English Premier League: Boxing Day matches preview and predictions
For football fans, the season does not get better than Boxing Day, as today all twenty Premier League teams will be taking on each other. The season will reach its exact mid-point tonight, marking 19th match-day of the total 38. Hereon, the table will start taking its final shape. Here are previews and predictions for the most important matches tonight.
Liverpool will go into their Boxing Day match with a 4-point lead over Manchester City, and coming across an opposition like Newcastle tonight is only to their benefit. Trent Alexander-Arnold will be returning into the Liverpudlian fold, and Klopp's team should capitalize on Newcastle custodian Karl Darlow being out with an injury. Liverpool remain unbeaten in their last 22 home matches against Newcastle.
This will be an extremely crucial fixture for the Cityzens as they will be starting the match four points off the top spot. Leicester will be confident, coming off a win against Chelsea, and City will not be having the likes of Fernandinho and David Silva in their ranks. The Foxes haven't won once in their Boxing Day fixtures since promotion to the EPL.
Tottenham Hotspur will be confident going into the match against Bournemouth after winning 6-2 against Everton. However, Spurs will be missing out on the services of midfielder Dele Alli, who is suffering from a hamstring problem. Spurs lost their first-ever match against Bournemouth in 1957, but since then, have remained unbeaten. They will be going all-out to secure their third spot on the table.
After coming off a brilliant 5-1 victory post the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United will be wanting to improve on the marked change in their new playing style. United displayed some brilliant passing football against Cardiff City and should maintain that momentum with a similar performance against Huddersfield. United have a strong record against Huddersfield, losing once in their last 14 matches.
Arsenal face Brighton and Chelsea face Watford tonight, and neither of them can afford to lose points if they want a place in the top four going into the second part of the season. Ozil impressed Emery with his return to the squad, captaining Arsenal to victory over Burnley last week. Sarri has asked Chelsea to react to last week's defeat while playing tonight.