Sunderland vs Liverpool – Premier League preview and team news

Sunderland will be determined to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat when they entertain a Liverpool side which has not won any of its last three away matches in all competitions. It seems as if the January transfer window cannot come any sooner for Sam Allardyce as he continues to give thinly veiled hints that his defensive options are in need of bolstering, and their lack of cohesion was again clear to see at Manchester City on Boxing Day. While they were undone by some excellent attacking play, the Black Cats…

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Leicester vs Man City – Premier League preview and team news

Leicester City will move back to the top of the Premier League if they overcome the significant threat of a Manchester City side which has not won away since mid-September. The game at Liverpool on Boxing Day provided the first few signs that the Foxes are feeling the effects of being the team to be shot at, as they were second best almost throughout and turned in a performance which was described as ‘nervous’ by manager Claudio Ranieri. However, their amazing unbeaten run on the road had to end somewhere,…

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Man Utd vs Chelsea – Premier League preview and team news

Two ailing giants come together at Old Trafford for what looks set to be a highly significant encounter, as Manchester United go all out to arrest their slide against Chelsea, who will remain in crisis until they start climbing the table. The pressure that currently rests on the shoulders of United boss Louis van Gaal could hardly be any heavier, and as every abject display and every poor result goes by the question marks over his long-term future at the club are only growing larger. The losing run now stands…

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Arsenal vs Bournemouth – Premier League preview and team news

The pressure will be on Arsenal as they look to hit back from their Boxing Day misery with victory at home to a Bournemouth side that has not lost in six Premier League outings. There was nothing in the game at Southampton until they were undone by a terrific long range strike, but Arsenal’s display from then on was far from good enough and belied their status as a team which would have gone top of the Premier League had they managed to win. It was some way away from…

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Watford vs Tottenham – Premier League preview and team news

Watford will be looking to pick up a fifth win in their last six Premier League games as the welcome another in-form team to Vicarage Road in the shape of Champions League chasing Tottenham. The hosts come into this after claiming a hard earned 2-2 draw at Chelsea, and while it was a match where their defensive resolve was severely tested they more than matched the champions throughout and showed why they have surprised so many this season to lie in the lofty heights of seventh place. Manager Quique Flores continues…

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Crystal Palace vs Swansea – Premier League preview and team news

After gaining a crucial three points on Boxing Day, Swansea City will be targeting back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they travel to South London to face a Crystal Palace side currently sitting pretty in fifth place. The Eagles have already suffered a couple of unwelcome injury setbacks over the festive period and the absence of Yannick Bolasie in particular perhaps showed in their attacking play as they fired a blank in a goalless draw at Bournemouth on Saturday. It was a decent result against another in-form team…

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Everton vs Stoke – Premier League preview and team news

In a buoyant mood following their last-gasp Boxing Day victory, Everton will be after their first win in three home matches as they entertain a Stoke City side who are behind them only on goal difference. Were it not for Tom Cleverley’s first goal for the club with the last meaningful touch of the game, it would have been an immensely frustrating afternoon for Everton at Newcastle United. It was another away match where they asserted their authority from the start and played some swift, incisive passing football, but again…

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West Ham vs Southampton – Premier League preview and team news

Southampton will be aiming to follow on from their amazing Boxing Day success over Arsenal as they take on another London club in West Ham United, who have drawn each of their last five matches. Mainly as a consequence of injuries to several key players, the home side have lost a lot of the dynamism and flair that characterised their performances in the early weeks of the season, and so they now occupy a place in mid-table having not won in two months. A lot of the optimism which built…

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West Brom vs Newcastle – Premier League preview and team news

Newcastle United will be hoping to bounce back from the bitter disappointment of their Boxing Day loss by collecting all three points away to West Bromwich Albion, who will be intent on avoiding a third straight defeat. This has turned into a very important game for the Baggies, who are now only three points above the drop zone with their opponents lying in the final relegation spot as things stand, so there will be some concern around if they were to lose this one. They came away very frustrated on…

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Norwich vs Aston Villa – Premier League preview and team news

Carrow Road is the venue for a pivotal encounter between two struggling sides as Norwich City look to move clear of the bottom three with victory at home to bottom of the table Aston Villa. After the delight of picking up all three points at Manchester United, the hosts showed confidence early on at Tottenham on Boxing Day and came close to opening the scoring early on through Cameron Jerome and debutant Vadis Oujidja-Ofoe, but once they fell behind to a penalty slightly against the run of play the result…

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Liverpool vs Leicester – Premier League preview and team news

Now on a run of four games without a win in all competitions, Liverpool will be determined to overcome Leicester City and consign the leaders to their first away defeat in the Premier League this season. Manager Jurgen Klopp was far from happy after his Reds side were swept aside 3-0 by in-form Watford on Sunday, where they went behind to a disputed early goal and from then on were second best in both boxes despite enjoying the majority of the possession. Despite the dubious nature of the opener, stand-in…

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Southampton vs Arsenal – Premier League preview and team news

Arsenal will be aiming to claim their fourth consecutive Premier League win as they travel to Southampton, who need a result after suffering a significant loss of form over recent weeks. In general play, the Saints were equal to opponents Tottenham last time out but were denied by a couple of fine saves at one end while some amateurish defending let them down at the other. Manager Ronald Koeman’s assessment was scathing as his side were breached all too easily for the opener while nonexistant marking at the far post…

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Tottenham vs Norwich – Premier League preview and team news

