WEST HAM UNITED VS ASTON VILLA
December 26, 2015 (Villa Park): Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham
- There have been just five goals scored in the last five Barclays Premier League meetings between West Ham United and Aston Villa
- Aston Villa managed eight shots on target against West Ham in the reverse fixture back on Boxing Day, the most they have managed in a Barclays Premier League match this season
- West Bromwich Albion had the same points tally after 23 fixtures in 2004/05 as Aston Villa do now (13) and they managed to avoid relegation
- West Ham have seen 14 of their players score a Barclays Premier League goal this season, a joint league-high with Chelsea
- Nikica Jelavic has scored in three of his five PL appearances against Aston Villa, including the last two
Andy Carroll is nursing a hamstring complaint and Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini battling muscular strains. James Tomkins will miss the match having received stitches in a facial injury sustained during Saturday’s 0-0 FA Cup draw at Liverpool, although Bilic is hopeful Cheikhou Kouyate can overcome a knock then ended his afternoon early at Anfield. West Ham are also set to make a late call on their starting goalkeeper after Darren Randolph deputised in the cup tie for Adrian, who travelled to Seville for the birth of his first child.
Libor Kozak and Rudy Gestede could be available for contention after recovering from injuries.
West Ham XI: Adrian; Byram, Reid, Collins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Song; Payet, Valencia, Moses
Aston Villa XI: Bunn; Richards, Okore, Clark, Cissokho; Bacuna, Gueye, Grealish; Gil, Ayew, Sinclair
PREDICTION: West Ham WIN
LEICESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL
December 26, 2015 (Anfield): Liverpool 1-0 Leicester City
- On the day of this fixture, Leicester City will have spent 43 days at the top of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League table – only Manchester City (100 days) have been top for longer this season
- The last 11 teams to be top of the Barclays Premier League at the turn of February have gone on to win the title that season
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven Barclays Premier League matches against the Foxes (W5 D2)
- The Reds have lost only one of their last five away encounters against Leicester in the Barclays Premier League (W2 D2 L1)
- The Foxes have made 37.5% of their passes in the final third of the pitch this season; a PL high
Jeffrey Schlupp (hamstring) remains Leicester’s only major injury concern, but Liverpool are still struggling with a number of problems, with Daniel Sturridge still not deemed fit and Martin Srktel (hamstring) and Divock Origi (knee) unlikely to have recovered.
Philippe Coutinho (hamstring) and Jordan Henderson (heel) could be available should they come through training unscathed, while Nathaniel Clyne is set to continue in the side having managed the full 90 minutes against West Ham.
Leicester XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kanté, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy
Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Lucas; Milner, Firmino, Lallana
PREDICTION: Liverpool WIN
SUNDERLAND VS MANCHESTER CITY
December 26, 2015 (Etihad Stadium): Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland
- Sunderland have won five Barclays Premier League home matches against Manchester City – only versus Stoke City (6) have they won more often
- Man City’s 4-1 win at the Stadium of Light last season ended a run of four consecutive 0-1 away defeats against Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League
- Jermain Defoe has scored 30% of his shots (excl. blocked) in the current Barclays Premier League campaign (9/30); double his ratio in 2014/15 (15% – 4/26)
- These two clubs have made the most changes to their starting XI in the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season so far (60 changes each)
- Sergio Aguero has scored 11 goals in his last nine PL appearances, including four goals in his last two games
Pellegrini still has issues to address on the injury front in the form of captain Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov, Wilfried Bony (all calf) and Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring).
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce could hand debuts to new recruits Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri in defence and midfield respectively.
Sunderland XI: Mannone; Jones, O’Shea, Kone, Van Aanholt; M’Vila, Cattermole; Khaziri, Lens, Johnson; Defoe
Manchester City XI: Hart; Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernando, Fernandinho; Silva, Toure, Sterling; Aguero
PREDICTION: Manchester City WIN
ARSENAL VS SOUTHAMPTON
December 26, 2015 (St Marys Stadium): Southampton 4-0 Arsenal
- Arsene Wenger has come up against Ronald Koeman on 10 occasions as Arsenal manager, winning only two of those matches (D4 L4)
- Southampton have won just one of their last 21 away trips to Arsenal (W1 D5 L15)
- The Saints have won three and lost just one of the last five matches against The Gunners in all competitions (D1)
- Arsenal have scored in the last five minutes in each of their last five Barclays Premier League home matches against Southampton.
