After the conclusion of the biggest sporting tournament on planet Earth, it's time for the No. 1 league in the world, English Premier League. EPL will resume on boxing day and is the first league from European Top 5 to start after the World Cup. Fans saw their players in the mega event representing their nations and now want them to resume playing for their clubs as soon as possible.
A few exciting fixtures are waiting to take place on boxing day. Let's take a look at those :
Brentford vs Tottenham:
10th-ranked Brentford will face Antonio Conte's spurs in the first EPL game after the World Cup. This is the fourth time both sides will take on each other, with the spurs winning two and drawing one.
Talking about Brentford first, they sit 10th at the table with 19 points in 15 games (W4D7L4) and would like to change things around after the long break. They will go all in to snatch all three points, which can see them moving up to the 7th at the table, but it won't be easy for them as they haven't kept a clean sheet in the last eight matches and haven't won at home in their previous four games.
Ahead of this game, they have several injury concerns as well, like Hickey and Strakosha are out due to an Ankle problem, Ajer has a knee injury, and Jansson is out due to a hamstring injury. At the same time, Batiste won't be able to play due to a muscle injury.
On the other hand, Antonio Conte will welcome his World Cup winner defender Cristian Romero. He will expect him to keep playing like that as they resume their league campaign against Brentford on boxing day. They currently sit fourth at the table with 29 points in 15 games (W9D2L4) and can move up to the third, leaving behind Newcastle United.
However, they'll be without the services of a few of their players, like Davies, who picked up a knock and is doubtful to play. Richarlison is out due to a hamstring problem and won't be available till late January. Moreover, Bentancur and Sessegnon are also out due to muscle problems.
However, they still have a good squad and will enter the field as favourites to take all three points.
Southampton vs Brighton:
Southampton will play against Brighton after the long break. Both teams have met each other 16 times, with Southampton winning 7, drawing 7, and losing two.
Talking about Brighton first, they currently sit seventh at the table with 21 points in 14 games (W6D3L5) and would like to add three points to their tally when they face Southampton. Though their previous record against them isn't good, they would go all in once again. But to take all three points, they'll have to improve their defence which has failed to keep a clean sheet in the last six games.
Moreover, they won't have the services of Larios and Livramento, who are out due to Muscle injury and Cruciate ligament injury.
On the other hand, Southampton sits 19th at the table with 12 points in 15 games (W3D3L9) and would like to change things around when they face Brighton after a long break due to the World Cup.
However, their defenders would have to do better, as they haven't kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last games. Moreover, they will be without Webster and Welbeck, as both players picked knock while Moder is out due to the Cruciate Ligament Injury.
Leicester City vs Newcastle:
Branden Rodgers' side will face third-ranked Newcastle United. Both teams will take on each other for the 17th time. Out of the previous 16 meetings, Leicester City has won 10, drew 1, and lost six.
Talking about Newcastle United, they've defied all the odds so far as they sit third at the table with 30 points in 15 games (W8D6L1) and would like to keep their brilliant run continue when they play against Leicester City after the league resumes after a long break. They will be looking at their defence once again to show a stellar performance, as they're the side with the most clean sheets (7) in the season so far.
However, most of their players won't be available who are out due to different injuries. Isak is out due to a muscle injury, Saint-Maximin picked a Knock, Krafth suffered a Ligament Injury, Schar is out due to a Cold, Joelinton injured his Thigh, and Dummett is out due to a Calf injury.
On the other hand, Leicester City didn't start the season well but gradually improved and now sit thirteenth at the table with 17 points in 15 games (W5D2L8) and would like to go higher at the table by adding three points to their tally when they face Newcastle.
However, like their opponent, they'll also be without a few of their players. Bertrand suffered a knee injury, Evans is out due to a Muscle injury, Pereira won't be able to play due to Achilles Tendon Injury, and Justin suffered Achilles Tendon Injury.
A result is highly expected between these sides as the last 16 games haven't drawn.
Crystal Palace vs Fulham:
Another match on the boxing day will be played between Crystal Palace and Fulham. Both teams will face each other for 9th time, with Crystal Palace winning 3, drawing 3, and losing two.
Talking about Crystal Palace first, they currently sit eleventh at the table with 19 points in 14 games (W5D4L5) and would like to go higher by taking all three points when they face Fulham after a long break. They will be once looking at their shot-stopper Bernd Leno who is ranked first in saves per match in the competition (4.5).
However, they have a few injury concerns ahead of this game as Richards is out due to a hamstring injury, Butland won't be available due to a Broken Wrist, and McArthur is out with a hip injury. At the same time, Ferguson is absent due to a muscle injury.
On the other hand, Fulham has done great this season as they sit ninth at the table with nineteen points in fifteen games (W5D4L6) and would like to continue their form before the break as they face Crystal Palace after the World Cup break.
However, like their opponent, they also will be without the services of Solomon and Kebano, who are out due to knee injury and Achilles tendon injury, respectively.
Everton vs Wolves:
17th-ranked Everton will face the bottom-of-the-table Wolves. Both teams have met 12 times before, with the toffees winning 5, drawing 3, and losing 4.
Talking about Everton first, they currently sit just above the relegation zone with fourteen points in fifteen games (W3D5L7) and would like to turn things around after the long break.
Ahead of this game, they have a long list of injured players like Townsend (cruciate Ligament), Godfrey (Ankle), Calvert-Lewin (hamstring), Garner (back), Holgate (knee),
Mina (hamstring) is out and won't be available to participate.
On the other hand, the Wolves sit at the bottom of the table as they have managed to secure just 10 points in 15 games (W2D4L9). However, the good thing for them is they've won their previous two meetings against this opponent.
Just like their opponent, they do have many injured players in the squad who won't feature in the fixture; Jonny is out due to a hamstring problem, Traore and Neto picked knocks, while Chiquinho and Kalajdzic are out due to cruciate Ligament injuries.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool:
Unai Emery's Aston Villa will face Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool. Both teams have faced each other 21 times, with the reds winning 13, drawing two, and losing six.
Talking about the reds first, they started the season in the worst way possible but gradually improved and now sit sixth at the table with 22 points in 14 games (W6D4L4). They have won their previous four games against this opponent and would like to extend that streak.
Going to this match, Jurgen Klopp won't have the services available of Arthur (Thigh), Jota (Calf), and Diaz (knee).
On the other hand, Aston Villa sits 12th at the table with 18 points in 15 games (W5DL7) and would like to add three more points to their tally when they face the reds, an opponent they have lost their previous four games.
Unai Emery will be without the services of Carlos and Coutinho, who are out due to Achilles tendon and thigh injuries, respectively.