Boxing Day is amongst us, matchday 19 of the Premiership will conclude the first half of the season. With each team playing three games in the span of eight days, we could see some major swings in the table after January 2nd. However, we are going to be covering the eight games that will be taking place on Boxing day, December 26th.
Boxing Day Predictions
Tottenham (7th) 2 – 1 Brighton & Hove Albion (13th):
Tottenham is coming off a tough 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They’re going to be looking to have an absolutely huge three games over the stretch, playing teams such as Norwich City and Southampton, who sit at the bottom of the table. If they are able to pull off a win at home against Brighton, they have the potential to jump into Champions League territory in early January. Meanwhile, Brighton is a very streaky team this season, sitting in 13th. Unlike Tottenham, they have a rough three games, also including Chelsea and Bournemouth. I think this match is going to be domination by Tottenham, with Neal Maupay giving Brighton a late one.
Tottenham 2 – 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Bournemouth (14th) 1 – 1 Arsenal (11th)
This is a tough one to judge, Arsenal has been playing some of the worst football we have seen them play in awhile. On the other hand, Bournemouth has won only 1 game of their past seven. If this were to be a home game for the Gunners, I would take a 2-1 win over the struggling Cherries. However, this game is at Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, and I cannot see anything but a draw for these mid-table clubs.
Bournemouth 1 – 1 Arsenal
Aston Villa (18th) 1 – 2 Norwich City (19th)
Here we are, welcome to the bottom of the Premier League. Neither team has won a Premier League game since matchday 13. Norwich City has kept a clean sheet only once this season, and that came during a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth. Aston Villa just lost to another struggling Southampton team 1-3. Norwich City lost to Wolverhampton, but they had an impressive first half. With Norwich City desperately needing a win, what better time than to a team that is one place ahead of them. Alongside this, the game is taking place at Carrow Road. Teemu Pukki will score twice for Norwich City, giving them all three points.
Aston Villa 1 – 2 Norwich City
Chelsea (4th) 2 – 1 Southampton (17th)
Although ranked 4th, Chelsea has had some major struggles this season playing against the weaker teams in the League. They’ve lost to West Ham, Everton, and Bournemouth all in one month. Meanwhile, Southampton has been playing some lovely football over the past few weeks. While some of their recent games were against bottom tier clubs, they have been able to win three of their last five. If this game was in Southampton, I would take a 2-2 draw or even a 2-1 Southampton win. However, it is in London, at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea is going to find the back of the net twice, as opposed to Southampton’s one.
Chelsea 2 – 1 Southampton
Crystal Palace (12th) 1 – 1 West Ham United (16th)
One of the many London derbies that we all love to watch, Crystal Palace v West Ham United. This is what many people are calling, and for good reason, the game of the week. These teams only separated by four points, could cause a major swing in the table. A Crystal Palace win will put them far ahead of West Ham and could knock them into the top half of the table. On the other hand, a West Ham win could potentially move them up three spots. The energy will be electric at Selhurst Park on boxing day, but as many derbies tend to pan out, there is no other answer than a draw.
Crystal Palace 1 – 1 West Ham United
Everton (15th) 2 – 1 Burnley (10th)
This is one of the most interesting matchups of the day. Everton has looked decent recently and has the potential to be a top 10 team by the end of the season. Burnley has been streaky all season, but they are able to find themselves directly in the middle of the table. Burnley has been doing exactly what you would expect them to do to find themselves in the middle. They win against the bottom teams such as Watford, Norwich City, and Southampton. They draw against the middle tier teams such as Aston Villa and Brighton. Finally, they get killed by the top tier teams such as Tottenham, Chelsea, Sheffield United, and Manchester City. They have been outscored 22-5 against the top seven teams in the league. A team with this statistic is lucky to be sitting in 10th. However, because of their struggle against big clubs, they have to beat down on the little ones, in which they do. Everton is going to take advantage of Burnley in Liverpool, and stay hot.
Everton 2 – 1 Burnley
Sheffield United (5th) 3 – 0 Watford (20th)
Sheffield United is great, Watford is terrible. There is really not much else to say about this match. The one thing Watford has going for them right now is a 2-0 win last week to Manchester United. Sheffield United hasn’t lost a game since September, and that is not going to stop against a team like Watford.
Sheffield United 3 – 0 Watford
Manchester United (8th) 3 – 2 Newcastle United (9th)
Here we have two teams sitting in the middle of the table, facing off in a game at Old Trafford, on Boxing Day. This game is going to be a goal-fest, with five total. Newcastle United will strike first, but Manchester United are going to make a push for the top five, and come out with three goals against Newcastle. This game could go either way, but because it is at Old Trafford, The Red Devils are going to take all three points, going into two more games against Burnley and Arsenal. This three-game stretch will be amazing for Manchester United, and horrific for the Geordies in Newcastle.
Manchester United 3 -2 Newcastle United
Leicester City (2nd) 3 – 2 Liverpool (1st)
I lied with what I said about Crystal Palace v West Ham. This right here, everybody knows it, is the game of the season for the Premier League. Liverpool is arguably the best team on the planet, while Leicester City is looking to repeat the same story from 2016. However, if the foxes want to even make the final half of the Premier League season interesting, it is mandatory that they pick up all three points here. A potential six-point swing will occur. If Liverpool wins, they go ahead 13 points against Leicester and will still have yet to be defeated. If Leicester City wins, they are back only seven points and can make the final half of the season very interesting for Liverpool. This is my wild-card prediction of the day, as Liverpool are the favorites and a majority of people think they’re just too good Leicester City. However, Jamie Vardy will score two for Leicester, along with one from James Maddison. Leicester City will pull off the upset, take all three points, and stay within striking distance of Liverpool.
Leicester City 3 – 2 Liverpool
The Rest of the Week
Concluding Boxing Day, there is still a match between Wolverhampton and Manchester City to be played the following day. After this, all 20 teams play two more times by the end of January 2nd. As we approach the second half of the season, the top of the table has the potential to get interesting, as the middle to the lower end of the table is certain to have many swings through matchday 19-21.
Main photo: Embed from Getty Images