As old acquaintances gear up to be forgotten, London’s tubes get ready for 24 hour service and firework makers around the land count their cash, most Premier League players will be tucked up in bed, dreaming of the year to come.
While calendar years are essentially meaningless in football terms, the New Year can mark a turning point for some players and teams.
Last season Wilfried Bony turned into a goal-scoring titan at the stroke of midnight, ending up the Premier League’s top scorer in 2014, while Crystal Palace became just about the best team in Europe in the first few months of the year.
This time around, we’ve picked out a few more players and sides that the New Year heralds good times for.
Slowly but surely, things appear to be coming together again at Anfield, where a 4-1 win over Swansea sent the Reds into 2015 on a triumphant high.
Brendan Rodgers is getting a grip of his new signings, Daniel Sturridge will get fit at some point, and a couple more new faces might be on the agenda in January.
Furthermore, even as they’ve struggled in the first half of the year, the teams around them have hardly been setting the world alight, and Liverpool are just five points off fourth place and eight off third.
The Reds’ odds of 11/2 to grab a Champions League spot look too long, especially considering the 11-game winning run they went on around this time last year.
Alan Pardew did not do a terrible job at St James’ Park, but for Magpies fans, he perhaps did something even worse by allowing the club to be run on principles of mediocrity, simply aiming for a mid-table Premier League berth each term.
His departure could see the club plummet down the table, but it also creates a chance that a new, more ambitious manager can come in and change the outlook of a club that should be aiming to break into the league’s upper echelons once again.
The Magpies are 1/1 to make the league’s top 10 this season, but even if on the pitch success is not immediate under a new boss, at least the fans have a chance to re-engage with their club.
The England football team has many problems, but one area that looks in increasingly fine fettle is its striker department.
Wayne Rooney is almost certain to become the Three Lions’ all-time top scorer in 2015. When fit, Sturridge is one of the most lethal marksmen in Europe, and Danny Welbeck finally has a club platform on which he can shine.
More than the existing stars however, there is a whole batch of exciting new faces vying for Roy Hodgson’s attention.
Harry Kane has bagged 15 goals in all competitions, Saido Berahino has already made a senior squad, Charlie Austin is the Premier League’s top English scorer and Danny Ings seems on the verge of a breakthrough.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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