- Charlie Austin has scored in each of his two PL appearances against Arsenal, but both came in 1-2 defeats
Southampton had the weekend off due to their FA Cup third-round exit and Koeman may have Steven Davis available after shaking off a knock, although long-term absentees Florin Gardos (knee) and Jay Rodriguez (foot) remain out.
Midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin returned from respective knee injuries at the weekend, while Wenger was suitably impressed by January signing Mohamed Elneny’s full debut after joining from Basel.
Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Southampton XI: Forster; Cedric, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Wanyama, Clasie; Tadic, Mane, Targett; Austin
PREDICTION: Arsenal WIN
NORWICH CITY VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
December 26, 2015 (White Hart Lane): Tottenham 3-0 Norwich City
- Norwich City have scored just five goals in their last 11 top-flight matches against Tottenham Hotspur
- Spurs have won eight and lost only three of their 15 Barclays Premier League meetings with Norwich (D4)
- Norwich have only failed to score in one of their 11 league fixtures at Carrow Road this season
- Dele Alli has had a hand in nine goals in his last 12 Barclays Premier League matches for Spurs (five goals, four assists)
- The Canaries have conceded the most goals from opposition counter attacks this season in the PL (4)
Norwich enjoyed an extended rest this weekend due to their absence from the FA Cup fourth round and could welcome back midfielder Alex Tettey from illness
Gary O’Neil remains suspended while Jan Vertonghen (knee), Ryan Mason (ankle) and Clinton N’Jie (knee) are all expected to miss out for Spurs, who are five points off league leaders Leicester City in fourth
Norwich XI: Rudd; Pinto, Martin, Klose, Brady; Redmond, Tettey, Howson, Hoolahan; Naismith; Mbokani
Spurs XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Son, Eriksen, Alli; Kane
PREDICTION: Tottenham WIN
CRYSTAL PALACE VS BOURNEMOUTH
December 26, 2015 (Goldsands Stadium): Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace have picked up only one point in their last three league meetings with AFC Bournemouth (W0 D1 L2)
- This will be AFC Bournemouth’s first visit to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park since March 1989 when they went home with a 3-2 win
- Emmanuel Adebayor has scored on his Barclays Premier League debut for all three of his previous clubs in the competition – Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur
- AFC Bournemouth have lost just one of their last six Barclays Premier League away matches (W2 D3 L1)
- The Eagles have averaged more points per game away from home under Alan Pardew (1.84) than they have at Selhurst Park (1.23)
Junior Stanislas (medial ligament) is a major doubt for the Cherries, while Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings and Callum Wilson (all knee) are all long-term absentees.
Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Souare, Delaney, Dann, Ward; Puncheon, Ledley, Cabaye, Zaha; McArthur, Wickham
Bournemouth XI: Boruc; Daniels, Cook, Francis, Smith; Surman; Arter, Gosling; Pugh, Stanislas; Afobe
MANCHESTER UNITED VS STOKE
December 26, 2015 (Britannia Stadium): Stoke 2-0 Manchester United
- Manchester United have defeated Stoke City 11 times in the Barclays Premier League, only Chelsea have won against the Potters as often (also 11)
- Stoke City have lost all seven Barclays Premier League matches at Old Trafford against the Red Devils
- The Red Devils have scored 32 goals in the Barclays Premier League meetings with Stoke; more than any other team has managed versus the Potters
- This will be Mark Hughes’ 100th Barclays Premier League fixture in charge of Stoke – he has a record of W37 D26 L36 so far
- Louis van Gaal (49.2) has a lower Pl win ratio as Manchester United manager than David Moyes (50%)
United hope to have Bastian Schweinsteiger back from knee trouble and Matteo Darmian is recovering well from a heavy collision against Southampton, but Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia (both ankle), Ashley Young (groin), Luke Shaw (leg fracture) and Marcos Rojo (shoulder) are out.
Stoke’s hopes of recording a first league win at Old Trafford were dealt a blow when Marc Wilson suffered a knee injury, which Hughes fears could keep him sidelined for some weeks.
