Its match-day 17 in the Premier League and the last encounters of the festive period. An eight day break from Premiership action follows (Don’t worry the magic of the FA Cup will be kicking in) , so teams will be hopefully be giving it their all and allowing us to enjoy some cracking fixtures. On the menu is ……
17:30 Everton v West Ham United On BT Sport
The first game of the calendar year pits Carlo Ancelotti against a man who knows Everton very well, David Moyes. It seems like a lifetime ago that Moyes was in charge of The Toffees, and lots has changed since them. For one many Evertonians feel they are in with a realistic shot of winning the title. After the postponment of Manchester City v Everton mid week, James Rodrigeuz and Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be in fine form. West Ham have only managed to win one game in their last six attempts, however they have been able to see out a draw three of those times.
20:00 Manchester United v Aston Villa On Sky
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has Manchester United coming second with a game in hand entering into 2021. Red Devil fans will no doubt be getting exited by the prospects of a hopeful title challenge, however every game will feel like a must win. Aston Villa will be in no mood to lie down for United either, as they currently occupy fifth place in the league, a mere four points behind Manchester United, with a game in hand. So if certain United fans feel they are in with a title shout, realistically so can The Villians.
Saturday 2nd January
12:30 Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United On BT Sports
Jose Mourinho will be glad to see the back of December, it truly was a horrid month for the Special One and his Spurs side. Managing only five points from a possible 15 a Jose special will be needed to stop Leeds United when they get going. Patrick Bamford will be hoping to shine as he makes his case to be called up to a future England squad , where he will hope to displace his Spurs counter part Harry Kane. Spurs were recently scheduled to play Fulham, however that game was postponed due to corona concerns in the Fulham camp, so Tottenham should be raring to go.
15:00 Crystal Palace v Sheffield United On Sky
Last two times these sides have met, Sheffield United came out victorious. They will be hoping for the same result as they desperately need to kickstart their year with a win. Crystal Palace put five passed fellow relation strugglers West Brom at the start of December but their form as a whole has been all over the place. More transfer speculation around starman Wilfred Zaha and with some big names like Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend running their contracts down, this may be the last time we see some of these players line out for Palace at Selhurst Park.
17:30 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers On Sky
Wolves will be quite upset with the manner in which they lost to Manchester United, to be fair so will most of the Premier League teams. What looked to be a turgid nil all draw, turned into three points for the Red Devils due to a deflection. Wolves will be happier to face a team towards the bottom of the table after facing Spurs and United, all though saying that they did lose to Burnley recently. The Seagulls will surely not make for easy pray for Wolves, as both sides could only manage a draw last year in both fixtures.
20:00 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal on BT Sports
Mikel Arteta will hope to make it three wins on the trot and put the start of the season finally behing him. Amazing victories over the likes of Chelsea and Brighton in recent times has seemed to lift the Arsenal fans spirits over the festive period. Meanwhile West Brom have just been thumped by Leeds. Managing a decent point against Liverppol will give The Baggies fans some hope coming up against the Gunnars, and with Big Sam in charge obtaining a few sneaky points wouldn’t be to far astray.
Sunday 3rd January
12:00 Burnley v Fulham On Sky
Another 6 pointer for Burnley after their last came against fellow relegation strugglers Sheffield United. Sean Dyches men were allowed some breathing room between them and 18th place Fulham, however a victory here will see them go 8 points clear of the drop zone despite the Arsenal and West Brom game. Fulham have proven to be tough to beat over the last few games, managing four draws in their last four.
14:15 Newcastle United v Leicester City On Sky
Leicester will be seething after only picking up a point against Crystal Palace, meanwhile Newcastle will be thrilled with their point versus Liverpool. Karl Darlow turned into Gianluigi Buffon on the night, and Steve Bruce will be hoping he can produce similar results if tested by the likes of Jamie Vardy. Leicester did rest players for the Palace game, and should have enough to see off a Newcastle side coming off games against Man City and Liverpool. Both teams faced each other for their first game in 2020, a tie where Leiciester won three nil, if they can kick 2020 off in the same manner the Foxes will be delighted.
16:30 Chelsea v Manchester City On Sky
Pressure is on Frank Lampard and it certainly should be. Having spent over 200 million in the Summer Chelsea have drawn and lost more games then they have won in the Premier League. Manchester City do sit two places underneath them, but are on the same amount of points having played two games less. Man City will hold a number of tests for Coronavirus, after they had to postpone their match with Everton, so its anyone’s guess what team they may have to bring.
Monday 4th January
20:00 Southampton v Liverpool
Check out all the goals from Southamptons last encounter with West Ham and Liverpools last game versus Newcastle right here. Both teams have drawn their last two games in the league and will be looking to do everything to start off their 2021 year with a victory. Mo Salah tops the charts with 13 goals so far this season yet a defensive crisis will be the most concerning thing for the Kop faithful. Southampton will be going into this without a win in their last four attempts.