Six Premier League matches for the weekend have already been binned due to COVID-19 outbreaks among the club, as fans were robbed of multiple enjoyable fixtures, but the remaining four games are scheduled for now.
There is a lone match on Saturday, but Sunday’s list of games will get any Premier League fan excited. Storylines abound, top teams are in play, and players look to stamp their mark on the meat and potatoes of the festive period.
Premier League leaders Manchester City take on relegation candidates in Newcastle, and should the Citizens emerge victorious, it will be on Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal to keep pace. The Gunners will be tested with a feisty but thin Leeds United group, while Chelsea and Liverpool both take the field on Sunday against teams battling for a European place.
Premier League Matchday 18
|Date||Match||Time (ET)||TV Channels||Streaming|
|Sat, Dec. 18||Manchester United vs. Brighton||Postponed|
|Sat, Dec. 18||Watford vs. Crystal Palace||Postponed|
|Sat, Dec. 18||West Ham vs. Norwich City||Postponed|
|Sat, Dec. 18||Aston Villa vs. Burnley||Postponed|
|Sat, Dec. 18||Southampton vs. Brentford||Postponed|
|Sat, Dec. 18||Leeds United vs. Arsenal||12:30 p.m.||NBC, Universo||fuboTV, Peacock|
|Sun, Dec. 19||Everton vs. Leicester City||Postponed|
|Sun, Dec. 19||Wolves vs. Chelsea||9 a.m.||USA Network, Universo||fuboTV|
|Sun, Dec. 19||Newcastle vs. Manchester City||9:15 a.m.||NBCSN||fuboTV|
|Sun, Dec. 19||Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool||11:30 a.m.||—||Peacock|
Premier League betting odds, lines, picks
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Here are the lines, spreads and totals for all five matches on the slate with picks and predictions listed for three of them:
Leeds United vs. Arsenal
- Moneyline: Leeds +300 / Draw +285 / Arsenal -115
- Spread: Arsenal -0.5 (-115) / Leeds +0.5 (+100)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -140 / Under +120
- Both teams to score: Yes +285 / No -425
These two teams come into this match in completely opposite form. Arsenal has found a stride, maybe a case of AubamEwing theory with the former captain banished from the squad for now. He won’t be available for selection for the third straight game, but Arsenal has looked fine so far without him. In the impressive midweek win over West Ham, Arsenal looked comfortable throughout.
Leeds, meanwhile, is in awful form, the squad is depleted and it’s coming off its joint-worst ever Premier League loss, 7-0 to Man City. With just one win since October, Leeds has conceded 12 goals over its last three matches. Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, and Robin Koch are all injured, and manager Marcelo Bielsa has not been able to successfully replace them.
On the historical side, Arsenal has not lost to Leeds United in any competition since a Premier League defeat late in the 2002/03 season — famously, Arsenal’s last league defeat until October of 2004, courtesy of the Invincibles squad. That’s a 10-match unbeaten run for the Gunners over this weekend’s opponents.
Given Arsenal’s form, their opponents’ form, and the historical form, it’s a wonder that Arsenal isn’t a heavier favorite. People must love betting against the Gunners.
- Pick: Arsenal moneyline (-115)
- Prediction: Leeds 1, Arsenal 2
Wolves vs. Chelsea
- Moneyline: Wolves +500 / Draw +320 / Chelsea -175
- Spread: Chelsea -1 (+105) / Wolves +1 (-120)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over +110 / Under -135
- Both teams to score: Yes +115 / No -150
Chelsea is low on attacking talent given its recent COVID-19 outbreak. Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are set to miss a second consecutive match with positive tests, while Kai Havertz was out in midweek with a non-COVID illness. Add in one for long-term injury absentee Ben Chilwell and the earlier positive test for Mateo Kovacic, and the Blues are suddenly thin at areas considered a position of strength just weeks earlier.
The Blues have also had mixed results against Wolves in recent history, failing to win in three of their last six league meetings, including a pair of 2-1 losses at Molineux in that span and a 0-0 draw in the most recent result back in January.
The fantastic away end keeping themselves entertained.
— Wolves (@Wolves) December 16, 2021
While Wolves aren’t in the best of form with just one win over the past five, they still know how to defend. They can’t score, mind you, but have conceded just two goals over their last six games, including just one each against Liverpool and Manchester United, two teams known for their attacking prowess. The home crowd will be buzzing for a result. Expect Chelsea to encounter tough sledding, with the hosts capable of snatching a point.
- Pick: Wolves or draw and Under 2.5 total goals (+205)
- Prediction: Wolves 1, Chelsea 1
Newcastle vs. Manchester City
- Moneyline: Newcastle +1400 / Draw +650 / Man City -525
- Spread: Man City -2 (-105) / Newcastle +2 (-110)
- O/U 3 total goals: Over -135 / Under +115
- Both teams to score: Yes +115 / No -150
Tottenham vs. Liverpool
- Moneyline: Tottenham +475 / Draw +340 / Liverpool -175
- Spread: Liverpool -0.5 (+115) / Tottenham +0.5 (-135)
- O/U 3 total goals: Over +110 / Under -130
- Both teams to score: Yes -145 / No +110
Liverpool has won its last seven games against Tottenham in all competitions, including the famous Champions League final in 2019. Every single one of those games was under four goals in total, and all but one were under three total goals. Still, the value isn’t in the total, where you’re seeing minus odds all the way down to below Under 3. And Liverpool is too dangerous up front to bank on that. The value is instead in the clean sheet.
Liverpool has only kept two clean sheets against Spurs across that seven-game win streak over its opponent, but recent history is on the Reds’ side. Spurs will be rusty having played just two matches since Thanksgiving, with three league games plus a European match postponed. Spurs have beat up on bad teams this season, but against “Top 6” sides, they have minimal return other than the 1-0 win over Man City on the opening day of the season.
Liverpool, meanwhile, has conceded just one league goal since the early November loss to West Ham. This is a healthy, in-form Liverpool team. Ride the wave.
- Pick: Liverpool Win to Zero (+160)
- Prediction: Tottenham 0, Liverpool 2