Everyone loves Christmas Day. The presents, the food, the drink, the Snowman, the Queen, the drink, the fights and of course, the drink. But it is missing one key ingredient.
It might seem too harsh to make footballers play on Christmas Day, but would that not be the perfect way to cement December 25th as the best day in the calendar?
Of course it would mean Her Majesty being moved to another timeslot, but I’m sure she’ll understand. She could even do the pre-match coverage and just slot her speech in between Geoff Shreeves interviews.
Anyway, as it stands we are still having to wait 24 whole hours for the Boxing Day fixtures, so here’s four games that may help to replenish the funds that have been spent on presents, food and… erm… oh yes, and drink.
Agree with these selections? Then throw the free £20 bet you get for signing up to bwin today on this foursome to be in with a chance of picking up a cool £260.
Just imagine the new year’s party you could throw with that.
Swansea to beat Reading @ 13/10
Reading have been on a seven-game losing streak which sees them nailed to the bottom of the Premier League. However, a plucky 1-0 loss at Manchester City on Saturday could bring some much-needed confidence.
Swansea earned a resilient draw at home to Manchester United, with in-form Spaniard Michu netting his 13th league goal of the campaign.
The goal-conceding tendencies of the Royals must be a huge concern to Brian McDermott, having shipped nine in their last two home games and 37 overall this season, four more than anyone else.
This clash at the Madejski Stadium is a replay of the 2011 Championship play-off final, which, of course, Swansea won, but they also played earlier this season at the Liberty Stadium in a tight encounter that ended 2-2.
However, on current form I put my backing firmly behind Michael Laudrup’s charges to pick up their fourth away win of the season.
Sheffield United to beat Scunthorpe @ 3/5
The Blades now sit top of League One after their 2-0 win at Crawley on Saturday and Tranmere’s thrashing at the hands of Swindon on Friday.
This punter saw the game at the Broadfield Stadium in person and while it wasn’t a classic performance from United, it was still a comfortable away win against a good team thanks to two moments of brilliance from Tony McMahon – arguably a victory of potential champions.
Scunthorpe are second from bottom in England’s third tier and will have it all to do as they visit the league leaders, who are undefeated at Bramall Lane this season.
Despite Danny Wilson’s men having drawn more than they’ve won on home soil, I would say the confidence of their win on Saturday should see them dispatch The Iron with some ease.
Swindon to beat Leyton Orient @ 19/20
I advised you to bet against Orient on Saturday and their clash at Notts County was inconsiderately called off, so I’ll try again here.
As stated in my last article, the main statistic behind this selection is Orient’s stubborn refusal to draw games, only getting a point from a league game once this season.
They have not drawn a single game at Brisbane Road, losing six of 11.
Swindon have had a good campaign so far under the outspoken Paolo Di Canio, winning six of 11 away games as they sit fifth in League One, and as mentioned earlier, they enjoyed an emphatic 5-0 success over then-league leaders Tranmere on Friday.
Orient’s form suggests that there will be a winner in this one; Swindon’s form suggests it will be them.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle to beat St Mirren @ 17/20
Having tipped Inverness to win on Saturday, it was with great pleasure I saw them comfortably dispatch Dundee and move up to second in the SPL.
‘Caley’ have been on a tremendous run, with just one loss in their last ten games, a period that began and ended with 4-1 wins over ‘The Dee’.
Terry Butcher’s side look imperious at the moment, especially since their win at Celtic just a few weeks ago, and it will be asking an awful lot of St Mirren to stop them in this one.
Danny Lennon’s boys achieved an impressive 2-1 win over Motherwell on Friday which actually allowed Inverness to move up to second spot, but with just one win in nine away trips this season, don’t expect that result to be the start of their surge up the table.
Merry Christmas and happy punting!
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave