Four Crucial Premier League Fixtures Before Festive Period

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With the international break ongoing, now is an ideal time to take a look at the Premier League campaign thus far. There have been several surprises already this season – most notably from teams who play their home games in blue – Leicester City and Chelsea. Who would have envisaged that former Stamford Bridge boss, Claudio Ranieri having his new charges in such a lofty position in early November, while the current Premier League champions – and pre-season title favourites Chelsea – are languishing inside the bottom six!

It is a well-used cliché, but there are no easy games for any team in the top flight of English football, and with around six weeks until Father Christmas arrives, here we will look at four games that could have major implications on title aspirations, easing relegation fears, hopes for European places or even avoiding the managerial axe over the coming months.

Chelsea vs. Norwich, Saturday 21st November, 15:00 GMT kick-off.

Make no mistake, this is a vital game for Chelsea – and in particular, boss Jose Mourinho. After seven defeats in just 12 league outings this season, the Portuguese manager has to be under severe pressure from the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to return his team back towards the upper echelons of the Premier League. An indication of Chelsea’s slump is that new-boys, Norwich City are currently sat one place and one point above the Blues in the league standings. With respect to Alex Neill and his team though, this is a game that Chelsea should win – and with something to spare. However, if the Canaries manage to get anything from Stamford Bridge this Saturday, then the knives will surely be sharpened further for Mourinho’s axing.

Leicester City vs. Manchester United, Saturday 28th November, 17:30 GMT kick-off.

Last season’s fixture between the two teams at the King Power Stadium saw eight goals, and quite frankly, one of the most bizarre games in Premier League history. United led 3-1 with around thirty minutes left, but the Foxes stormed back with four goals and along with United defender Tyler Blackett’s dismissal they achieved an amazing comeback. During that campaign, Leicester spent time at foot of the Premier League table, but this season has seen new manager Claudio Ranieri transform his team from strugglers, to European place contenders at least. United’s arrival will be a stern test though, and this game will help to give a solid bearing on Leicester’s hopes for the months ahead. Louis van Gaal’s team must keep Premier League top-scorer Jamie Vardy in check if they are to prevail in this fixture.

Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa, Saturday 19th December, 17:30 GMT kick-off.

Whilst there are still four games and 12 points to play for before these two sleeping giants of English football take the pitch, this game can be classified as a relegation battle with both teams currently sitting inside the bottom four. Newcastle are in the slightly better position of being fourth bottom, and can take comfort from their most recent 1-0 win at Bournemouth. Aston Villa recently sacked Tim Sherwood, and replaced him with Frenchman Remi Garde who oversaw his new team battle for a 0-0 draw against league leaders Manchester City. This fixture is likely to be very important for both teams, and whoever comes out on top will give their fans some extra cheer before the festive period.

Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Monday 21st December, 20:00 GMT kick-off.

The final game of the Premier League campaign before Santa shows up sees a title clash between two heavyweights at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal and City are currently locked on 26 points after their opening 12 games, and it is likely that this fixture will be as tight as the league table suggests. Both teams are beset with injuries at present – most notably Arsenal – who are missing the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin, while City are missing their goal scoring talisman, Sergio Aguero. Hopefully most of these players will be available for this fixture to give fans and viewers alike a feast of football until the Premier League returns on Boxing Day.

2 Responses to “Four Crucial Premier League Fixtures Before Festive Period”

  1. Well done – only two errors in the paragraph about Leicester. – 1) United were 3-1 up after 57 minutes – so that’s 33 (plus injury time) left. 2) Leicester were not at the foot of the table “at that time” – they’d actually made a good start including a close draw with Arsenal – it was after the United game that the descent to the bottom began.

  2. Hi Andrew sorry for the inaccuracies, I know from previous experience that Leicester City fans are extremely knowledgeable about everything to do with the Foxes.

    I’ve changed those lines.

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