It was a rather successful December for Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton, all competing at the top end of the table with just one defeat each for the latter two, while United remained unbeaten as they look to continue their charge at the top of the table.
With United desperate to wrestle back the Premier League title from neighbours Manchester City, a top-four place is the aim for both Arsenal and Everton, and all three sides have a great opportunity to see in 2013 with a win away from home in their respective fixtures.
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Manchester United to beat Wigan Athletic @ 1/2
Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to West Brom ensured Manchester United retained their seven-point cushion at the top of the Premier League ahead of a short trip to lowly Wigan Athletic on Tuesday afternoon.
That win stretched the Red Devils’ unbeaten run in the league to eight games, seven of which have been victories, as they look to keep current champions Manchester City at bay in second place.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men comfortably saw off their hosts 4-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season, with Wigan having beaten United just once in the last 15 meetings between the sides since they achieved promotion to the top flight.
Roberto Martinez’s side have failed to score in six of the last seven matches against United, who themselves are the top scorers in the league this season having found the net on 50 occasions in just 20 league matches.
Robin van Persie currently tops the goalscoring chart with 14 league goals and considered he has notched in six of his last seven league outings, the Dutchman will be looking to add to his tally of six goals in 14 appearances against Wigan.
A 3-0 win at the weekend away at struggling Aston Villa will have raised the spirits among the Wigan players, ending a run of three straight defeats, but United should have enough quality to see off the side that sit just one point above the drop zone.
Arsenal to beat Southampton @ 13/20
It’s been a good few weeks for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side as a run of four successive league victories has seen them move up to fifth in the table, just three points behind Tottenham in fourth with a game in hand.
The Gunners ended the year in emphatic style as they ran out 7-3 winners against Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday evening, with former Southampton star Theo Walcott bagging a hat-trick to take his tally in the league to eight for the season.
Four of those have come in his last three outings as the England man looks to impress in a centre-forward role and he’ll fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet once again on Tuesday against a Saints side Arsenal beat 6-1 earlier this term.
Nigel Adkins’ men surrendered a 3-1 lead in their last outing away at Stoke as the Potters clawed their way back to 3-3 despite being a man down for the final 20 minutes, ensuring the Saints remained in the bottom three, one point adrift of safety.
Only Aston Villa have conceded more goals than the south-coast club this season, which is a worrying statistic as they prepare to welcome a side that have been in fine goalscoring form of late, notching 15 goals in their last four matches.
The Saints have secured solid points in their previous two matches, including a 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day, but given the form Arsenal are in, they look set to start the new year with an 11th defeat of the campaign.
Everton to beat Newcastle United @ 7/5
Renowned as slow starters to the season in recent years, Everton have been anything but this term as they currently sit in sixth position, just three points off fourth-placed Tottenham, with Champions League qualification come May a realistic ambition for the Toffees.
Sunday’s 2-1 reverse at home to Chelsea ended a run of eight league matches without defeat for David Moyes’ side, who had taken the lead early on, before a Frank Lampard brace prevented Everton from picking up a third successive league win.
Next up for the Merseysiders is a trip to struggling Newcastle United, who were still on the end of defeats in their last two games at Old Trafford and the Emirates despite scoring three goals on both occasions.
Alan Pardew’s men are finding it difficult to recreate the form they showed last season as they head into this fixture having tasted defeat in four of their last five outings and sit just three points above safety in 15th.
The Magpies have conceded 11 goals in their last two outings and struggled to see off bottom club QPR 1-0 in their last match at home courtesy of a late Shola Ameobi strike, so Everton will set themselves up for the win.
Moyes will be able to call upon Marouane Fellaini after the Belgium international completed his three-match ban at the weekend and they look a good bet to add to the point they picked up against the Magpies in a 2-2 draw earlier in the season.