Premier League predictions: Gameweek 17
After six weeks off for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returns on Boxing Day!
All 20 clubs signed off for domestic duty in the middle of November but all will be in action in the three days that follow Christmas.
Monday 26 December
Brentford vs Tottenham
The first game to kick-off the Boxing Day action sees Tottenham make the trip from north to west London to Brentford. Even in defeat, Spurs won't fall out of the top four here unless there is a huge goal difference swing with Manchester United, but the margins are tight.
Prediction: Brentford 1-2 Tottenham
Crystal Palace vs Fulham
The all-London clash between Crystal Palace and Fulham could be one of the most entertaining contests of the post-Christmas fixture list. Both are doing well this season, Fulham in particular, although they did each go into the World Cup break off the back of a defeat.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 3-2 Fulham
Everton vs Wolves
What both Everton and Wolves have lacked this season is goals, so don't expect that to change in this one. Between them, these struggling sides have found the net just 19 times in 30 games. There are several defensively worse teams about, but failing to score is never good.
Prediction: Everton 0-0 Wolves
Leicester vs Newcastle
Newcastle and Leicester were two of the Premier League's form teams before the World Cup break set in. The Magpies in particular had surged into third place in the table by virtue of five back-to-back wins in a wider run of taking 22 points from the last 24 available to them.
Prediction: Leicester 0-2 Newcastle
Southampton vs Brighton
Brighton put together successive wins against Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal across all competitions as October turned into November. That came to an end with defeat to Aston Villa in their last league outing, but the Seagulls should have enough to edge this south coast clash.
Prediction: Southampton 0-1 Brighton
Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Things are still not great for Liverpool right now and Aston Villa will hope to take advantage of that. The Red have a sizeable injury list and are dealing with an outbreak of seasonal illness in the squad, although will hope to at least have Virgil van Dijk back on Monday evening.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Liverpool
Arsenal vs West Ham
Arsenal haven't mounted a serious Premier League title challenge since the 2007/08 campaign and yet a charge in 2022/23 becomes more plausible with each passing game. The Gunners could go eight points clear of Manchester City, at least temporarily, if they win this London derby at home.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
Tuesday 27 December
Chelsea vs Bournemouth
The World Cup break came at a good time for Chelsea. Graham Potter's side lost three consecutive Premier League games against Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle going into the mid-season pause and are desperate for points after slipping to eighth place in the table.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth
Man Utd vs Nottingham Forest
The last time Manchester United faced Nottingham Forest it was 1999. The game finished 8-1 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four goals as a substitute. It is unlikely to be a repeat of that this time, but Erik ten Hag's team will be hoping to make a strong return to Premier League action all the same.
Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Wednesday 28 December
Leeds vs Man City
If Arsenal win against West Ham on Boxing Day as expected, Manchester City will go into their game against Leeds two days later eight points adrift of the leaders. That will put the pressure on Pep Guardiola's side to secure victory themselves, with Erling Haaland facing his hometown team.
Prediction: Leeds 1-3 Man City
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