FFT's betting partner, Bet Butler, points you in the right direction ahead of the Boxing Day action in England...
Our good friends at Bet Butler have returned with more vital titbits to help influence your tipping as this year's festive matches approach.
A feast of football takes place on Boxing Day, with the lunchtime entertainment kicking off with Charlton Athletic hosting Brighton and Hove Albion.
Premier League champions Manchester United then travel to Hull City for the day's first Premier League offering, which ends with the showpiece event that is table-toppers Liverpool travelling to free-scoring Manchester City
We'll also give you the lowdown on the sides missing key men and begging to be taken on - featuring Southampton, Preston and Exeter.
It’s an early start at The Valley for these two and Charlton will have to make do without their suspended captain Johnnie Jackson. Since the start of last season he’s failed to play at least an hour in 18 of Charlton’s 67 games and on those occasions they’ve won only twice and scored just 13 goals.
Moreover, in the 10 home matches he’s missed they’ve won 0, picking up just 4 points and scoring only 4 goals as 8 of the games have featured fewer than 3 goals.
Given they host in-form opposition, with Brighton coming to visit, the home side look worth opposing. Charlton have only beaten struggling Doncaster in their last 8 home matches, failing to score 5 times. However, they have managed to draw 5 of their last 12 home games against top-half teams.
Brighton have lost only 1 of their last 10 matches and just 2 of 14 on the road. Six of those 14 games finished level though, while 9 were goalless at the break. It’s hard to see this being a Christmas cracker but Brighton’s record away to bottom-half teams since the start of last season of W8 D10 L3 suggests the Seagulls will finish the happier of the two teams.
Two bets appeal here and that is the Half-Time 0-0 Correct Score at 2.65. The second bet is the full-time draw which just about edges the away win for value and can be backed at 3.4.
Hull’s home record has been excellent this season as they find themselves just one point below the top half at Christmas. However, they’ve only once scored more than a single goal in their 8 home games and have hosted just one team above 10th-placed Stoke.
Given Man United have scored 3 times in their last 2 matches and 2 or more in their last 5 on the road this might be an unfortunate time for the Tigers to face the champions.
Man United have won 12 of their 16 trips to bottom-half teams since the start of last season, losing only once, and they’ve won 8 of their last 11 away matches at promoted sides.
United should continue their resurgence here and after leading at the break in 3 of their last 4 away matches. The Win/Win double is a very tempting 2.5.
While United should have too much quality for Hull we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tigers score. United have kept just 2 clean sheets in their last 13 matches and Over 2.5 Goals looks a good price.
Even if Hull fail to score United have the quality to settle the market on their own. Since the start of last season 10 of their 16 trips to bottom-half teams have had at least 3 strikes. Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.95.
The title favourites host the leaders in the Boxing Day highlight. Man City have been unstoppable at home, but in Luis Suarez Liverpool have the hottest striker in world football.
Five of the current top eight have already gone to the Etihad this season and only Everton avoided being thrashed by 3 clear goals. Given Liverpool’s away record has been inconsistent this term and they’ve lost 3-0 here in two of the last three seasons the home side look an obvious bet.
The only doubt is the absence of Sergio Aguero. The Argentine has started all of City’s home games this season, scoring in 6 with 9 goals in total. In the 4 home games he missed last term against teams that finished above the bottom six City scored just 6 goals and they surely wont repeat the six-goal efforts they managed against Spurs and Arsenal.
They should be backed at 1.85, although dutching the one-goal and two-goal winning margins also appeals at combined odds of 2.49.
Over-goals prices are predictably short given the nature of both teams’ recent form but with the odds as short as they are we would avoid getting involved. Goalscorer market looks to offer better opportunities.
City’s extra attacking verve has allowed Yaya Toure to contribute 11 goals from 23 appearances, including scoring in 5 of their home games in the league. Having netted against Arsenal, Man United and Newcastle this season, the Ivorian looks well worth backing to score again.
Wanyama has missed 4 Southampton games this season and without him they are yet to win. Moreover, they’ve conceded 8 goals in those games while they’ve only conceded 10 in the 13 matches he’s played. However, they still look good going forward and both teams to score makes most appeal here at 2.0.
Davies has missed 6 games this season and without the veteran striker Preston have won only once, despite 5 of those games being at home. Carlisle +0.25 on the Asian Handicap looks a great price at 1.9.
Since Coles got injured 6 games ago Exeter have won only once and conceded 12 times. This is a 54% increase compared with how often they’ve conceded with him in the teams since the start of last season and Cheltenham, who are 10 games unbeaten, should be backed at 2.0 to take the win.