Premier League festive fixtures continue with 18 teams in action over weekend

29 December 2017

The Premier League festive period continues with 18 teams in action over the next few days.


Liverpool returned to winning ways with a thumping 5-0 victory over Swansea City on Boxing Day, with Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all among the goals.

Man City defeated Newcastle at St James’ Park as they continued their ridiculous run of form, while second-place Man United were held at home to Burnley.

Chelsea saw off Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge, Tottenham thrashed Southampton, and Bournemouth played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham.

There are nine more matches to look forward to this weekend – Spurs and West Ham aren’t playing – here’s some of the action to keep an eye on.

 

One To Watch: Liverpool vs. Leicester City

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 19, 2017: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leicester City's Ben Chilwell during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Perhaps we’re just being biased, but this could be a really entertaining encounter on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool welcome Leicester City to Anfield, looking to keep their momentum up after the mauling of Swansea on Boxing Day.

The Reds have still drawn three of their last four home Premier League games, however, and the Foxes will believe they can spring a surprise this weekend.

They may have lost to Watford last time around, but in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, they have players who can hurt teams on the counter-attack.

Claude Puel is doing a good job since taking charge, with Leicester generally looking the seventh-best side in the division, but this will be one of his sternest tests yet as manager.

If Liverpool click, they will add three more points to their tally, but with key players potentially rested, will the back-ups perform?

This will be an awkward one for Jurgen Klopp‘s men, without sounding too pessimistic.

 

One To Avoid: Bournemouth vs. Everton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 31, 2015: West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce before the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool wow the masses with their vibrant attacking football, Sam Allardyce’s Everton are doing their best to send the footballing public to sleep.

The 0-0 draw at West Brom on Boxing Day was a truly appalling game of football, and while Allardyce has undoubtedly done well so far at Goodison Park, his style of play is awful.

On Saturday, the Reds’ local rivals make the long trip to Bournemouth, and if they approach the game in their expected negative manner, this will be another match to steer well clear of.

The Cherries do their best to play good football, in fairness, but Allardyce’s ability to stifle opponents and bore them into submission could make for a dour contest.

Don’t bet against another stalemate.

 

Potential Upset: West Brom vs. Arsenal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 13, 2016: Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger before the FA Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are few games this weekend that you look at and think, “a big club could drop points there”, from Liverpool’s visit of Leicester to Man City‘s trip to Crystal Palace.

The one that stands out, however, is West Brom vs. Arsenal at the Hawthorns, as the Gunners look to stay in touch in the top-four battle.

Arsene Wenger’s side managed to see off Palace on Thursday evening, in what was a very important win, but this is another fixture that you could easily see going wrong for them.

West Brom are really struggling to set the world alight under Alan Pardew, and their aforementioned 0-0 draw with Everton summed up their profligacy in front of goal.

It’s now just 14 goals in 20 league games this season, and they sit 19th in the table.

You would expect Arsenal to prevail, especially if their best attacking players all start, but you can never rule out a shock when the north Londoners are involved.

If the Baggies strike first, things could get very interesting.

 

Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, 2017: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Saturday

Bournemouth vs. Everton – 3pm
Prediction: 0-0

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

Huddersfield vs. Burnley – 3pm
Prediction: 1-1

Liverpool vs. Leicester – 3pm
Prediction: 3-2

Newcastle vs. Brighton – 3pm
Prediction: 1-1

Watford vs. Swansea – 3pm
Prediction: 2-0

Man United vs. Southampton – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 1-0

Sunday

Crystal Palace vs. Man City – 12pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 1-3

West Brom vs. Arsenal – 4:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 1-2

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