The Premier League‘s busy festive period moves into 2019 this week, with 10 more important games to look forward to in the coming days.
Liverpool are seven points clear of Man City, with the Reds making the trip to the Etihad on Thursday evening.
It is comfortably the most important match of the season so far, with victory for either side proving crucial in the title race.
Although Liverpool’s heavyweight clash is the undisputed main event of these opening fixtures of 2019, there is plenty of other action to enjoy.
Here’s a look at what is on offer.
Everton vs. Leicester – New Year’s Day, 12.30pm – Sky Sports Main Event
They have won just one of their last six games and now sit 10th in the table, having previously looked like a shoo-in to finish in the top seven.
The Blues host Leicester on New Year’s Day, with the Foxes also a strange team, having beaten Chelsea and City, then losing at home to Cardiff.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Leicester
Arsenal vs. Fulham – New Year’s Day, 3pm
Arsenal‘s long unbeaten run is long over now and their 5-1 mauling at the hands of Liverpool outlined their limitations.
A top-four finish is the absolute best Unai Emery’s side can hope for this season, but even that looks a tough task currently.
The Gunners now welcome struggling Fulham to the Emirates, for another London derby.
The west Londoners will be buoyed by their late 1-0 victory over Huddersfield, but they won’t have the quality to trouble Arsenal.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Fulham
Cardiff vs. Tottenham – New Year’s Day, 5.30pm – Sky Sports Main Event
Tottenham‘s title challenge lasted about three days, having been beaten 3-1 at home to Wolves on Saturday.
It was a result nobody saw coming and Mauricio Pochettino will know his team simply must beat Cardiff to have any chance of challenging Liverpool and City.
Defeat for the Reds at the Etihad, coupled with a Spurs victory, would reduce the gap to six points again.
Spurs should be too good for their opponents, but there remain question marks over their soft underbelly, while the Bluebirds have bags of fighting spirit.
Pochettino’s men won’t have it all their own way, but they will get the job done.
Prediction: Cardiff 0-2 Tottenham
Bournemouth vs. Watford – Wednesday, 7.45pm
The meeting between the pair on Wednesday has the potential to be entertaining contest, with both sides playing an attractive brand of football.
The pair have both wobbled a little of late, however, and they will want to stop the rot at Dean Court and begin 2019 in style.
Bournemouth may edge it, with home advantage proving key.
Chelsea vs. Southampton – Wednesday, 7.45pm
Their title hopes have faded significantly, with a place in the top four now their primary aim.
The Blues should make it three victories on the bounce on Wednesday when Southampton come to town, with Saints still very much in the relegation fight.
Can Danny Ings help spring a surprise? It’s unlikely.
Huddersfield vs. Burnley – Wednesday, 7.45pm
Neither Burnley or Huddersfield are famed for their entertainment value, although this is a huge game at the bottom of the table.
The Terriers sit rock-bottom with just 10 points to their name, while the Clarets’ 2-0 win over West Ham on Sunday lifted them to 18th.
This is a particularly crucial match for Huddersfield—a draw wouldn’t be good, while a defeat would be disastrous.
Prediction: Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley
West Ham vs. Brighton – Wednesday, 7.45pm
West Ham have disappointed this season, following a summer of spending and genuine talk of a top-six challenge.
The Hammers lost at Burnley in limp fashion at the weekend and they are 11th in the table, which is well below their pre-season expectations.
The east Londoners host Brighton on Wednesday night, with Chris Hughton continuing to do a superb work with the 13th-placed Seagulls.
This is a tough one to predict, but West Ham might just nick it.
Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Brighton
Wolves vs. Crystal Palace – Wednesday, 7.45pm
Wolves did Liverpool an almighty favour by beating Spurs, meaning they have now taken points off Liverpool’s five ‘Big Six’ rivals this season.
It is in the more low-key games where they have often struggled, however, with the visit of Palace a possible banana skin.
The Eagles are too good to go down, even though they only sit four points above the relegation zone, and it is easy to envisage them getting something at Molineux.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Crystal Palace
Newcastle vs. Man United – Wednesday, 8pm – Sky Sports Main Event
Wednesday’s action concludes with Newcastle’s clash with Man United, in a fixture that always has a heavyweight feel to it, regardless of league standings.
Rafa Benitez is still doing excellently at St James’ Park, steering them clear of the drop zone impressively, with their 1-1 draw at Watford another good result.
United, meanwhile, have been given a new lease of life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning three matches in a row and looking a far more potent force.
Benitez teams are never easy to beat, and while United will see plenty of the ball, Solksjaer could drop his first points in the United hot-seat.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Man United