Moore Than Just A Club

Matchday Twenty’s Premier League Preview: Festive Football All Around In The Top-Flight

The festive season is well and truly upon us and this means yet another Match Week of the Premier League, the traditional Boxing Day round of matches as the League leaders make a tricky trip to the North East and the Hammers clash with fellow strugglers the Cherries in an intriguing encounter.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton (Tuesday 12:30 PM)

To kick-off all of today’s drama, Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs welcome Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints to Wembley Stadium for what promises to be an entertaining Sky Sports early kick-off.

The hosts are fresh from thrashing high-flying Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday evening, it was their third win in four League matches and one that saw them climb back up to fifth spot.

Meanwhile, in their last outing, the team from the South Coast were held at home by Huddersfield Town and fell all the way down to 13th place in the process, they haven’t won since the end of November.

One obvious danger to watch out for will be star striker Harry Kane who could break Alan Shearer’s record for the most PL goals in a calendar year with a single notch, whilst, Shane Long is sure to prove a threat at the other end.

Glanville’s Prediction: 3-0.

Manchester United vs Burnley (Tuesday 3 PM)

To kick-off the 3 PM starts, Sean Dyche’s Clarets travel to Old Trafford where a very difficult proposition indeed meets them, Jose Mourinho’s revenge-seeking Red Devils.

United are looking for quick redemption off the back of conceding last-minute goals in each of their last two outings, the first coming in a Carabao Cup defeat at Ashton Gate and the second in a League draw at the King Power Stadium, they are still second.

Burnley’s remarkable start to the season took a big blow with the home loss to Tottenham last time out, that saw them fall to seventh place and was a first loss in the space of four matches, they are set for a slide.

Incredibly, the hosts have not lost this exact fixture since all the way back in 1962 and this does not look set to change anytime soon seeing as Mourinho’s men have the best Boxing Day win percentage, 83, of all the other clubs in the League.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.

Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Tuesday 3 PM)

At the same time in West London, the Seagulls will make their first-ever Premier League trip to Stamford Bridge where they will try to match the force and sill of the Blues.

Antonio Conte’s men are hot on the heels of Manchester United in second place, now a mere three points behind them and looking to apply the pressure some more, if recent form is anything to go by, despite drawing at Goodison Park last time out, they should be able to do this.

Whereas, Brighton are brimming with confidence having ended a barren run of results with a crucial three points at home to Watford, Chris Hughton’s men have not won away this season though, occupying 12th position.

The visitors have only ever defeating today’s home side once before, this came in the 1983 FA Cup, Chelsea have not lost on this day since 2008, Brighton have not won on this day in eighth, the Blues are favourites.

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-0.

Watford vs Leicester City (Tuesday 3 PM)

On the other side of the Capital this afternoon, a desperate Watford team play host to an in-form Leicester side in a matchup that is to be played in the cauldron of Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have slipped down the Table in recent weeks partly thanks to having the worst disciplinary record in the League, something that has halted their record-breaking start, losing out to Brighton last time out and sitting tenth.

Meanwhile, the Foxes have been revived under Claude Puel, salvaging a point against Manchester United last time out and currently occupying eighth place, they have reigned supreme in three of their last five matches.

The stats place the away side as the firm favourites for the matchup as they have taken all three points in four of the last six of these team’s recent meetings with each other, Marco Silva’s men must try to make home advantage count.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-0.

West Bromwich Albion vs Everton (Tuesday 3 PM)

In another of today’s traditional afternoon ties, Alan Pardew’s Baggies entertain Sam Allardyce’s Toffees at the Hawthorns Stadium in a meeting of two of the League’s more experienced Managers.

West Brom have picked up just two points since the arrival of Pardew and are in serious trouble if they don’t act fast, sitting in 17th position and now a full three points from safety, not to mention no League win since August.

Things couldn’t be more different for Everton after they recovered from a similar kind of situation earlier in the season, the Blue Boys of Merseyside can now be found all the way up in ninth place, having held Chelsea at home last time out.

The Toffees are still undefeated under “Big Sam” and the visitors don’t look likely to bring that run to an end today, especially if you take into account the fact that Everton have won their last three on the road against the Baggies.

