Find the back of the net with tips for Week 19 of the EPL season – the Boxing Day schedule has been wiped out by COVID but there’s still eight games on the docket.

EPL Tips – West Ham United V Southampton

02:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ London Stadium, London

History: Played 178: West Ham 80 V Southampton 50 (48 Draws)

Last meeting: September 11, 2021 (EPL): 0-0 draw at St Mary’s Stadium

Final Thoughts: West Ham have fallen out of the top four after winning just one of their last six games. They recorded a scoreless draw at Burnley and a 2-0 loss at Arsenal in their last two outings.

Southampton’s three wins this season came in a four-match burst in October-November. Since then they have lost three and drawn three, most recently playing out a 2-all stalemate at Crystal Palace.

West Ham are on an eight-match unbeaten streak against Southampton, who have scored just twice during that period. The teams played out a scoreless draw at St Mary’s Stadium in Week 4, while the Irons have scored three goals in each of their last four clashes with the Saints at London Stadium.

Despite modest recent form Hammers are unbeaten in their last four at home, including wins over Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea. They’re by far the better team with a considerable advantage in attacking firepower – expect the hosts to get back on track with a win.

Best Bet: Result and Total – West Ham and Over 2.5 @ $2.63

Same Game Multi: Result – West Ham; West Ham Total – Over 2.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Michail Antonio @ $6.40

EPL Tips – Tottenham Hotspur V Crystal Palace

02:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

History: Played 60: Tottenham 32 V Crystal Palace 13 (15 Draws)

Last meeting: September 11, 2021 (EPL): Crystal Palace 3 d Tottenham 0 at Selhurst Park

Final Thoughts: Seventh-placed Tottenham haven’t lost a game since October, though three of their last seven fixtures have been postponed. Spurs came from behind to draw 2-all with Liverpool at home last weekend, with big guns Harry Kane and Son-Heung Min scoring their goals.

Crystal Palace sit 12th after a 3-1 win over Everton and a 2-all draw with Southampton in their last two outings. Their Week 18 clash with Watford was postponed.

Palace have won just two of their last 12 against Spurs, but they pulled off a rousing 3-0 win at home in Week 4 after Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring in the 76th minute and Odsonne Edouard bagged a late brace. The Eagles have won a league game at Tottenham since 1997.

Tottenham have come a fair way since, however, going unbeaten since Antoni Conte’s arrival.

Best Bet: Handicap – Tottenham -1 @ $3.00

Same Game Multi: Result – Tottenham; Half-time Result – Tottenham; Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane; Total – Over 2.5 @ $5.62

EPL Tips – Norwich City V Arsenal

02:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Carrow Road, Norwich

History: Played 61: Arsenal 30 V Norwich 11 (20 Draws)

Last meeting: September 11, 2021 (EPL): Arsenal 1 d Norwich 0 at Emirates Stadium

Final Thoughts: Arsenal have their sights set on a return to the Champions League after surging into the top four. The defeated Southampton (3-0), West Ham (2-0) and Leeds (4-1) convincingly in the space of eight days, with Gabriel Martinelli scored three goals in the Gunners’ past two games.

Last-placed Norwich City lost their last three matches to Tottenham (3-0), Man United (1-0) and Aston Villa (2-0) before last weekend’s fixture at West Ham was scrapped. Their only two wins came in back-to-back outings in November against Brentford and Southampton.

Arsenal defeated Norwich 1-0 at home in Week 4 to extend their unbeaten run in the rivalry to nine games. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the decisive goal in the 66th minute.

Aubameyang has been stripped of the captaincy and has missed Arsenal’s last four games due to a disciplinary breach. But expect a similar result with Norwich failing to score in 11 of their 17 games this season and in-form Arsenal tightening up defensively of late.

Best Bet: Arsenal To Win To Nil @ $2.22

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Arsenal -1; Anytime Goalscorer – Emile Smith-Rowe; Total – Over 2.5 @ $5.34

EPL Tips – Manchester City V Leicester City

02:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Etihad Stadium, Manchester

History: Played 124: Man City 63 V Leicester 32 (29 Draws)

Last meeting: September 11, 2021 (EPL): Man City 1 d Leicester 0 at King Power Stadium

Final Thoughts: Manchester City have surged three points at the top of the table in their quest for back-to-back titles. They are on an eight-match winning streak featuring five clean sheets – including devastating wins over Leeds (7-0) and Newcastle (4-0) in the past fortnight.

That formline couldn’t be worse news for Leicester, who are in ninth in a wildly inconsistent campaign and have had their last two games postponed. The Foxes showed some impressive signs in a 4-0 rout of Newcastle in their last outing but have managed consecutive wins only once this season.

Leicester City snared a 1-0 win over the Premier League champs in the FA Community Shield at Wembley in August, but a second-half goal to Bernardo Silva in Week 4 secured a 1-0 Man City victory at King Power Stadium.

The Foxes have been one of the hardest hit COVID-wise and are in for a rough road trip – as their $15 underdog price would indicate.

