The festive period in the Premier League is here. It serves up some mouth-watering encounters including; Leicester v Liverpool, Wolves v Man City and Aston Villa v Norwich. Here are some of the Things to look out for in Matchweek 19. Bet on the Premier League here.
Top of the table clash: Leicester v Liverpool
Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool will look to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points when they face second-placed Leicester City at the King Power on Boxing Day. The Foxes were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend which means the Reds currently have a 10-point buffer at the top of the table with a game in hand. Brendan Rodgers also faces his former team and will look to avenge their painful defeat at Anfield in October. If Jurgen Klopp’s side win this, they would completely cement their position at the top heading into the New Year and only a miracle and extraordinary turn of events can stop them from winning the league.
Tough test for Man City at Molineux
City face another stern test this week when they travel to Molineux to face Wolves. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has beaten the reigning champions this season already and if they lose again, their title defence would probably be dead and buried. Pep Guardiola head to this clash following a decisive 3-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday. The win pulled City within one point of Leicester City and 11 from Liverpool. Wolves recovered brilliantly from a slow start to the season, going on an 11-game unbeaten run and currently occupy 6th place with 27 points, five points off the top four. Espirito Santo is looking to pull off another giant-killing performance on Friday. Can he?
Arteta and Ancelotti debuts
The Gunners travel to Bournemouth on Boxing Day in Mikel Arteta’s first game as manager. Arteta will be looking to quickly change the fortunes of an Arsenal team that have won just one of their last 13 games across all competitions. At 37 years and 275 days, the Spaniard will be the youngest person to take charge of the Gunners since Terry Neill in 1976, who was 34 years and 105 days old on his debut in the dugout
Carlo Ancelotti also takes charge of his first match as Everton manager since being appointed last Saturday as the club’s new coach. The Toffees take on Burnley on Boxing Day and will aim to get back on winning ways and steer clear of the bottom half of the table. Sean Dyche’s side will certainly offer Ancelotti a huge test at Goodison Park. Can he get off to a flying start?
Man United and Spurs to bounce back?
Man United and Tottenham Hotspur are in need of rebound performances after both suffered humiliating 2-0 losses over the weekend. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were awful in their defeat at Watford on Sunday and will need to bounce back against Newcastle United on Boxing Day. The Magpies have not done the double over the Red Devils in the top flight since the 1930/31 season.
Spurs’ top-four hopes were dealt a blow when they were deservedly beaten 2-0 in the London derby by Chelsea. Jose Mourinho will be looking for an instant response after Sunday’s dismal performance when they play Brighton at home. The visitors are looking to complete a first league double over Tottenham Hotspur, having won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Amex Stadium.
Another relegation six-pointer
Aston Villa dropped into the bottom three over the weekend following a 3-1 defeat to Southampton, who overtook them. Dean Smith’s men have 15 points after 18 games and have lost four Premier League games in a row. They sit three points ahead of 19th-placed and their Boxing Day opponents Norwich City who are only above Watford on goal difference. Considering the Saints have a difficult away game to Chelsea, Villa have a good chance to move out of the relegation zone. The Canaries got a result against Leicester but couldn’t follow it up with a win against Wolves at home. Can they inflict more misery on Villa?