SOCCER

FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 18

Theo Walcott and Arsenal host West Brom in one of the Boxing Day matches to target on FanDuel.

Monday is going to be a fun day of soccer in the Premier League with eight games taking place on Boxing Day. FanDuel will feature seven of those games on a big slate for those looking to cash in just after Christmas.


Four of the seven games have an over/under of three goals. Unsurprisingly, those games all include a team in the top six of the table. The other matches feature teams that could be playing with desperation as they try to move away from the relegation zone. However, it is best to stick with the teams on top when targeting matches on Monday.

Arsenal vs. West Bromwich Albion

When the fixture list was announced in the preseason, not many expected this to be a clash between two teams in the top eight. West Brom has exceeded expectations to this point while Arsenal has lost some of its early-season bravado. Both teams will arrive to the Emirates Stadium on Monday off of a disappointing loss, hoping to turn their fortunes around before the new year.

Arsenal is the clear favorite in this one despite the Baggies solid start. It has been nearly five years since the Gunners lost three consecutive league matches. They should be able to traverse the West Brom defense, a group that has kept only one clean sheet in their last 14 matches.

Theo Walcott may be the man to target as he has scored in his last two games at the Emirates. Alexis Sanchez is still the star man and has also gotten on the score sheet in the last two home matches. Walcott is $9,500, which is $4,000 less than Sanchez. Mesut Ozil, who is again the recipient of harsh criticism, sits in between Sanchez and Walcott at $10,300.


Arsenal has not kept a clean sheet over the last 12 matches in all competitions and will be without center back Shkodran Mustafi until the new year. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla are also out, but Aaron Ramsey could return from injury.

West Brom will be the underdog, but they will have a lot to prove and may be catching Arsenal at just the right time. Exceeding expectations has allowed them to look to possibly securing a berth in European play, giving them more to play for with each successive match. It also means they are going to try to attract new talent in the January transfer window, such as Morgan Schneiderlin. Obviously, each game grows in importance.

West Brom will likely need to absorb pressure and work on the counter. The club leader in tackles, Claudio Yacob, becomes a good FanDuel target at $5,200. For his team to be competitive Yacob will likely have to exceed his average of five defensive actions per match. Nyom should have a chance to rebound from his average performance last week. He recorded at least 23 points in the previous three matches prior to his 15.5-point performance against Manchester United.

If backing West Brom to score, which seems likely based on form, then the players to target are Salomon Rondon, Chris Brunt and Matt Phillips. Phillips has had a hand in seven goals in his last seven league appearances.

Hull City vs. Manchester City

Despite the Tigers being at home, most of the attention in this game will go to the Citizens. City offers some good value in a game they are heavily favored to win.

Sergio Aguero must sit out one more match before returning on New Year's Eve. His absence means that five players have +450 or better odds to score first for City. It is hard to tell what formation or lineup Pep Guardiola will roll out, but Kevin De Bruyne has played well in games without Aguero. De Bruyne has a league-high nine assists this year and will cost $11,300.


Raheem Sterling costs $9,300 and has returned to his most dangerous form. He has 128 touches in the opposition box, the most in the league. Sterling has been involved in eight goals in 15 league appearances.

Leroy Sane is the biggest value after scoring his first goal of the campaign last week. Sane's price sits at a meager $6,500, making him hard to turn down.

While City is expected to have most of the ball and come out on top, Hull needs to change their recent form, having scored in only one of the past four league matches. For that to happen, the Hull back line must continue to put in an impressive work rate. Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson both average over 20 points per game and cost under $6,000. They will have plenty of chances to pad the defensive-action stats.

City have kept only three clean sheets this year and have lost points because of inferior defending. Robert Snodgrass will take set pieces and has been involved in half of Hull's goals this year, making him a good contrarian option. He averages 21.8 FanDuel points per game.

Boxing Day is a good day to be a soccer fan, and hopefully it's a good day for you on FanDuel.