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Sam Hendry’s pre-Xmas weekend best football bets

Bournemouth vs Burnley – Saturday 3pm

The Cherries are absolutely ravaged by injuries and could be missing as much as 12 first team players when they welcome Burnley to the south coast.

That didn’t stop them earning a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge last week, but they had endured a torrid run of form until then.

Sean Dyche’s side have blown very hot and cold this season – as likely to win by a two or three goal margin as they are to lose like that. They suffered a blow ahead of this weekend with the news that top scorer Chris Wood will miss out with an achilles injury.

I don’t foresee there being many goals at the Vitality Stadium. Only once in Burnley’s last seven games have both teams scored and I can see this being another game where a team wins to nil. It’s 21/20 at bet 365 for both teams NOT to score.

Manchester City vs Leicester City – Saturday 5.30pm

The Foxes look terrific value to upset Pep Guardiola’s stuttering champions at odds of 13/2 at bet365.

City have been more vulnerable in the last two months than at any other time during the Spaniard’s reign and have already lost to Wolves and Manchester United at the Etihad.

Only Vincent Kompany’s thunderbolt separated the sides the last time they met, and Leicester have markedly improved since then.

Jamie Vardy’s goalscoring streak may have ended last week but he will fancy his chances of getting straight back on the goal trail when faced with a likely centre back duo of Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho.

City must find a way to limit the space in behind for Vardy to exploit, but that way of playing simply isn’t the Guardiola way.

It could be that City’s quality in the final third – Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are in great form – is enough to give them a crucial three points, but at the prices I think it’s worth backing Leicester to pick up a win which would send them seven points clear of their hosts

Watford vs Manchester United – Sunday 2pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to extend his side’s unbeaten run to seven games when they visit bottom of the table Watford.

Watford were undone by a Mohamed Salah double at Anfield last week but were much improved despite remaining the only side with a single-tally points total,

Their league position and record of one win doesn’t represent the quality available to them. I expect them to start picking up more points soon and think Nigel Pearson could well help them avoid relegation despite this horrendous start.

But United have picked up their performances lately and with Marcus Rashford in the form of his life it’s hard to bet against them.  The England striker is 5/4 to score anytime and United to win by a one goal margin is 13/5 at bet365.

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