Tottenham will be hoping to cement their place in the top four of the Premier League with victory at home to a Norwich City side that will be in buoyant mood following their fine win last time out at Manchester United. After seeing their unbeaten run come to an end in disappointing fashion at home to Newcastle United, Mauricio Pochettino’s team came up with the perfect response at the Argentine’s former club Southampton, scoring two first half goals to seal an impressive victory. The key to success was excellent build-up play,…

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Man City vs Sunderland – Premier League preview and team news

After more disappointment on their travels, Manchester City will look to get themselves back on track with victory at home to Sunderland, who are now five points adrift of safety following three straight defeats. The hosts have not won on the road in the league since a stoppage time goal gave them the honours at Crystal Palace back in mid-September, and Yaya Toure’s sublime finish at Arsenal on Monday was just their second away goal since then. By and large, results have been a whole lot better at the Etihad…

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Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace – Premier League preview and team news

Two of the Premier League’s form teams will battle for supremacy on Boxing Day at the Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth entertain a Crystal Palace side that is now just a point off the the top four. A run of three successive wins has lifted the Cherries towards mid-table and have given them a four point cushion above the bottom three, so they should enter a sequence of three matches in the space of a week with confidence and relish rather than with a feeling of apprehension. Despite calls in some quarters…

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Chelsea vs Watford – Premier League preview and team news

Guus Hiddink begins his second interim period in the Chelsea hotseat with an intriguing home encounter with Watford, who are looking to make it five wins in succession. Highly successful in the role after being called in to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari in February 2009, the Dutchman returns with the Blues in much more dire straits despite their much-needed win over Sunderland last weekend. He was in the stands for that game as the team produced the kind of display that they have looked a million miles away from producing…

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Aston Villa vs West Ham – Premier League preview and team news

To give themselves any realistic chance of mounting a bid for survival in the second half of the season, bottom club Aston Villa must take a reasonable haul of points from the next three games, beginning with a home clash against West Ham United on Boxing Day. This meeting with the out-of-form Londoners precedes trips to fellow strugglers Norwich City and Sunderland, so Remi Garde badly needs to end his wait for a first win in charge sooner rather than later if the club is to avoid being cast even…

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Newcastle vs Everton – Premier League preview and team news

After seeing their unbeaten run come to an end last weekend, Everton will be looking to bounce back with a win away to a Newcastle United side which has taken seven points from the last nine available. Having gained highly impressive victories against Liverpool and Tottenham, the hosts will have been a little frustrated at not overcoming bottom club Aston Villa in their most recent outing, particularly as had they done so it would have widened the gap between themselves and the drop zone to four points. It was not the…

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Swansea vs West Brom – Premier League preview and team news

Swansea City will be hoping to escape the bottom three, but will have to work extremely hard to get the better of a West Bromwich Albion team which has proved stubborn on their travels this term. There were a number of positive signs for the Welsh club to draw on from their goalless draw at home to West Ham United last weekend as they returned to their principle of taking the game to the opposition and playing neat passing, attacking football. The only thing which let them down was a…

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Stoke vs Man Utd – Premier League preview and team news

Without a win in six outings in all competitions, Manchester United will be desperate for a Boxing Day win at Stoke City to help ease the increasing pressure on manager Louis van Gaal. The hosts are becoming increasingly enigmatic themselves having suffered a frustrating home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last weekend despite creating the majority of the chances and territory. It was a stunning late strike which beat them in the end, but that they ended up having 26 attempts on goal with only five on target…

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Arsenal vs Man City – Premier League preview and team news

The final Premier League clash before Christmas is a potentially significant one in the title race as Arsenal take on Manchester City with the incentive of moving four points above their opponents. With the exception of finding out that Barcelona lie in wait in the last 16 of the Champions League, the last fortnight has been very satisfying all round for Arsenal and if over the festive period they can maintain the form which has delivered them three straight wins, they may convince a few more people that they are truly capable…

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Swansea vs West Ham – Premier League preview and team news

As they continue their search for a new manager, Swansea City will hoping to pick up only their second win since August as they take on a West Ham United who themselves have struggled for positive results of late. Chairman Huw Jenkins clearly did not have anybody lined up to take charge of Swansea when he dispensed of the services of Garry Monk, as he has spent most of the last week in South America approaching current front-runner Walter Bielsa, so time will tell if he made the right decision. The club…

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Watford vs Liverpool – Premier League preview and team news

Liverpool will be determined to win for the first time in three Premier League outings, but face a challenge against a Watford side that is on a fine run and sit a point and two places above them in the table. Although they face a tricky run of matches over the festive period, Watford are becoming almost impossible to write off at present and were just four points off the Champions League places coming into the weekend, reaching a position where no side in the top-flight is even thinking about…

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Everton vs Leicester – Premier League preview and team news

Leicester City will be hoping to ensure that they spend Christmas on top of the Premier League as they begin a festive double header on Merseyside with a a visit to Goodison Park to face Everton. A lack of ruthlessless is the primary reason why the hosts do not find themselves further up the league table, drawing their last three matches despite having ample opportunity to win each of them. That was emphatically the case at Norwich City last weekend as they played great football but missed chance after chance…

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Man Utd vs Norwich – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester United will be desperate to get their season back on track as they welcome Norwich City to Old Trafford, with the visitors having fallen into the bottom three following several weeks of struggle. The only option for United here is to win, which would at least provide a little festive cheer after a week which saw them take just one point in the league and exit the Champions League with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg. The squad in its current depleted state is far from one which…

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