Matchday 19 Preview

Tottenham vs Brighton

The reverse of this fixture was one that put a huge nail in Mauricio Pochettino’s managerial coffin and with Tottenham playing host to Brighton on Boxing Day, it is Jose Mourinho who will plan to carry out the revenge.

The Seagulls beat Spurs 3-0 at The Amex and any repeat of that looks unlikely, especially as Graham Potter’s men struggle for form when on the road. It will take something special for them to do the double for the season.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Brighton

Aston Villa vs Norwich

After being comfortably beaten at home last weekend, Aston Villa have slipped into the bottom three of the Premier League table and Boxing Day sees them play host to another team in that unwanted trio.

Their opposition comes in the shape of Norwich and after losing to Wolves last weekend, Daniel Farke’s men will need to make sure they win this one – otherwise they are in danger of being left behind.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Norwich

Bournemouth vs Arsenal

After getting the better of Chelsea almost a fortnight ago, it was a case of Bournemouth reverting to type last weekend and their performance against Burnley at the Vitality Stadium, was one that gave you little to write home about.

The exact same could be said about Arsenal and their trip to Everton, while although Mikel Arteta watched from the stands that day, this encounter will be his first piece of official business.

Prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Arsenal

Chelsea vs Southampton

Chelsea have been rather indifferent at Stamford Bridge as of late and that will undoubtedly be a concern to manager Frank Lampard, especially as the race to finish in the top four has heated up in the past few weeks.

Boxing Day sees them play host to Southampton and with Danny Ings in the scoring groove, there is the potential for the Saints to cause the Blues even more home headaches.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton

Crystal Palace vs West Ham

One accusation that has been pointed in the direction of Crystal Palace, is that they have been shot shy this season and after their performance against Newcastle last Saturday, the Eagles don’t really have a case for the defence.

That said, West Ham have not been all that impressive either and after having a week off, Manuel Pellegrini will at least hope that his players are fit and raring to go for this one.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham

Everton vs Burnley

Carlo Ancelotti was in the stands last weekend, as he oversaw Everton play an incredibly drab draw against Arsenal and on the evidence of that, the former Real Madrid manager knows that there is a lot of work to be done.

Work that starts with the visit of Burnley on Boxing Day and after earning back to back league wins, Sean Dyche’s men are now looking up the table, rather than over their shoulders.

Prediction: Everton 2-1 Burnley

Sheffield United vs Watford

Many have suggested that Sheffield United will be happy with a top half finish at the end of the season and if that is the case, there will be few complaints. However, on current form, there is no reason why they cannot push for a Europa League place.

Boxing Day sees them play host to the league’s basement side Watford and with Nigel Pearson doing his best to undertake a great escape, he is going to have to mastermind a few away wins along the way.

Prediction: Sheffield United 2-0 Watford

Manchester United vs Newcastle

It seems as if there is a relative calmness around Old Trafford at the moment and it is one where manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starts to look more settled as the manager of Manchester United. However, are things a little too calm?

They do have the propensity to blow hot and cold, while Newcastle who make the trip to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, will be hoping that it is a case of the latter.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle

Leicester vs Liverpool

Yes this is a top of the table clash, but let’s be honest, the title race is all but already run and if Leicester fail to get the better of Liverpool on the Boxing Day, they may as well just hand the trophy out at full time.

Liverpool are now the champions of the world and although they may be a little leggy, I don’t think it will be enough to see them lose at the King Power and end their incredible unbeaten run.

Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Liverpool

Wolves vs Manchester City

Wolves returned to winning ways last weekend and after beating Norwich, they are still very much part of the Europa League qualification conversation. Although, there is some logic in them just going all out to win this season’s edition of the competition instead.

They won’t put all their eggs in the continental basket just yet, although you do get the feeling that is what Manchester City will be doing, as their focus lies primarily on a first ever Champions League success.

Prediction: Wolves 2-2 Manchester City

Tottenham Fan. Football Writer, Podcaster and Statistician.

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