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Why Tottenham are top of the tree over the Christmas period

| 16.12.2015

‘The busy Christmas period’ seems to be offered up every year when a team stutters their way through their post-turkey fixtures yielding poor results.

It’s true, the fixtures come thick and fast between now and the New Year, but the point remains that it is the same for everyone in the Premier League.

As we prepare to enter another jam-packed festive season we thought we’d take a look at which team embraces the season of goodwill with presents of points for their fans, and which sides clearly enjoy one too many portions of Christmas pudding.

We’ve tallied up the points amassed by all 20 teams throughout the last five seasons over the period between the final weekend before December 25 and the New Year’s Day (or January 2nd) fixtures to see who is set for a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

The losers

It seems that it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa with our findings adding to their woes.

Currently six points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, Remi Garde’s side could be looking for a lifeline as they look to defy the odds of 1/8 that they are set for relegation.

Unfortunately for them the Christmas period isn’t usually one full of joy for the west Midlands club, with just 10 points picked up in their 18 matches in the five year sample.

That return of just 0.55 points per game leaves them as easily the lowest scoring team in our findings.

With a run of Newcastle, West Ham, Norwich and Sunderland in store for them this term, four games you’d expect them to improve on that return in, it could be vital for the Villans make this holiday season count for a change.

While their next opponents look to have turned a corner, Newcastle fans cannot get ahead of themselves as they are the only other side with a sub point-per-game average in our research.

A respectable couple of years has upped that average somewhat but it could still be a cause for concern as the Magpies lurk menacingly above the relegation zone.

A two-point cushion is all that separates them from the bottom three, something they could find themselves in at the start of the New Year if history is to repeat itself.

The winners

You’d expect the Manchester sides and Arsenal to be high up in this list, and you’d be right, with all three averaging at least two points a game in the sample over the last five years.

But all three are usurped by the good-but-not-quite-top-class Tottenham, who love a Christmas run of wins.

The Lilywhites reached double figures in the four games in the period in each of the last three seasons, while they won three from three in 2010-11.

In fact, Spurs haven’t lost in the period since the 2008-09 season so are a side you can rely on to deliver at this time of year.

Aside from the quartet of aforementioned sides, only Bournemouth averaged more than two points per game in our findings.

A pinch of salt does need to be taken with that though, with the Cherries plying their trade at a lower level before now.

All told, there will be 18 more matches to be played after January 2, but this busy period could yet shape how the season develops.

And with Mauricio Pochettino’s men lurking in fifth place, their holiday season previous and this campaign being ‘the most unpredictable yet’, might this be the year the Lilywhites burst onto the title scene?

If that happens it could be that all their fans’ Christmases come at once.

The Holiday Season Table (2010-2015)

  1. 1. Tottenham – 2.47 (average points per game)
  2. 2. Man Utd – 2.44
  3. 3. Man City – 2.35
  4. 4. Bournemouth – 2.12
  5. 5. Arsenal – 2.11
  6. 6. Watford – 1.86
  7. 7. Chelsea – 1.84
  8. 8. Liverpool – 1.63
  9. 9. Leicester – 1.60
  10. 10. Sunderland – 1.55
  11. 11. Stoke – 1.50
  12. 12. Everton – 1.44
  13. 13. Southampton – 1.44
  14. 14. West Ham – 1.27
  15. 15. Swansea – 1.25
  16. 16. Norwich – 1.11
  17. 17. Crystal Palace – 1.05
  18. 18. West Brom – 1.00
  19. 19. Newcastle – 0.83
  20. 20. Aston Villa – 0.55
  21. All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.