The traditional Christmas fixtures are a time in the Premier League season that can make or break a club’s campaign due to the number of points on offer in a relatively short space of time. There is another busy Boxing Day schedule this year with a couple of stand out fixtures, before leaders and current champions, Liverpool, play the following day.
Leicester City v Manchester United
The Boxing Day action gets underway at the Kingpower Stadium at lunchtime as Leicester City welcome Manchester United. With Liverpool not playing until 24 hours later, this is a good chance for second-placed Leicester and third-placed United to close the gap on the leaders.
The Foxes have picked up six wins from their last 10 EPL games but have also lost four of them including two of their last three homes games. Their latest defeat at the Kingpower was a 2-0 loss against Everton, but they bounced back with an excellent 2-0 success at Tottenham last week. Jamie Vardy continues to score goals at the highest level, finding the net on 11 occasions already this campaign and he will provide a stern test for the visitor’s defence. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are also in excellent form and it should make for a fascinating midfield battle too.
Manchester United sit top of the form table thanks to seven wins from their previous 10 league games, which has seen them secure 23 points and move up to third in the Premier League. They have scored 15 goals in their last five games including away wins at Southampton, West Ham and Sheffield United. Last time out, they put six goals past Leeds, so should arrive in confident mood of extending their unbeaten run.
Arsenal v Chelsea
The early evening kick-off on Boxing Day sees a big London derby taking place at the Emirates Stadium as struggling Arsenal host fifth-placed Chelsea.
Arsenal come into the game off the back of a 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat against Manchester City and on a terrible run of form in the Premier League. The Gunners have won just one of their last 10 games, claiming only five points and scoring a paltry four goals in the process. That run of form has seen Mikel Arteta’s side drop to fifteenth place where they sit just four points above the relegation zone.
A much needed 3-0 defeat of West Ham stopped a run of two straight defeats and moved Chelsea back into the top five. The Blues had been relatively consistent before those losses, recording just one other league defeat all campaign and they can take advantage of a confidence drained Gunners. Timo Werner is struggling for goals, despite getting the chances, but could pop up with one at the Emirates.
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