The festive period has always been a busy one for English football, and this year is no different. The upcoming week will see the Premier League play on Boxing Day, then again over the weekend, and then once again on New Year’s Day – three rounds of fixtures condensed into one action-packed week. This is, of course, a long-standing tradition – Christmas and the New Year just do not feel the same without football. Of course, jam-packed weeks like these bring the opportunity to ‘earn’ some extra Christmas cheer, if you will. One can get started with mobile and online betting to add to the football, with this easy how to download bet365 app guide.

One of the biggest surprises of this Premier League season has been the form of newly-promoted Sheffield United. The Blades are in the giddy heights of fifth place with just under half the season having been played, ahead of the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. Sheffield United had been attracting attention since last season, when Chris Wilder masterminded a superb promotion campaign; however, even the most optimistic fan could not have foreseen them occupying fifth place in the league after 18 matches. Of course, there has been a lot of attention paid to their innovative ‘overlapping centre-backs’ tactic, and it is an extremely well-coached side that Wilder has deployed to superb effect so far. Another eye-catching characteristic of this team is the number of players who have come through the leagues with United; the squad is comprised mainly of homegrown players who were deemed to have been failures at bigger clubs and took a chance with the Blades. The likes of Chris Basham, Oliver Norwood and John Lundstram spring to mind; all of these players were at Premier League clubs but had to drop down in search of regular football. Sheffield United are not the agricultural, hoof-ball side that many in the media thought they would be; they play fast, aggressive football which shows just how well-drilled they are. The overlapping centre-backs are just one part of this system; United’s midfielders and strikers also show superb movement and co-ordination, and they have managed to bloody quite a few noses already this season.

Thus, fans can find some very good picks over the festive season if they are looking to back the Blades. Their next Premier League game sees them host struggling Watford; they are the clear favourites at 1.85. Their strong form this season means that the price to back them to finish in the top six is at 10.00; this could be superb value if the Blades can keep up their strong displays, while a top-half finish is considered almost guaranteed at 1.50. Blades fans should pick up these bets if they are looking for value from their side over the New Year; United’s strong form shows no signs of abating and that will only cause their value to fall as the season progresses.

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