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Can the reigning champions make up ground on the league leaders?



The Premier League fixtures have come thick and fast since the scintillating finale of the World Cup, and some sides have been left in the mud as the opposition fly out of the blocks.

Manchester City will look to make amends for dropped points at the weekend, and Tottenham will look to bounce back from their fifth Premier League loss of the season.

We preview the two giants’ fixtures this week as well as what could be an exciting clash between Aston Villa and Wolves.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham

Arriving at Selhurst Park off the back of a very poor performance that saw them lose 2-0 to Aston Villa at home, Tottenham will look to quickly right that wrong and climb back into the top four. However, they come up against a Crystal Palace that have played good football this season and look to be building under Patrick Vieira.

It will be a tough London derby between the two, and despite odds that favour Spurs, Palace may feel they have the edge going into their first game of the New Year. Vieira’s men are the 9/4 underdogs with the north London giants 6/5 to take the win, though the lightning-quick counter-attacking football of the Eagles will surely trouble Spurs’ leaking defence.

Tottenham to win and for the match to feature four or more goals is 6/1 with enhanced odds, and Crystal Palace to lead at half-time and win the game is 11/2. Both eventualities will set the match up to be an entertaining one, and it is Eberechi Eze at 6/1 to score at any time that could make the difference in the result.

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Aston Villa v Wolves

Aston Villa have picked up in recent matches after Steven Gerrard was sacked as their manager and have showcased the level of football expected from a team of their calibre under new boss Unai Emery.

Defeating Brighton and Tottenham in their last two matches, Villa could be at the beginning of an impressive winning streak and based on their odds of 19/20 to win here compared to the struggling Wolves 29/10, the Birmingham side may have a chance to head into the top half of the table.

The two main Aston Villa strikers are expected to be heavily involved, with Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins 23/10 to have over three shots on target combined in the match.

Aston Villa will likely hang onto the three points at Villa Park and may end up comfortably beating this Wolves side, but it must be remembered the quality of some of the players in orange. They are more than capable of putting a few past Emiliano Martinez, and we could see both teams putting the ball in the back of the net at 17/20 with Villa to win 2-1, 9/2 with enhanced odds.

Chelsea v Manchester City

Unlikely to be the most entertaining edition of this fixture in recent years, Chelsea host the league champions at Stamford Bridge, sitting a lot further down the table than they would have anticipated at the start of the season but, nonetheless, a position that reflects the current situation of the Blues.

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Similarly, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will likely be unhappy with the ground they have lost to Arsenal, the current league leaders, which was extended to seven points over the weekend.

Looking at the form of the two teams, City’s odds of 8/13 to win could foretell a victory for the Citizens, with their main man Erling Haaland at 5/2 with enhanced odds to score first.

Chelsea playing on their home turf are 9/2 to take the win and heavy underdogs sitting in ninth place with only seven wins out of 16 in the league this season. It could be a difficult afternoon for the Blues with their likely frontman Kai Havertz is 9/2 to score at anytime.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, City are likely to produce as they do so often and overcome the blip of their last match. When City find their flow, they can be ruthless and looking at the form of the big number nine, it is expected we will see goals from the away side. Therefore Haaland to score and City to win by two or more goals could be the way to go at 9/4.

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