Premier League Boxing Day Preview

The Premier League’s Boxing Day schedule has thrown up a huge clash as leaders Liverpool take on second placed Leicester City.

The Reds, still undefeated in the league, travel to The King Power Stadium looking to extend the gap beyond the current ten points.

With champions Manchester City not playing until Sunday, Chelsea in fourth have the chance to close on them as they host Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

Sheffield United, who find themselves in fifth, look to continue their remarkable run of form as they welcome bottom-of-the-table Watford to Bramall Lane.

Tottenham are looking to bounce back from their defeat to rivals Chelsea last time out as they open the day’s proceedings at home to Brighton.

Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta both begin their new managerial reigns on Boxing Day. Ancelotti’s Everton side host Burnley, whilst Arteta takes his new Arsenal charges to Bournemouth.

Elsewhere, Manchester United entertain Newcastle, whist there is also capital derby clash as Crystal Palace take on West Ham.

Finally, there is a huge six-point clash as third bottom Aston Villa welcome second from bottom Norwich City to Villa Park.

See below for a preview on the games, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

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Tottenham Hotspur 12:30 Brighton & Hove Albion
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Heung-Min Son is suspended for Tottenham, joining Ben Davies and Hugo Lloris on the sidelines but Erik Lamela could return. Brighton are again without Solly March and Jose Izquierdo for the trip to North London.
KEY FACT: Brighton are looking to complete their first ever league double over Tottenham
MATCH ODDS: Spurs 8/15 Draw 10/3 Brighton 9/2
bet365 Pick: Under 2.5 goals @11/8
ANDY SAYS: Boxing Day won’t be a disappointment for my former club Spurs…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Brighton are not a bad side at all, but they won’t be leaving Spurs with anything…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Dele Alli – Starting to look like an international class player again

AFC Bournemouth 15:00 Arsenal
Vitality Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Arsenal hope Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Cellabos, Rob Holding, Mesut Ozil and Sokratis available for selection but Calum Chambers is suspended and joins Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac on the sidelines. Bournemouth still have a huge list of absentees, which isn’t helped by the suspension of Diego Rico, although Harry Wilson, Simon Francis, Ryan Fraser and Steve Cook could return.
KEY FACT: Bournemouth have won only one of their 10 meetings in all competitions with Arsenal
MATCH ODDS: Bournemouth 12/5 Draw 29/10 Arsenal 19/20
bet365 Pick: No goalscorer @16/1
ANDY SAYS: I don’t see this being a great first day for Mikel Arteta, Bournemouth win…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: I think it is an opening win for Arteta here, close but Arsenal should respond well…1-2
Football Index – One to follow: Nicolas Pepe – Need to starting repaying his plus £70m price-tag

Aston Villa 15:00 Norwich City
Villa Park

TEAM NEWS: Losing John McGinn is a huge blow for Villa, he joins Tyrone Mings, Keinan Davis and Jed Steer on the sidelines. | Jospi Drmic, Timm Klose and Ben Godfrey are all missing for Norwich.
KEY FACT: Aston Villa are looking to secure only their second Premier League double over Norwich
MATCH ODDS: Villa 21/20 Draw 13/5 Norwich 23/10
bet365 Pick: Christoph Zimmermann to score anytime @11/1
ANDY SAYS: Big game for both clubs and I think they cancel each other out and it ends in a draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Close game but Villa really need the win and I think they get it…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Jack Grealish – Maturing into a wonderful Premier League player

Chelsea 15:00 Southampton
Stamford Bridge

TEAM NEWS: Mateo Kovacic is suspended for Chelsea, but they hope that Cesar Azpilicueta overcomes a thigh problem. | Yann Valery is ruled out for Southampton – who will give late fitness tests to Moussa Djenepo and Kevin Danso. 
KEY FACT: Chelsea have won seven of their last eight Premier League matches against Southampton
MATCH ODDS: Chelsea 1/3 Draw 4/1 Southampton 8/1
bet365 Pick: Both Teams To Score @3/4
ANDY SAYS: Don’t see Chelsea having issues here and they will claim the win…3-1
GRAEME SAYS: This is a Chelsea win coming, they won’t disappoint after big win at Tottenham…3-0
Football Index – One to follow: Mason Mount – Making huge strides this season

