THE Christmas period is over and Premier League players are limping towards their first ever winter break.
But the fixtures continue to come thick and fast in a crucial period of the season, with another full set of top-flight games set for this weekend.
If you fancy a flutter, we’ve got selections for you from three matches including Sheffield United at Arsenal, Chelsea’s long trip to Newcastle and Man Utd’s daunting visit to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal vs Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm
WHISPER it but there are signs that the Arteta revolution is kicking into gear.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If they need any tips on how to be more than the sum of their parts, they only need to look at the visitors.
Sheffield United under Chris Wilder have been this season’s breath of fresh air.
They might not be pretty on the eye, but everyone knows their role and fights his socks off for the cause.
As such, they kick off this game four points ahead of Arsenal. Imagine telling Blades fans that’d be the case back in August.
Their superb season has been built on their performances away from Bramall Lane, with United losing just two of their 11 games on the road.
Those pair of defeats have come in their last two games at Anfield and the Etihad – hardly unexpected and they weren’t disgraced in either.
History isn’t on their side and Blades fans will no doubt remember the 6-0 shallacking their side got on their last visit to North London.
But fresher in their minds will be the battling 1-0 win they pulled off in October over a lacklustre, disinterested Gunners outfit.
Plenty has changed since then, but it’s a testament to Wilder that his side are priced at just 10/3 to win this.
They’ve picked up six draws on the road this season, whilst four of Arsenal’s 11 home games have finished as a stalemate.
In a game where United will look to keep things tight until half-time and go from there, the draw at the break is a terrific price at 21/20.
We’re definitely not seeing many goals – just FIVE of Sheffield United’s 22 top-flight games this season have featured three of more goals, so back the 5/6 on under 2.5 with confidence.
It’s up to Alexandre Lacazette to step up but he’s a rather stingy 11/10 to net anytime.
If you’re chasing a goalscorer with value, target Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli who has proved himself with 8 goals in 19 appearances this term.
For a tenner, you get back £34 if he nets anytime. Value.
SunSport’s best bets
Newcastle vs Chelsea, Saturday 5.30pm
THERE’s been a lack of Christmas cheer at St James over the past few weeks.
After an excellent run through November and early December, hopes were high that Steve Bruce could lead his side to relative mid-table comfort by the New Year.
But despite a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace just before Christmas, Newcastle fell to four defeats in six games to leave themselves still looking nervously over their shoulder.
They should have enough points to survive from here, but nothing is guaranteed in this league and there’s tough trips to Everton and Arsenal coming up over the next few weeks.
Getting something from this then would be a huge bonus – but Chelsea are a different team away from Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard‘s men play with a real sense of freedom on the road, winning seven of their 11 away games this term.
Impressive victories at Spurs and Arsenal were neutered somewhat by a poor showing at Brighton, but expect Frank to have his side well up for this one.
History isn’t on the Blues side, mind.
They’ve won just ONE of their last six visits to this stadium, only taking three points on their last jaunt to the North East due to DeAndre Yedlin’s last minute own goal.
What we have here then is two very unpredictable sides – and don’t forget Newcastle have taken four points from six against the Manchester clubs here this campaign.
Stay away from the result market at all costs and chase the goals.
Away from home, nine of Chelsea’s 11 games have seen three or more goals scored – that’s 8/13 here and our bet of the weekend.
That’s also a selection which has also won on six of the last seven H2H’s between these two sides.
Under the lights we’ve a feeling that the teams could come shooting out of the blocks, with both teams to score in the first half very tempting at a giant 7/2.
We’re all about the value and there’s one player that stands out in the betting on the goalscorer market.
Miguel Almiron couldn’t buy a goal for more than a year in a Newcastle shirt – now he has four in seven games.
Why is he 5/1 to net at any time on Saturday?! That’s huge. We fancy him to showcase his talents and bag a first goal against one of the Big Six.
SunSport’s best bets
Liverpool vs Man Utd, Sunday 4.30pm
WHO can stop the Klopp Express?
That 1-1 draw at Old Trafford seems a long, long time ago now.
Liverpool have won 20 out of their 21 matches and it’d be daft to bet against them going through this campaign unbeaten.
Not only do this team know how to win pretty, they also know how to win ugly too.
One thing you could bank on earlier in the season was Liverpool’s leaky backline, which kept conceding despite the victories.
There was a streak before Christmas where games involving Liverpool saw both teams scoring on 12 straight occasions.
But with Allison back fully fit, it’s now six Premier League clean sheets on the spin – that’s a run that goes back to the 5-2 win over Everton in early December.
We’re in a new decade and times have certainly changed.
Man Utd are 13/2 here and we reckon that’s actually a little bit short. Imagine us saying that ten years ago.
Under Solskjaer the red half of Manchester continue to take one step forward, two steps back.
They’ve seen off Burnley, Newcastle and Norwich in recent weeks with the minimum of fuss, but also lost to Watford, Arsenal and Man City in the Carabao Cup.
4/11 on the league leaders to continue their march to the title is well worth taking and probably the best you’ll get on Liverpool at home this season.
On recent visits this hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for United and they’ve drawn a blank in three of their last four jaunts down the M62.
Considering the clean sheet run Liverpool are on, the 13/10 on Klopp’s men to win without conceding is huge.
Roberto Firmino has a bit of an Anfield allergy this season and ALL of his nine goals have come away from Merseyside.
He looked as sharp as ever though against Spurs – netting the winner – and 9/5 is a huge price on him to bag at anytime.
SunSport’s best bets
*All odds correct at time of publication