The festive period for English football has always been a busy one, and this year is no different. The week ahead will see the Premier League play on Boxing Day, then again over the weekend, and then again on New Year’s Day-three rounds of games condensed into a week filled with action. This is a long-standing tradition, of course-without football, Christmas and New Year just don’t feel the same. Obviously, jam-packed weeks like this one will give you the chance to’ earn’ some extra Christmas cheer if you like. I’m thinking, of course, about the opportunity to play on online bookies like bet365 via betting and mobile gaming, through this application.
Arsenal fans, in particular, may have more reason than most to be in a festive mood. The club finally got around to naming Unai Emery’s successor this week, appointing former captain Mikel Arteta as manager on a contract till June 2023. This is a significant show of faith in a managerial novice, albeit one who has spent the last three years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City, and thus has been learning from arguably the best manager in the world. Fans will be hoping that his arrival will finally bring the club onto an even keel and get them performing at their potential, which has definitely not been the case so far this season.
However, their upcoming fixtures will surely test Arteta’s managerial skills right off the bat. They play Bournemouth away on Boxing Day, after which there are two heavyweight fixtures – at home to Chelsea on the 29th of December, and then hosting Manchester United on the 2nd of January. All of these matches are sure to be tough assignments for Arteta, and he will need a series of positive displays to convince the fans that he is the right man for the job, even if he is unable to win any of these games.
Betting markets are reflecting this in their odds – while Arsenal are currently priced at 1.90 for the Bournemouth game, they are at 3.00 against Chelsea by bet365, reflecting the increased difficulty of that game, despite being the home side. It may reflect an appealing option for punters, but given Arsenal’s unpredictability this season, these matches are definitely a risk for the average betting man. Despite the fact that Chelsea have hit a stuttering run of form in recent weeks, Frank Lampard’s side have been good in general this season, as reflected by the fact that they are fourth in the Premier League table, to Arsenal’s 11th. Chelsea have been especially superb as an attacking force, which spells danger for Arsenal given their weakness at the back. Thus, punters would be well-advised to be very careful when backing the Gunners over the next few weeks – it would be more prudent to wait and see how Arteta plans to set up the side and how they respond to him. Better value can probably be found elsewhere in the market for fans looking for a little bit of festive cheer.