty of top teams have come unstuck.

Stoke have been hard to call all season but at 10/3 with BetFred might be worth punting.

Liverpool looked an improved side, even without Steven Gerrard in thumping Swansea - who are a good yardstick - 4-1 on Monday. Whilst the Anfield side have had less rest time between games, Raheem Sterling looks a match winner in current mood. Rested Gerrard looks set for a recall and Liverpool might be a bet to see off bottom clunb Leicester by a two goal margin.

West Brom will have a new boss in Tony Pulis and the Baggies may be worth follwoing. He won his first game at Palace from the stand with a 1-0 win at Hull we recall. But West Ham despite two defeats (Arsenal and Cheslea) over the holidays are no sudden pushovers. They can deliver 5/6 odds with Betbright who will refund stakes if 0-0 at half-time.

Crystal Palace will be hoping the iminent arrival of Alan Pardew can lift them out of the drop zone. Palace have looked disoraganised in recent games and it may take time.

We think they will do well to get anything from the trip to Villa who at 7/5 with several firms may be a punt.

Joe Ross