With captain Ryan Shawcross (back) and Charlie Adam (calf) out, and doubts over Marko Arnautovic (back) and Geoff Cameron (ankle), Hughes’ hopes of ending an eight-game losing streak away to his old club appear to be slim, despite United’s own problems.
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Depay, Mata, Martial; Rooney
Stoke XI: Butland; Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, Ireland; Arnautovic, Bojan, Shaqiri; Joselu
PREDICTION: Manchester United WIN
WEST BROMWICH ALBION VS SWANSEA CITY
December 26, 2015 (Liberty Stadium): Swansea 1-0 West Brom
- None of the nine Barclays Premier League meetings between Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion have ended as draws (Swansea: six wins, West Brom: three wins)
- Nine of the 16 goals that Swansea have scored in the Barclays Premier League against West Brom have come in the opening 25 minutes of the match (56%)
- The Baggies have lost only one of their last six Barclays Premier League fixtures at the Hawthorns (W3 D2 L1)
- Swansea have won their last two Barclays Premier League matches and will be looking for three wins in a row for the first time since May in the competition
- West Brom are the only side yet to score a goal in the opening 15 minutes of a PL game this season
Swansea have no major injury concerns ahead of Tuesday’s contest and will fancy their chances of getting another good result, having won six of their previous nine matches against West Brom and recorded a 1-0 victory in this season’s reverse fixture.
West Brom will have to make do without the services of Callum McManaman on Tuesday due to an ankle injury, while James Morrison is unavailable as well, with Chris Brunt (calf) and Darren Fletcher (knee) both doubtful.
West Brom XI: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Evans; Fletcher, Yacob, Sandro; Sessegnon, Berahino, McClean
Swansea XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Williams, Fernandez, Taylor; Britton, Sigurdsson, Cork; Ayew, Paloschi, Routledge
WATFORD VS CHELSEA
December 26, 2015 (Stamford Bridge): Chelsea 2-2 Watford
- Six Watford players have appeared in every single one of their 23 Barclays Premier League matches this season; more than any other club ( Craig Cathcart, Odion Ighalo, Heurelho Gomes, Allan Nyom, Troy Deeney & Etienne Capoue)
- The Hornets’ 32 point tally after 23 fixtures this season is the best at this stage of a season by a newly-promoted club since Birmingham City (34) in 2009/10
- Chelsea have won seven and lost none of the last nine encounters against Watford in all competitions (D2)
- The Blues scored with their only two shots on target in the 2-2 home draw with Watford back on Boxing Day
- Watford’s 32 point tally after 23 games this season is the best at this stage of a season by a newly promoted side since Birmingham City (34) in 2009/10
Watford have no new injury worries coming into this one. Lloyd Doyley is the only player out injured and so Quique Sanchez Flores will be able to pick what he thinks is the strongest possible side to go out and beat Chelsea for this one.
Chelsea will be sweating over the fitness of Willian, as the winger is a doubt with a foot injury. Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao are both likely to remain out so Diego Costa will need to lead the attack effectively once again. John Obi Mikel is likely to remain in the side after impressing since Hiddink took control.
Watford XI: Gomes; Ake, Britos, Cathcart, Paredes; Behrami, Juardo, Watson, Capoue; Deeney, Ighalo
Chelsea XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic; Matic, Willan, Mikel; Hazard, Fabregas; Costa
EVERTON VS NEWCASTLE UNITED
December 26, 2015 (St James Park) Newcastle 0-1 Everton
- Everton have lost only one of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Newcastle United (W6 D1 L1)
- Newcastle have failed to score in three of their last four Barclays Premier League meetings with Everton
- Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals and assisted four more in seven Barclays Premier League appearances against Newcastle
- Ross Barkley could make his 100th Barclays Premier League appearance in this match and would be the second youngest player to make 100 PL apps for Everton after Michael Ball (22y 60d old on match date)
- Only Aston Villa (8) have won fewer points from their last 10 PL games than Everton (9)
Team news to follow
Everton XI: Howard; Baines, Funes Mori, Stones, Coleman; Cleverley, Barry, Barkely; Mirallas, Deulofeu; Lukaku
Newcastle XI: Elliot; Mbemba, Coloccini, Lascelles; Aarons, Saviet, SHelvey, Janmaat; Wijnaldum, Sissoko; Mitrovic
PREDICTION: Everton WIN