With the completion of the World Cup last weekend and the crowning of Argentina as World Champions, attention now switches back to the domestic game in England and there are a fantastic selection of games to come over the festive and New Year period.

This week we have already seen a number of games in the Round of 16 of the Carabao Cup, and we have one cracking game still to come on Thursday as two of the biggest teams in the country will clash once again.

Then what follows are three separate Matchdays in the Premier League, the first from the 26th to the 28th December, the second from the 30th to the 1st December and then the final one from the 2nd to the 5th December.

Then following that it is the small matter of the FA Cup Third Round (which we will focus on in more detail in a couple of weeks time).

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Let’s now take a look at some of the best games taking place over the Festive Period this year in England.

Thursday 22nd December – Carabao Cup Round of 16

  • Manchester City v Liverpool (8pm)

The two great rivals over the last few years meet once again, this time in a Carabao Cup clash. City will have home advantage and it is rumoured they will start with a full-strength team, while Liverpool may elect to rest some star players ahead of the busy festive period of fixtures.

If that is the case then Manchester City are the team to back here as with home advantage and the likes of Haaland, Foden and De Bruyne likely to feature against a Liverpool side comprising mainly of back up players, they should win this one at a canter.

Of course, those reports may be inaccurate, but even so I’d still be keen on City here. So back Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 9/4.

Monday 26th December – Premier League

  • Arsenal v West Ham United (8pm)

The Premier League leaders are back in action on Boxing Day as they host a West Ham side that are flirting dangerously with the relegation battle down in 16th place in the table.

Arsenal will be without the injured Gabriel Jesus, which is a big blow for them, but he should be fit enough to return at some point in the New Year. Other than that Arsenal should be at full strength for a game that could well see them move eight points clear of Manchester City should they win.

West Ham’s form this season has been inconsistent to say the least and David Moyes will be hoping his team can perform a lot better in this second part of the season. This is a very tough game to kick off with though so I am backing Arsenal to continue their fine start with a win here. I’d back Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 9/4.

Wednesday 28th December – Premier League

  • Leeds United v Manchester City (8pm)

Manchester City face Leeds United on Wednesday and last season, they scored 11 goals against Leeds without reply across their two Premier League encounters, winning 7-0 at home and 4-0 at Elland Road.

Pep Guardiola would certainly settle for that here against Jesse Marsch and his team and I fully expect City to be at, or at least very close to, full strength for this one.

Leeds inconsistency has been their main problem this season with some fantastic results such as beating Chelsea and Liverpool, allied to some awful performances too. Leeds will put up a fight here, but I still feel Manchester City claim the win. Back Manchester City to win 3-1 here which is a 10/1 shot with bet365.

Friday 30th December – Premier League

  • Liverpool v Leicester City (8pm)

Liverpool are in action on the Friday night as they face a tricky game against a Leicester City side that have been in much improved form over their last few games. The Reds inconsistent start to the campaign sees them well off the pace and fans will be demanding a win in their first home game since the restart.

However, the Foxes improved form has seen them win four of their last five Premier League games and they were also successful in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday on their first game back since the World Cup.

Leicester have a good record against Liverpool too, so the Reds will be wary of the threat they pose. However, Liverpool at home usually have an outstanding record and as such, I think it is a good option to back Liverpool to win this one by a 2-1 scoreline at odds of 17/2.

Saturday 31st December – Premier League

  • Wolves v Manchester United (12.30)

Bottom side Wolves face a difficult end to the year as they welcome Manchester United to Molineux on New Year’s Eve. With a new manager installed, Wolves badly need to start picking up points but they did win their opening game back against Gillingham in the Carabao Cup.

United are fifth in the table and now that Cristiano Ronaldo has been moved on the focus should be back on the team. That’s good news for United and manager Erik Ten Hag who clearly wanted the Portuguese superstar out of the club.

With Marcus Rashford back in form, United will be looking to end the year with a positive result here and I can see them picking it up against a struggling Wolves side. Take United to win to nil at 9/4.

  • Newcastle United v Leeds United (3pm)

Newcastle’s fantastic start to the season, and end to last season, sees them lying third in the Premier League but they now face a tricky run of games starting with the home game with Leeds on New Year’s Eve.

Leeds can get the better of any team on their day having beaten Liverpool and Chelsea already this season but they are also very inconsistent and do tend to drop points against teams that you would ordinarily beat.

At home though Newcastle have looked strong this season, so I am backing the Toon Army to get the job done here. Back Newcastle to win and both teams to score at 11/5.

Sunday 1st January – Premier League

  • Tottenham v Aston Villa

Tottenham will renew rivalry with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery who is now in charge at Aston Villa and who has already overseen an improvement in results in the short time that he has been at the club.

Spurs lie fourth in the table at the time of writing but their recent form has been poor and there is no doubt that they will be seeking to improve things a great deal now that the World Cup is out of the way.

Villa though will be a tough task and this may well be closer than people expect. Back Spurs to win and both teams to score here in a close one at 12/5.

Tuesday 3rd January – Premier League

  • Arsenal v Newcastle United

Arsenal currently lie top of the table and will face Newcastle United in what should be a cracking game at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday 3rd January.

At the time of writing both teams have lost just once this season, Arsenal to Man Utd and Newcastle to Liverpool, and there is no doubt that both Mikel Arteta and Eddie Howe will know that three points here will be massive in terms of their hopes for the current campaign.

Odds on the game are not yet available, but I would expect Arsenal to be the slight favourites to land the win here.

Thursday 5th January

  • Chelsea v Manchester City

One of the biggest games of the season will come early in 2023 as Chelsea host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge hoping to be more consistent and get back into contention for the Champions League places over the remainder of the season.

City are focusing in on the Premier League and Champions League this season and they know a win here would be a huge three points towards those aims.

Betting on this game is not yet available, but it should provide an exciting end to the busy festive period and comes ahead of their FA Cup Third Round clash in Manchester at the weekend!

Any odds shown for the games above were correct at the time of writing with bet365 Sport, but they may well have changed in the run up and just prior to each of the games kicking off.