No let-up in busy Premier League schedule
The busy Christmas and New Year fixtures continue in the Premier League this weekend, with two games on Friday, six on Saturday and two on New Year’s Day.
London: The busy Christmas and New Year fixtures continue in the Premier League this weekend, with two games on Friday, six on Saturday and two on New Year’s Day.
West Ham entertain Brentford on Friday night and will have to keep the visitors’ striker Ivan Toney quiet, while Liverpool face Leicester City at Anfield.
New signing Cody Gakpo still isn’t available as Liverpool look for their fourth win in as many league games, while Leicester’s former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has said he is looking to add to his squad in January, reports Xinhua.�
Saturday starts with an interesting game as Wolverhampton Wanderers entertain Manchester United. Julen Lopetegui’s spell at Wolves got off to a winning start away to Everton on Boxing Day, but Manchester United will provide a stiffer challenge, even if United still look slightly lightweight in attack with only Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial available.
The defeat to Wolves further increased the pressure on Everton boss Frank Lampard, and things won’t get any easier for Lampard when his side visit Manchester City.
Conor Coady will return for Everton, although Yerry Mina is a doubt for Everton with a muscle problem. City would move to just two points behind leaders Arsenal if they win.
Arsenal play in Saturday’s late kick-off, making a short trip to play Brighton. It has been suggested that Mikel Arteta’s men will suffer due to the absence of Gabriel Jesus with a knee injury, and Arteta will again look to Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah to deliver against a rival that also enjoys possession football.
Seven wins and a draw from their last eight games have made Newcastle United real title contenders, and Eddie Howe’s side could have Callum Wilson available as they host Leeds United.
Leeds battled hard in their defeat to Manchester City and will have U.S. international Tyler Adams back after suspension, while forward Patrick Bamford has a chance of recovering in time.
Fulham will be optimistic of maintaining their excellent season at home to bottom side Southampton, who have yet to show signs of improvement under new coach Nathan Jones.
Marc Guehi returns after suspension for Crystal Palace, but Patrick Vieira’s side have James Tomkins and Tyrick Mitchell both suspended for their visit to Bournemouth. Palace have scored 15 goals this season, while Bournemouth have conceded 34 times and have the worst defense in the division.
World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez could be back in goal for Aston Villa when they visit Tottenham on New Year’s Day, and his international teammate Cristian Romero should also return for Tottenham, who will again miss the injured Richarlison.
Chelsea coach Graham Potter used a 4-3-3 formation in his side’s win against Bournemouth in midweek and is likely to stick with it when his side travel to Nottingham Forest, with Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling on the wings.