EPL: Boxing Day Preview

by Denis Metev

Brace yourselves, Boxing day is coming!

The Christmas spirit has taken over, the tables are full and the family is together. What better to do than watch some football?

As the old English tradition goes, on December 26, the Premier League will bring us ten clashes will huge significance. The tight schedule around the end of the year is a time to determine who goes where, what ambitions are starting to look unrealistic and which team can overturn their season.

Boxing Day preview

Tottenham vs. Brighton

Jose Mourinho’s side is coming out of a London derby loss to Chelsea, which will undoubtedly motivate the team for a win. Brighton have only won one out of their last five games, but that was a visit to London to Arsenal. So, Tottenham must be absolutely concentrated and not allow any underestimation, in order to secure a good Christmas gift for their fans.

Panda Prediction: 2-1

Bournemouth vs. Arsenal

The Cherries share Brighton’s form, by winning one out of their last five, and again that was against a London club in the face of Chelsea. The exact same can be said about The Gunners, though. Only one win in their last five, which came against West Ham. Now, Arsenal, with their new manager Mikel Arteta, must give 100% if they want to take the three points from their trip to the South coast. And, essentially, this could be a season changer for the London club.

Panda Prediction: 1-1

Sheffield United vs. Watford

The Blades have been the surprise of the season so far, standing 5th in the tables right now. On the opposite end, it’s been a year to forget for The Hornets, who are bottom of the league and will lead a tough battle for survival. Still, there is hope for Watford, as they beat Man United 2-0 just a few days ago. Maybe a win in Sheffield could spark their great escape?

Panda Prediction: 2-0

Chelsea vs. Southampton

The Saints could drop into the relegation zone if they lose and Aston Villa wins, so taking points from the game is gonna be crucial for Ralph Hassenhutl’s team. And Chelsea have been quite inconsistent recently, which makes the match even more unpredictable. The Blues have to keen on adding points to their tally, in order to keep the distance from the teams below them and try to narrow the gap to second-placed Leicester.

Panda Prediction: 4-2

Aston Villa vs. Norwich

An extremely important direct match for survival for both teams. This is one of the games that is said to earn six points. Should The Canaries lose they would be left six points below the salvation zone. All eyes will be set on goalscorer Teemu Pukki, who will be looking to score his 10th of the season. Both teams are on a five-game winless streak, so it’s not impossible that the pressure and fear of losing points will dictate the game.

Panda Prediction: 2-2

Crystal Palace vs. West Ham

The Hammers have not impressed this season and logically stand near the relegation zone. Manuel Pellegrini’s team must rally up and show that they have what it takes to stand up this season or else it may be a long and painful ride towards salvation. Crystal Palace have shown a rather mediocre form this campaign and although they currently sit somewhat comfortable mid-table, things can change quickly.

Panda Prediction: 1-2

Everton vs. Burnley

New manager Carlo Ancelotti will make his debut for The Toffees and the blue part of Liverpool will be hoping for a long and successful reign. What better way to ignite it than a nice victory on Boxing day? Burnley do sit mid-table but have failed to spark the imagination of their fans. This should be an easy first match for Ancelotti, who has a lot of work to do at Goodison Park.

Panda Prediction: 3-0

Man United vs. Newcastle

The Red Devils have already lost to Newcastle this season and are having great difficulties playing against the so-called weaker teams in the league this season. This will be an ultimate test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, who need to show character and resilience, and fast if they want to salvage their season and give the millions of fans a glimpse of fresh air.

Panda Prediction: 2-1

Leicester vs. Liverpool

The big derby of the round. First versus second. Liverpool are currently ten points ahead and with a game in hand, so a win against Brendan Rodgers’ side may secure the Premier League title even before the year is over. That would be the perfect gift for Merseyside fans who have been waiting for the team’s first PL title for almost three decades. Leicester did lose to City in their last match and conceded a draw to Norwich before that. Realistically speaking, everything except a win for Jurgen Klopp’s boys will be considered a huge surprise.

Panda Prediction: 2-4

Wolves vs. Man City

The only game that will not take place on the 26th. Wolves are very tough opposition and Guardiola must be 100% concentrated on the game. City have already, arguably, lost their chances to retain the title, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to win each game. It’s gonna be an interesting watch, that’s for sure.

Panda Prediction: 1-3

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