Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
Festive football hasn’t been quite the same this year with a number of games across the divisions being postponed due to coronavirus issues.
There is still plenty of action to look forward to over the course of the next week though, and our 28/1 accumulator will hopefully take us right through to New Year’s Day with a bet for each day.
The Long Haul would usually follow our match predictions but this edition is a little different. Some of these teams play twice over the next few days, one team features in two of our selections here for example, so there may be some differences of opinion but at the time of writing these selections stand out over the next five days to take us through to the start of 2022.
Read on for our selections and to back our bet.
The Long Haul Accumulator
Tuesday – Leicester vs Liverpool (Premier League)
Best Bet: Liverpool to win & both teams to score
Liverpool head to Leicester in one of four Premier League fixtures on Tuesday and an away win with both teams to score looks the way to go in this match-up. Liverpool have won eight of their last 10 away games but have conceded in four of their last five trips, while Leicester have only failed to score in three of their last 22 games across all competitions.
Wednesday – Brentford vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Best Bet: Manchester City -2 handicap
Manchester City head to Brentford on Wednesday in what could be a tough night for the Bees. Brentford went down 2-0 at a Brighton side who were winless in 12 games on Boxing Day and they have now failed to score in three of their last five games. Manchester City have won their last three games by three or more goals and have scored 21 goals in total in their last five Premier League games so I’m backing the visitors to win with a -2 handicap.
Thursday – Nottingham Forest vs Huddersfield Town (English Championship)
Best Bet: Forest to win
Nottingham Forest slipped to a 2-0 defeat at in-form Middlesbrough on Boxing Day but can get back to winning ways when Huddersfield visit on Thursday. The Terriers managed a comeback win against the 10-men of Blackpool in their own Christmas clash but have struggled for results away from home. The Yorkshire club did win at Bristol City in their last away game but that is their only win in their last eight trips and they have lost four of those. Forest are unbeaten in their last five at home and have won three of their last four, so I’m expecting them to take maximum points on Thursday.
Friday – Valencia vs Espanyol (La Liga)
Best Bet: Valencia to win
Spain’s La Liga returns at the weekend and the first fixture sees Valencia entertain Espanyol at the Mestalla on Friday. Valencia are unbeaten in nine games across all competitions and have won their last three in La Liga. Los Che should be able to continue their fine form with a win against an Espanyol side who are yet to win on their travels in La Liga and have lost six of their nine away games, including each of their last four.
Saturday – Arsenal vs Manchester City (English Premier League)
Best Bet: Manchester City to win
This festive edition of The Long Haul comes to an end with the early Premier League kick off on New Year’s Day, meaning the bet will be completed before the majority of the day’s action starts at 3pm. The early game in England’s top flight on Saturday sees top four hopefuls Arsenal entertain title favourites Manchester City in a huge clash. City have been in incredible scoring form of late with a whopping 21 goals in their last four games, ahead of a trip to Brentford on Wednesday, and can overpower Arsenal on Saturday. The Gunners have been in fine form themselves but have fallen short against top level opposition, and they went down 5-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
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