The busy period of Premier League action continues this week with seven games to be played in England’s top tier from Tuesday to Thursday.
That is currently the state of play at least, with more and more games falling foul of the covid-19 pandemic.
Two of today’s clashes have already been postponed. Arsenal’s home tie with Wolves has fallen by the wayside along with Aston Villa’s trip to Elland Road to take on a struggling Leeds United team.
Everton’s game with Newcastle United on Thursday has also been postponed due to coronavirus cases in the Magpies’ squad.
There are four games for football lovers to look forward to on Tuesday, however, with three of those games have a kick-off time of 3pm.
Crystal Palace, hovering dangerously above the relegation zone, welcome bottom side Norwich City to Selhurst Park.
Dean Smith’s men need to put a run of results together if they are to find a way out of their current predicament, while the Eagles could very easily find themselves in a perilous position if their improvement in performances this season does not lead to points on the board.
At the same time on Tuesday, Tottenham Hotspur can close the gap on their North London rivals Arsenal to three points with a win at Southampton.
The return to form of goalscorer Harry Kane in recent games (he scored the opening goal against both Liverpool and Crystal Palace in Spurs’ last two matches) could be the deciding factor in what is turning out to be an exciting race for the final Champions League place.
Southampton will be hoping to make it two wins from two against London sides in less than a week following their 2-3 win against West Ham on St. Stephen’s Day.
The final fixture at 3pm brings Watford and West Ham together. Claudio Ranieri’s Hornets have not played since their last minute 2-1 defeat to Brentford in early December and know that they must make the most of their upcoming games in hand of the teams around them at the bottom of the table.
West Ham have picked up five points from seven games since their 3-2 win against Liverpool on Gameweek 11, a run which has severely dented their top four hopes. A return to their excellent early season form is a must if they are to go one step further than last season by qualifying for Europe’s premier club competition.
The final game of the day sees Liverpool face Leicester City for the second time in less than a week at 8pm at the King Power Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp’s men dramatically came back from 1-3 down to advance to the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Wednesday after a penalty shootout victory at Anfield.
A win against their former manager’s new side would cut the gap to leaders Manchester City to three points and the defensive inefficiencies of Brendan Rodger’s men will be music to the ears of Liverpool’s red-hot attack.
There are two games on Wednesday, both involving teams with strong title-winning credentials.
At 7.30pm, Chelsea will be expecting to maintain their return to winning ways as they host Brighton at Stamford Bridge. A victory is a must for the European champions due to the six-point advantage Manchester City hold over them.
City fans will travel to the Brentford Community Stadium for an 8.15pm kick-off in London. Pep Guardiola’s serial winning side have been in imperious form as of late and will no doubt be expecting to prove too strong for Thomas Frank’s newly promoted team who have been a breath of fresh air during their debut season in the Premier League.
There is one game on Thursday.
At 8.15pm, Ralf Rangnick will be hoping to continue his unbeaten start to life as Manchester united manager when the Red Devils host Burnley at Old Trafford.
United have not been impressive in their three league games under the German so far, with two consecutive 1-0 victories at home to Crystal Palace and away at Norwich papering over cracks that were there for all to witness in Monday’s lucky 1-1 draw against Newcastle United.
Premier League fixtures from December 28-30 (All games live on Premier Sports):
Watford vs West Ham United – 3pm
Southampton vs Tottenham – 3pm
Crystal Palce vs Norwich City – 3pm
Leicester City vs Liverpool – 8pm
Chelsea vs Brighton – 7.30pm
Brentford vs Manchester City – 8.15pm
Manchester United vs Burnley – 8.15pm