20 more matches in 6 days over New Year – Full Premier League Preview

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There are 20 more Premier League fixtures to look forward to over the next six days, as the battle at both ends of the table hots up.

The post-Christmas matches produced largely predictable results, with Liverpool sealing a 4-1 win at home to Stoke City on Tuesday.

Next up for the Reds is the visit of Man City and trip to Sunderland, on New Year’s Eve and January 2nd, respectively.

Leaders Chelsea cruised past Bournemouth, Man City enjoyed a similarly routine win at Hull City and Olivier Giroud scored a crucial late goal to earn Arsenal a 1-0 victory over West Brom.

Just outside the top-four, Tottenham saw off Southampton impressively at St Mary’s, while Man United continued their resurgence with a 3-1 win at home to Sunderland.

Swansea City‘s wretched home loss to West Ham at the Liberty Stadium cost Bob Bradley his job, while Hull and Sunderland‘s defeats also keep them in the relegation zone.

Here is a look at the best of the upcoming fixtures – with six days of Premier League action in a row, and every team playing twice – some with more time between games than others…

 

Will Chelsea finally fail to win?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 3, 2016: Chelsea Willian scores to put his team ahead against Manchester City during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

It is hard not to have some begrudging respect for Chelsea‘s 12-game winning run. The Blues look unstoppable at the moment, and if their current six-point lead at the top is larger after their next two games, they will surely go on to win the title.

First up for Antonio Conte’s side is an inviting home clash with Stoke, with the Potters likely to be jaded from their excursions at Anfield.

Chelsea then visit White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham on Wednesday, in the biggest test of their credentials since they won 3-1 at Man City in early December.

Hopefully Spurs can finally win one of these big games and do us all a big favour.

 

Can Man City derail Liverpool’s title charge?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 28, 2016: Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola during the FA Premier League match against West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

City’s season has been a strange one in many ways. In September, they looked unbeatable, a big dip followed but they have responded well in recent weeks, winning four games in succession.

The much-anticipated showdown with Liverpool will be a test of their credentials, though, with their susceptible defence coming up against a relentless Reds attack.

City have the attacking brilliance to hurt Jurgen Klopp‘s side, however, especially with Sergio Aguero returning from a four-match ban.

It should be a fascinating encounter, and one that could prove pivotal in the title race.

Following their Anfield test, City host Burnley on Monday, which should make for a far more comfortable 90 minutes for the two-time Premier League winners.

 

Arsenal eye up six crucial points

Just when it looked as though Arsenal‘s season was crumbling before their very eyes, Giroud headed home to seal three important points against West Brom.

It was the kind of gritty home win that the Gunners don’t always receive enough credit for, and it could be such a key win come May.

Arsene Wenger’s side have a relatively kind couple of fixtures on the horizon, although both of their opponents can be tricky on their day.

Crystal Palace visit the Emirates on Sunday, with Sam Allardyce hoping to heap misery on his old foe Wenger, before they head to Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Liverpool saw firsthand how tough trips to Dean Court can be, but it would still be a surprise if Arsenal failed to win there.

Six points look likely, which could see their league position look more healthy come the middle of next week.

 

United look to keep momentum going

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 17, 2016: Manchester United's Paul Pogba in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Following a dismal start to life under Jose Mourinho, United have really started to click into gear, much as we may hate to admit it.

Summer signings Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are now looking the part, and it’s now five victories on the bounce in all competitions.

United host Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve, which on paper, should be a routine day at the office, before a more testing trip to an improving West Ham outfit on Monday.

Liverpool’s bitter rivals are just four points off fourth-place Arsenal, and they will fancy their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

A month or two ago, United looked average at best, but with each game that passes, the more it looks as though they are slowly on their way back.

 

Relegation tussles left, right & centre

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 4, 2015: Burnley's manager Sean Dyche during the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While the title and top-four battles understandably dominate the headlines, the fight to avoid relegation also looks intriguing.

It is at this stage of the season when we have genuine ‘relegation six-pointers’, and there are a number that stand-out in the coming days.

Burnley‘s home clash with Sunderland is massive, especially for the Black Cats, with a home win likely to steer Sean Dyche’s men nicely clear of the drop zone.

Not many expected Leicester and West Ham to struggle like they have, but their New Year’s Eve showdown is another that catches the eye at the bottom of the table.

The Foxes are getting themselves into troubled waters, and they have another important match when they visit ‘Boro two days later.

Swansea’s games against Bournemouth and Palace could be crucial in terms of their survival hopes – no points from a possible six could spell the beginning of the end for them.

 

Fixtures & UK TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Friday

Hull vs. Everton – 8pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 0-1

New Year’s Eve

Burnley vs. Sunderland – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea vs. Stoke – 3pm
Prediction: 2-0

Leicester vs. West Ham – 3pm
Prediction: 2-2

Man United vs. Middlesbrough – 3pm
Prediction: 2-0

Southampton vs. West Brom – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Swansea vs. Bournemouth – 3pm
Prediction: 1-2

Liverpool vs. Man City – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 3-2

New Year’s Day

Watford vs. Tottenham – 1:30pm – Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 0-1

Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – 4pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 3-1

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, 2015: Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri before the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Monday

Middlesbrough vs. Leicester – 12:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 0-0

Everton vs. Southampton – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Man City vs. Burnley – 3pm
Prediction: 3-0

Sunderland vs. Liverpool – 3pm
Prediction: 1-2

West Brom vs. Hull – 3pm
Prediction: 2-0

West Ham vs. Man United – 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 1-1

Tuesday

Bournemouth vs. Arsenal – 7:45pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 1-2

Crystal Palace vs. Swansea – 8pm
Prediction: 2-0

Stoke vs. Watford – 8pm
Prediction: 1-1

Wednesday

Tottenham vs. Chelsea – 8pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 1-1

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