The Premier League returns on Boxing Day after spending a month off for the FIFA World Cup. OKBet fans still on a World Cup fever will find more exciting matches here.
Compelling storylines that took over the Premier League during the first three months will take on a different form once the games continue. Moreover, the league sent an astonishing 134 players to Qatar.
The fortunes of some teams may turn southward due to the long break, but others are on the up after some much-needed rest. Which clubs will benefit the most from the month-long World Cup break? Let’s analyze the upcoming matches and find out.
Aston Villa and Liverpool don’t have to worry about World Cup exhaustion. The Lions and the Reds only sent five and seven players, respectively. However, this game has a slight edge due to the visitors’ hunger to start the season strong.
Liverpool want to win more games after stumbling out of the gates. The break gave Mohammed Salah and their other key players some much-needed rest. They also used the Qatar mini-camp to fix issues that caused their inconsistent start to the season.
Meanwhile, the Claret and Blue want to start Unai Emery’s reign with a win against the struggling giants. The former Arsenal coach will likely use this game as a barometer to see which players can thrive under his system.
Another interesting talking point for neutrals is whether Emery will use Emiliano Martinez. Dibu will likely be rested after handing the World Cup trophy to Lionel Messi. However, his complicated history with Emery—which dates back to the Spaniard’s disappointing stint at Arsenal—may change things.
With Emery expressing his interest in Morocco shot-stopper Yassine Bounou, the team Villa Park will see may not be Emery’s ideal XI. With this in mind, expect Liverpool to come away with the three points as their Boxing day gift to their fans.
Recommended bet: Liverpool -0.5/1 @ 1.94
Arsenal are another surprising story this season. Their place atop the league table proves Mikel Arteta’s great work on transforming the side with young stars and entertaining, attacking football. They are second in shot-creating actions (57) and goals scored per 90 minutes (2.29).
Gabriel Jesus’ injury will leave the Gunners without a dangerous man up front. However, Bakayo Saka’s impressive World Cup should see him get a new contract and create in