Best Bet: Handicap – Man City -2 @ $2.30

Same Game Multi: Total – Over 4.5; Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling; Anytime Goalscorer – Kevin de Bruyne; Handicap – Man City -2 @ $13.39

EPL Tips – Burnley V Everton

02:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Turf Moor, Burnley

History: Played 119: Everton 52 V Burnley 37 (30 Draws)

Last meeting: September 13, 2021 (EPL): Everton 3 d Burnley 1 at Goodison Park

Final Thoughts: Burnley remain in the bottom-three, though they have games in hand after having three fixtures postponed by COVID. They have lost just one of their last seven games, chalking up five draws and a win over Brentford – their only victory of the season – during that time. The Clarets held West Ham to a scoreless draw in their last outing on December 12.

Everton will be desperate to take advantage of playing a cellar dweller – or they will be at risk of joining them soon. The 14th-placed Toffees have managed just six points from their last 11 games, though a 2-1 upset of Arsenal and a 1-all draw at Chelsea (either side of a dismal 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace) has raised spirits somewhat.

The teams’ last 11 clashes have been split five wins apiece, with one draw. Everton carved out a 3-1 home win earlier this season, producing three goals in a six-minute burst during the second half after Burnley opened the scoring.

There’s not a lot to inspire confidence in backing either team…but Everton as a firm outsider is hard to resist here.

Best Bet: Result – Everton @ $3.75

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Everton +1; Total – Over 1.5; Half-time Result – Draw; Anytime Goalscorer – Dominic Calvert-Lewin @ $8.85

EPL Tips – Aston Villa V Chelsea

04:30 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Villa Park, Birmingham

History: Played 159: Chelsea 66 V Aston Villa 58 (35 Draws)

Last meeting: September 22, 2021 (EFL Cup): Chelsea 1 d Aston Villa 1 (penalties) at Stamford Bridge

Final Thoughts: Chelsea have fallen six points off the pace after few December stumbles. After leading the EPL for eight straight weeks, the Blues have lost to West Ham and been held to draws by Everton and Chelsea – as well as escaping with a win over Leeds via a stoppage-time goal – in their past four games. Half of the club’s season tally of goals conceding have come in those four games.

Under-the-radar Aston Villa, meanwhile, are in the top half courtesy of four wins from their last six games. Their two losses during that time were stoic efforts against Man City (2-1) and Liverpool (1-0), while they won away at Norwich City (2-0) in their most recent outing.

Aston Villa ended a seven-year losing streak against Chelsea last season with a 2-1 upset at Villa Park. Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 win at home in Week 4, while they also eliminated the Villains from the League Cup in a penalty shootout 11 days later.

Chelsea have had a few key outs but should be playing far better than have for the past few weeks. I like plucky Villa’s chances of at least grabbing a share of the spoils here.

Best Bet: Handicap – Aston Villa +1 @ $2.20

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Aston Villa +1; Total – Over 1.5; Both Teams To Score; Half-time Result – Draw @ $6.86

EPL Tips – Brighton and Hove Albion V Brentford

07:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ Amex Stadium, Brighton

History: Played 75: Brighton 33 V Brentford 28 (14 Draws)

Last meeting: September 13, 2021 (EPL): Brighton 1 d Brentford 0 at Brentford Community Stadium

Final Thoughts: Brentford and Brighton will be reasonably comfortable with their position – in a share of 11th place with 20 points and a couple of games in hand after recent postponements – as the halfway mark of the season approaches.

But Brighton are winless since chalking up four victories from their opening five games, accumulating their points through seven draws from their past 10 outings. The Seagulls went down 1-0 to Wolves in their last game and have been held scoreless in five of their last nine.

Promoted Brentford have managed two wins and two draws from their last five games, most recently overcoming Watford 2-1 with a 96th-minute penalty.

Brighton snared a 1-0 result at Brentford earlier this season via a 90th-minute strike from Leandro Trossard. The hosts are $1.91 favourites to earn a repeat result, but they are struggling to put goals on the board and have made an art form of stalemates over the past couple of months.

Best Bet: Result – Draw @ $3.25

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Brentford +1; Brentford Win Either Half; Total – Under 2.5 @ $4.66

EPL Tips – Newcastle United V Manchester United

07:00 (AEDT), Mon 27th Dec @ St James’ Park, Newcastle

History: Played 172: Man United 90 V Newcastle 43 (39 Draws)

Last meeting: Meptember 11, 2021 (EPL): Man United 4 d Newcastle 1 at Old Trafford

Final Thoughts: Newcastle are entrenched in the bottom-three and treading water until the transfer window opens up. The Magpies suffered three straight heavy defeats to Leicester (4-0), Liverpool (3-1) and Man City (4-0) since getting off the mark with an early-December win over Burnley.

Manchester United’s last two games were postponed, stunting the momentum they had painstakingly built up via a draw with high-flying Chelsea and three straight wins over Arsenal, Palace and Norwich since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s sacking.

Newcastle have scored in each of their last five clashes with Man United, but they have lost the last four straight by a combined 15-4. Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in his Old Trafford return earlier this season in a 4-1 win over the Magpies.

Nothing can be taken for granted during these uncertain times, but Man United will be viewing a three-point haul as essential as they strive to stay in touch with the top four.

Best Bet: Handicap – Man United -1 @ $2.25

Same Game Multi: Total – Over 3.5; Handicap – Man United -2; Anytime Goalscorer – Cristiano Ronaldo; Man United Win Both Halves @ $9.65