Crystal Palace 15:00 West Ham United
Selhurst Park

TEAM NEWS: Mamadou Sakho remains suspended for Palace, who still have Gary Cahill, Andros Townsend, Scott Dann, Joel Ward and Jeffrey Schlupp ruled out. | West Ham could welcome back Lukasz Fabianski, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini, but Jack Wilshere remains sidelined.
KEY FACT: The team scoring first hasn’t won any of the last five Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and West Ham
MATCH ODDS: Palace 5/4 Draw 12/5 West Ham 21/10
bet365 Pick: James McArthur to score anytime @9/2
ANDY SAYS: This will be a good London derby but I think it ends in a draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Tough call here, but I think that Palace’s form means they will have enough to win…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Felipe Anderson – Has all the potential to be playing at the very top

Everton 15:00 Burnley
Goodison Park

TEAM NEWS: Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Theo Walcott, Morgan Schneiderlin, Alex Iwobi and Andre Gomes are all missing for Carlo Ancelotti’s first game in charge. | Ben Gibson and Aaron Lennon could be available for Burnley, but Jeff Hendrick is suspended.
KEY FACT: Burnley have won five of their 11 Premier League meetings with Everton
MATCH ODDS: Everton 4/6 Draw 11/4 Burnley 4/1
bet365 Pick: Yerry Mina anytime @7/1
ANDY SAYS: Everton played well last week and I think that carries on here and Ancelotti claims his first win…1-0
GRAEME SAYS: Being at home, Everton get the win here inspired by their new boss…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Richarlison – A superb player who will thrive under Ancelotti

Sheffield United 15:00 Watford
Bramall Lane

TEAM NEWS: Sheffield United are set to have a fully fit squad to choose from with John Fleck back from suspension. | Watford are without the suspended Abdoulaye Doucoure who joins Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Sebastian Prodl, Daryl Janmaat and Jose Holebas on the sidelines.
KEY FACT: United have lost just one of their last five home league games against Watford
MATCH ODDS: Sheff Utd 4/5 Draw 13/5 Watford 10/3
bet365 Pick: Under 2.5 goals @4/5
ANDY SAYS: The Blades are playing so well, I don’t see how they don’t win this…2-1
GRAEME SAYS: Watford are looking much better under Nigel Pearson and they could get something here…1-1
Football Index – One to follow: Will Hughes – Really is starting to look the part for Watford

Manchester United 17:30 Newcastle United
Old Trafford

TEAM NEWS: Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah could be the only absentees for United, with Marcos Rojo set to return. | Newcastle are without Allan Saint-Maximin, but a host of players are in contention to feature including Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Ki Sung-Yeung, Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett.
KEY FACT: Man Utd have lost only one of their last 34 top-flight home meetings with Newcastle
MATCH ODDS: Man Utd 3/10 Draw 17/4 Newcastle 8/1
bet365 Pick: Under 2.5 goals @11/10
ANDY SAYS: I think Newcastle get something from this, Man Utd are just not playing well…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Can see United edging this being at home, but it will be close and wouldn’t shock me if Newcastle get something…2-1
Football Index – One to follow: Marcus Rashford – Huge potential to be one of Europe’s top strikers

Leicester City 20:00 Liverpool
King Power Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Harvey Barnes will have a late fitness test, which could mean the only player missing for Leicester is Matty James. | Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could make the game, but Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Rhian Brewster, Nathaniel Clyne and Fabinho are sidelined.
KEY FACT: Liverpool have won their last two Premier League matches at Leicester
MATCH ODDS: Leicester 5/2 Draw 13/5 Liverpool Evens
bet365 Pick: Under 2.5 goals @13/10
ANDY SAYS: This could be one of the games of the season, and I think Leicester will get something…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: This could be the biggest danger all season to Liverpool unbeaten run but I see goals and a draw…2-2
Football Index – One to follow: James Maddison – One of the Premier League’s top players so far this season.

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