So, more covid woes. What the heck is this thing up to?! Surely it’s threatening the fluidity of the whole season now, yeah?
Well, it’s back happening, but amidst the plethora of postponements, we yet have a number of games to look forward to on Boxing Day. Yes, it’s almost another Boxing Day! As we pass around the gift boxes, and just when I was finished typing a cracker was on the cards in Lancashire, how terrible could things get in the Premier League?
Manchester City v Leicester City
Nevertheless, it is a big one in Manchester, and I say ‘big one’ because I sense Leicester up against this rampant Citizens side will more than want to end their Boxing Day hoo-doo.
Pep’s City’s looking so unplayable at the moment, just as always, you say. Maybe, just maybe Leicester still have some fight left in them after the midweek cup loss, and luckily Bernado Silva doesn’t come to the party. The Foxes fans do not have fond memories of Boxing Days, but I expect them to pull off a big surprise because Etihad’s old boy Kelechi Iheanacho will pop up with some performance, and a goal even to hand the visitors a morale-boosting victory.
Manchester City 1-3 Leicester City
Norwich v Arsenal
Okay, I know these are meant to be terrible tips, but I agree I went slightly over the top by predicting Leeds to get the better of Arsenal last week. To think I meant that.
Norwich are bottom of the league, and Dean Smith and his team aren’t going to have it any easy even after 12 days of the covid-enforced break. Thus, I simply cannot afford to be even sarcastic because I frankly do not see the Canaries winning any game at the moment, let alone against this very enterprising Arsenal side.
Norwich 0-3 Arsenal
Tottenham v Crystal Palace
A derby of some sorts breaks out here, and all I can say is that things surely will get heated up in North London. Antonio Conte’s been roaring his head off and so far, so good, he’s worked his magic.
And while Connor Gallagher has been all hair and flair, Palace have had a largely erratic season. Surely, you reckon it is a surprise they are not even in the top half heading into Christmas after they beat Manchester City mid-November. Should be plenty of goals in this one nonetheless, given the number of talents on show.
Tottenham 4-2 Crystal Palace
West Ham v Southampton
Southampton head to East London looking to arrest a very poor run, and thankfully for Ralph Hasenhüttl, West Ham on their part, are beginning to stutter lately, so there you have it — a game of who wants it more.
I think West Ham have all it takes to win this and keep the hunt for the Champions League alive, but Southampton are a kill-joy and might just get something from here, if only they don’t bottle a first-half lead like they always do in this fixture.
West Ham 1-1 Southampton
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Is it high time Chelsea quit crying foul about not getting the postponements and just play it? Well, it doesn’t get any peasy either when you turn up at Villa Park these days, with a certain taskmaster Stevie G at the helm of affairs.
Aston Villa were meant to take on Burnley last weekend but saw the game called off, and so have not played since they down Norwich. Chelsea then took time before eventually seeing off a stubborn Brentford in the League Cup on Wednesday and I dare to say it, that this game could be the most interesting of Sunday’s Premier League fixtures.
I think Villa will give them a run, but Chelsea desperately need to stay in the title race, or at least pretend to for as much as they can so just might nick it.
Aston Villa 2-3 Chelsea
Brighton v Brentford
So one for the neutrals to wrap it up here as Brentford make the short trip to East Sussex. I do not think particularly high of either of these sides, and they are not even separated on the standings just yet.
Perhaps Brentford might be feeling the exertions from the duel with Chelsea midweek, and if so would hold on long enough till Leandro Trossard pings in a very inviting ball and Neal Maupay pops up at the near post to stab home and lift the mood of the home faithfuls for the very first time in a long, long while. If not, then I can almost guarantee you a barren draw on Sunday evening.
Brighton 0-0 Brentford