CHRISTMAS is fast approaching, which means the 2015-16 English Premier League season is almost halfway done.
It’s been full of surprises so far, with some clubs punching well above their weight while certain so-called giants cling to the ropes for dear life.
Tipping a multi has proven hard work indeed, as every weekend has thrown up shock results – such as Stoke City’s recent victory over league leaders Manchester City, or relegation-bound Newcastle United’s 2-0 triumph over a resurgent Liverpool.
But the Christmas fixtures have a habit of sorting the contenders from the pretenders, as the early-season bolters often crumble under the sheer weight of matches between Boxing Day and the first week of the New Year.
Let’s take a look at the big headlines of the season so far, as well as how things stand in the Premier League table and the soccer futures markets ahead of the hectic holiday schedule.
Highlights and upsets of Premier League 2015-16
Leicester City leading the way
After a miraculous escape from relegation last season, Leicester’s future looked rocky following the controversial summer sacking of manager Nigel Pearson. But Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes have taken the top flight by force so far, and everyone is eager to see how they handle the impending mayhem of the Christmas and New Year’s fixtures. Sportsbet has them at $5 odds to hold on for a top-four finish.
Jamie Vardy’s record-breaking run
Vardy’s story is one which gives hope to everyone who thinks they’ve missed their shot. Three years ago he was playing non-league football with Fleetwood Town; now he is a fully capped England international who holds a Premier League record after scoring in 11 consecutive matches. Can he take the fairytale to fruition by helping Leicester to a shock title win?
Chelsea’s nightmare title defence
It’s hard to believe this is the same Chelsea which strolled to the EPL crown last term. Four wins from 15 outings leaves the Blues in 14th place, only two points above the drop zone. Most alarming of all is their form at home, as Crystal Palace, Southampton, Liverpool and now Bournemouth have all left Stamford Bridge with three points. Still, you can get $151 odds (Bet365.com) on Jose Mourinho’s men to be relegated.
West Ham end their 52-year Anfield hoodoo
The Hammers have performed extremely well against the big boys this term, collecting 10 points from their dates with Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Man United. But their biggest triumph came at Liverpool, where the Irons bagged three unanswered goals to claim their first win of any sort at Anfield since 1963 (and all but confirm Brendan Rodgers’ sacking in the process).
Aston Villa’s top-flight streak on the line
It’s been on the cards for a good few years, but last-placed Aston Villa ($2.10 at Luxbet.com to finish bottom) look a near-certainty now to be relegated from the English top tier. Their demotion would leave Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Tottenham and Chelsea as the only teams never to be axed from the Premier League – assuming the Blues don’t follow Villa down to the Championship, that is.
EPL standings after week 15
|7||West Ham United||15||6||5||4||25||21||+4||23|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||15||5||4||6||14||19||-5||19|
2015-16 Premier League outright betting
To win the title:
Man City – $2.40
Arsenal – $3.30
Man United – $5
Liverpool – $9
Tottenham – $15
Leicester – $26
Chelsea – $61
Everton – $176
Aston Villa – $501
Bournemouth – $501
Crystal Palace – $501
Newcastle – $501
Norwich – $501
Southampton – $501
Stoke – $501
Sunderland – $501
Swansea – $501
Watford – $501
West Brom – $501
West Ham – $501
To be relegated:
Aston Villa – $1.14
Sunderland – $1.33
Newcastle United – $2.10
Bournemouth – $2.25
Norwich – $2.60
Swansea – $4.50
West Brom – $11
Watford – $26
Stoke – $61
Chelsea – $81
West Ham – $101
Crystal Palace – $151
Southampton – $176
Everton – $301
Arsenal – $501
Leicester – $501
Liverpool – $501
Man City – $501
Man United – $501
Tottenham – $501
Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – $2.75
Sergio Aguero (Man City) – $5
Romelu Lukaku (Everton) – $5.50
Harry Kane (Spurs) – $9
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – $21
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – $21
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) – $26
Odion Ighalo (Watford) – $26
Graziano Pelle (Southampton) – $41
Diego Costa (Chelsea) – $41
Andre Ayew (Swansea) – $51
Christian Benteke (Liverpool) – $51
Anthony Martial (Man United) – $51
Bafetimbi Gomis (Swansea) – $67
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – $67
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – $67
Diafra Sakho (West Ham) – $67
Wilfried Bony (Man City) – $67
Arounda Kone (Everton) – $81
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) – $81
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) – $81
Yaya Toure (Man City) – $81
Wayne Rooney (Man United) – $81
Troy Deeney (Watford) – $81
Sadio Mane (Southampton) – $81
Raheem Sterling (Man City) – $81
Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle) – $81
Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) – $81
Ayoze Perez (Newcastle) – $81
Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke) – $81
All odds provided by www.Sportsbet.com
Sportsbet $100 cashback EPL multi special
Online bookmaker Sportsbet.com is running a generous cashback deal on soccer multis for every round of the 2015-16 EPL season.
Place any Premier League multi bet of four win-draw-win legs or more, and you can get up to $100 cash back if you miss out by only one leg.
For example: let’s say you bet $20 on a four-leg multi featuring Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs to win. If the Blues lose but Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs all salute, Sportsbet will refund your $20 stake in full.
To take advantage of this special offer, sign up at www.Sportsbet.com – one of Australia’s most trusted Premier League betting sites.
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