* Three recommended bets last week produced winners at 14/1 (Rooney to score twice) and 4/1 (Man Utd to win and both teams to score)
The feeling that Newcastle and Manchester City are both underperforming this term is borne out by cold, hard stats. Newcastle have 10 points fewer than they did at this point last season; Man City have eight points fewer. That suggests the match market is a tricky one even though preference would probably be for the draw at 14/5 rather than the 9/2 about Newcastle or 8/13 about City. However, despite the feeling that City let a few in, they can boast the best defensive away record in the Premier League having conceded just five times in seven games. Two of the current bottom three have scored more home goals than Newcastle so this could be a fairly low-scoring contest. Play it simple and double your money by backing under 2.5 goals at evens. The game is live on SS2 HD at 12.45pm on Saturday.
The only two unbeaten home records in the top flight belong to Stoke and Everton. And it's that pair who clash at the Britannia on Saturday afternoon. Stoke have won four and drawn three on their home patch this term while Everton have drawn four out of eight on the road in the current campaign, all those stalemates coming in the last five outings. Go back further and David Moyes' men have drawn eight of their last 12 away Premier League games while Stoke have won seven and drawn seven of their last 14 at home. Even without those compelling stats, this looks a match with draw written all over it so make sure you take some of Sky Bet's 23/10 about a stalemate.
Swansea have won three of their last five matches in London, including a recent 2-0 victory at Arsenal, so like their trips to the capital. Spurs at White Hart Lane will obviously be a tough nut to crack but there is a chance to try and cash in here. Tottenham, under AVB, don't have trouble taking the lead but can struggle to hold onto it. We've seen examples of that in home games against West Brom and Norwich (when they were pegged back) and also against Liverpool (when they should have been). So a good away side like Swansea are a good team to take advantage of AVB's tactic of trying to preserve leads rather than extend them. Head to the half-time/full-time market and have some 16/1 that Spurs lead at half-time and the match ends all square. It's live on SS1 HD on Sunday at 1.30pm
As this is the penultimate column before Christmas, it's time to take a look at Sky Bet's special Festive markets starting with who will get the prized number one slot. Usually it's the X Factor winner but this year James Arthur is only 4/1 second favourite. The market leader, by a distance, is The Justice Collective's Hillsborough tribute song He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Featuring artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and Mel C, it looks a certainty to top the charts and Sky Bet offer just 2/9. Sky Bet also have a market on which classic Christmas song will chart the highest in the official top 40 Christmas chart. The Pogues' Fairytale Of New York is the red-hot 1/6 favourite, with Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You next at 4/1. It's then back to Wham's Last Christmas at 22/1. Snow on Christmas Day? Sky Bet have priced up various locations with Aberdeen (Football Ground) considered the most likely to see the white stuff at 11/8. London (Buckingham Palace) is 9/2.
If, like me, you think Bradley Wiggins will be deservedly crowned Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, you'll realise you won't get much of a return given that he's just 1/3. Therefore let's take a look at the Straight-Forecast betting where you predict the order of the top two. Wiggins 1st Jessica Ennis 2nd is 7/4 favourite, just ahead of Wiggins 1st Mo Farah 2nd at 9/4. Wiggins 1st Andy Murray 2nd is 5/1.My money is definitely on Wiggins/Ennis at 7/4. She was the face of the Games, delivered in style, has picked up other recent awards to confirm her huge popularity while she's also been doing the rounds of TV chat shows. If you think Wiggins is beatable, Ennis is 11/2 to win the award. Farah is 7s, Murray 14s and it's then back to Paralympics star David Weir at 33s.