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-1.

Huddersfield Town vs Stoke City (Tuesday 3 PM)

In the first of the Tuesday afternoon bottom half battles, Huddersfield entertain Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium, David Wagner doing battle with an under-pressure Mark Hughes.

The Terriers have been unpredictable, to say the least so far, this season and this is displayed perfectly by their last five League results, two wins, two defeats and a draw, they sit 11th in the wake of sharing the points with Southampton.

Things have been a little different for the Potters, who defeated West Bromwich Albion in a must-win to climb to 14th last weekend, that victory may have saved Hughes for another week, but they are still just three points above the bottom three.

This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the Premier League and should the hosts be able to make being at home count, they will sail to three consecutive Boxing Day wins, can they do it?

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-2.

AFC Bournemouth vs West Ham United (Tuesday 3 PM)

In the final of the 3 PM starts, David Moyes and his4 Claret & Blue Army travel to the bottom of the Country where they will clash with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth in a Relegation six-pointer.

The hosts slipped into the dreaded Relegation Zone with a third consecutive loss last time out at the hands of League leaders Manchester City, although all is not lost for them as three points are sure to take them up and out of it.

West Ham were defeated at home by Newcastle United last time out, ending a run of three consecutive League games unbeaten and three clean sheets on the spin, it saw them fall back to 17th and raises the stakes of this particular encounter.

Interestingly, during the 2015/2016 season, both away teams won the two clashes between the two, while the season after, both home teams emerged victorious, adding to the unpredictability of this afternoon’s matchup.

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-1.

Liverpool vs Swansea City (Tuesday 5:30 PM)

To end all of Tuesday’s PL action, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will be licking their lips at the prospect of Leon Britton’s Swans travelling to the daunting Anfield as very much the underdogs.

Liverpool looked like they were going to sail to consecutive wins at the Emirates Stadium last Friday, not for an Arsenal comeback that left them with a 3-3 draw that kept Klopp’s men fifth.

On the flip side of things, Swansea suffered that old bugbear of being the team that sat bottom of the pile at Christmas, survival from this position has only ever been achieved once, a draw at home to Crystal Palace resigned them to the task of trying to become the second team to achieve the feat.

The Swans do have a little bit of history behind them here and will take confidence from a win achieved in Liverpool last season when they were fighting for their lives, can lightening strike twice?

Glanville’s Prediction: 4-0.

Newcastle United vs Manchester City (Wednesday 7:45 PM)

The only game of Wednesday evening will see Rafa Benítez’s Magpies become the latest outfit to cross the path of Pep Guardiola’s unstoppable Citizens at St James’ Park.

City have now won a staggering 17 League games on the bounce, having smashed all kinds of different records in the process, their lead at the top of the Table now stands at 13 points after taking care of Bournemouth on home soil last time out.

The Toon also tasted success the last tie that they played, a first win in ten games to be precise at the London Stadium and one that lifted them up to 15th, their new-found confidence is set to prove a danger to the visitors.

Both teams will surely look to their star men to try to make all of the difference, for the home side, Henri Saivet is in marvellous form, whilst Kevin De Bruyne has been pulling the strings for the Citizens all season-long.

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-3.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal (Thursday 8 PM)

Matchday 20 will draw to an end in South London in two days’ time as the Eagles host the Gunners in an all-London affair to be played at Selhurst Park under the lights.

Palace continued their resurgence under Roy Hodgson by extending their undefeated League run to eight games last time out, now outside the dangerous drop zone, occupying 16th after a draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Arsenal will be jubilant after a battling performance against Liverpool saw then fight back to earn a remarkable 3-3 draw in North London, Arsene Wenger’s men are sixth and will be looking to get back into the top four sooner rather than later.

The visitors will need to be wary on Thursday as the Eagles have not been beaten in six games at their home fortress, but the Gunners have not conceded in a London derby this season, setting things up nicely for a memorable match.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.

So, now that all the spoils and thrills from as very festive Game Week of the League we all know, and love have been well and truly previewed, who will be the winners? Who will be the losers? And who will make the headlines? Join us again on Friday to find out.