The English Premier League enters its busiest period on Boxing Day with teams scheduled to play three matches in barely seven days.
It’s an arrangement that irritates new managers in the league because of the exertions of fatigue plus wear and tear on the players.
Already Jurgen Klopp has vented his disenchantment because, after playing against Stoke on Tuesday December 27, they are in action again on December 31 and January 2 against Man City and Sunderland. The last two coming barely 48 hours one after another.
Liverpool enter the festive period at a lofty second position with 37 points. Their defence has seemed shaky lately but the return of Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet seems to have worked wonders so far. I expect them to drop points though in the festive season, especially against Man City.
Leaders Chelsea on 43 points have a favourable festive season scheduling than any other team as they have seven resting days between their three matches.
They start on Boxing Day against Bournemouth, then Stoke City on the 31st before winding up against Tottenham on January 4. I doubt they will drop points given their current run of 11 consecutive wins scoring 24 goals and conceding only two.
Statistics show that a team on top during Christmas has a 50 percent advantage of winning the league. Chelsea look more and more convincing as potential league winners.
Skysports has singled out N’golo Kante as the player with the magic. He has an enviable record as the player with the best winning ratio than any current EPL player. He has won 37 out of 54 Premier League games he has featured, representing a 68.5 winning percentage.
It will be difficult to stop Chelsea with rumours that they will scoop James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as replacement for China bound Oscar.
I worry for Arsenal a lot as back-to-back losses to Everton and Man City have once again exposed their traditional soft underbelly. Wenger, instead of picking on his players for complacency, dwelt on the referee for allowing City’s alleged off-side goals to stand.
Arsenal festive season fiesta start against West Brom on Boxing Day, then Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day before travelling to Bournemouth on January 3. On paper, they look like easy matches but West Brom and Bournemouth have conditioned themselves well this season to warrant top 10 finish in the first round.
The injury to Skrodan Mustafi has opened up Arsenal’s defence because without him they have lost two matches. Arsenal fans have their heart’s in the mouth fearing the worst that probably the gods are conspiring to slap them in the face again for the 13th time.
I am a devout Man United fan but one cannot fail to feel for Arsenal, jokes aside. I hope things turn out well for them. As for my United all is well as we are on a winning run of three matches which I hope will stretch to Chelsea’s double figures.
The Premier League has no easy fixtures but I feel our matches are winnable. We start against Sunderland on Boxing Day then Middlesbrough on 31st before playing West Ham on January 2.
I hope David Moyes will not seek revenge for being fired at United and inflict a defeat on us. Otherwise I wish you all the best during this festive period. Merry Christmas and happy New Year everyone. n