Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stunning return in front of goal and Alexis Sanchez’s brilliant form for Arsenal are highlighted in the Premier League stats ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.
Watford v Crystal Palace
Monday 26 December 2016 (12:30)
Vicarage Road, Watford
- Watford lost two of their three meetings against Crystal Palace last season, including a 0-1 defeat at Vicarage Road in the league.
- Palace have played Watford twice before on Boxing Day in their history, winning 2-0 in 1949 but losing by the same scoreline in 1952.
- Crystal Palace have won twice in seven previous Premier League games on Boxing Day – versus Wimbledon in 1992 and Aston Villa in 2013 (D3 L2).
- The Hornets haven’t won a top-flight league game on Boxing Day since 1986, where they beat rivals Luton Town 2-0.
- Troy Deeney scored all three of Watford’s competitive goals against Crystal Palace last season.
- Deeney is currently on a run of 10 appearances without a goal for Watford. He hasn’t gone 11 successive apps without a goal (in all comps) for the Hornets since October 2011.
- Crystal Palace have won only six league games in 2016 – this is their joint-lowest tally of league wins in a single calendar year (in the Football League system), level with 1962 and 1973.
- The Eagles have the lowest points per game average of any Premier League or Football League side in 2016 (0.72).
- Alan Pardew has overseen 22 defeats in the Premier League in 2016. Only three managers have suffered 23+ in a single year: Ian Branfoot (25 defeats in 1993), Owen Coyle (25 defeats in 2011) and John Lyall (23 defeats in 1994).
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
Emirates Stadium, London
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games against West Brom, winning eight of them (D2).
- The Baggies’ only away Premier League win versus Arsenal came in September 2010, as they ran out 3-2 winners at the Emirates (D1 L8).
- The Gunners’ 4-0 defeat to Southampton last season was their heaviest defeat on Boxing Day since 1910 against Manchester United.
- The last time West Brom played Arsenal on Boxing Day was in 2002 – going 1-0 up before losing 2-1 to the Gunners.
- West Brom have lost two consecutive league games played on December 26th; they’ve not three Boxing Day fixtures in a row since 1987.
- Arsenal are the only team to have lost three Premier League matches that they have been leading in so far this season. In 2015-16, they only lost twice in this manner all season.
- The Gunners have lost their last two Premier League games (vs Everton and Man City) – they haven’t lost three successive Premier League matches since January 2012. This is also the last time that they lost as many as three league games in the same month.
- West Brom have won two and lost two of their four games so far in December. The Baggies haven’t won three Premier League matches in the same month since November 2012 (4).
- Matt Phillips has had a hand in seven goals in his last seven Premier League appearances (three goals, four assists).
- Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 18 goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season (12 goals, 6 assists); one more than he managed in 30 league appearances last season (17 – 13 goals, 4 assists).
Burnley v Middlesbrough
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
Turf Moor, Burnley
- Burnley are winless in their last six league games against Middlesbrough, failing to score in four of those contests (D2 L4).
- Boro have lost just one of their last seven visits to Turf Moor in the league (W3 D3).
- This will be the first time Burnley and Middlesbrough will play each other in the top-flight since 1976.
- Burnley have failed to score in their last three Boxing Day games, one of which was against Boro in 2013 (L3).
- Middlesbrough have won their last five Boxing Day clashes without conceding a single goal.
- This fixture pits the two sides with the fewest number of shots attempted in the Premier League so far in 2016-17: Middlesbrough (156) & Burnley (157).
- Burnley have also allowed their opponents a division-high 111 shots on target in the Premier League so far this season.
- Burnley have won a higher proportion of their points at home this season than any other side in the Premier League or Football League (94% – 16 of 17).
- No side has failed to score in more Premier League games this season than Burnley (8 – level with Hull City).
- Middlesbrough won their last game 3-0 versus Swansea City – they haven’t won successive Premier League games within the same season since May 2008.
Our festive Premier League betting preview is live for our friends at Betsafe, and there are also tips from Harry Redknapp.
Chelsea v Bournemouth
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
Stamford Bridge, London
- Chelsea have won five of their previous seven games in all competitions against Bournemouth, losing the other two.
- However, the Cherries did beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season 1-0, thanks to a goal from Glenn Murray.
- Chelsea haven’t lost a league game on Boxing Day since being beaten by Charlton 4-2 in 2003 (W6 D5 L0 since).
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in each of their last six league games played on December 26th (W4 D2 L0) and they have only conceded one goal in these games.
- If Chelsea win this match, they’ll set an outright club top-flight record of 12 successive league wins, beating a run of 11 wins set in September 2009.
- The overall top-flight record for consecutive wins is 14; set by Arsenal in between February and August 2002.
- Chelsea are top of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the fifth time. They have won the league title on each of the four previous occasions they have topped the Premier League at Xmas (2014-15, 2009-10, 2005-06 & 2004-05).
- Diego Costa will be missing this game through suspension. The Spaniard has had a hand in 18 of Chelsea’s 35 Premier League goals this season (51% – 13 goals, 5 assists).
- Antonio Conte (14) has two more Premier League wins as a manager in 2016 than Eddie Howe (12), despite taking charge of more than half the number of matches (17 vs 36).
- This is the highest league position that Bournemouth have ever been in the English league system at Christmas (10th).
Leicester City v Everton
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
King Power Stadium, Leicester
- Leicester did the double over Everton last season on their way to the title, the first time they had done that since 1985/86.
- However, these are Everton’s only defeats to Leicester in 13 league games (W2 D9).
- The Foxes haven’t won a Premier League Boxing Day match since beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in 1998 (D1 L5).
- Everton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games on Boxing Day, scoring exactly one goal in each match (W2 D2 L0).
- Leicester City have won just 17 points from their 17 games this season – that’s less than half the tally they had at this stage in their title-winning 2015-16 campaign (38 points).
- The Foxes have conceded a goal in each of their last 10 Premier League games – only bottom of the league side Hull are on a longer run without a clean sheet in the competition (15 games without one).
- Everton have lost four successive Premier League away games – they haven’t lost five in a row on the road since January 2015.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored six of Everton’s nine Premier League away goals this season (67%) and has also attempted 42% of their shots on target on the road (14/33).
- Everton have lost just two of their last 13 Premier League games against a reigning champion (W6 D5 L2).
- However, the only previous occasions that Everton have defeated the reigning Premier League champions away from home in the competition were in March 1996 versus Blackburn Rovers and December 2013 at Manchester United.
Manchester United v Sunderland
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
Old Trafford, Manchester
- Manchester United have lost just one of their last 24 top-flight home games against the Black Cats, in May 2014 (W16 D7).
- Sunderland haven’t beaten Manchester United in successive top-flight games since 1951 (three in a row).
- Manchester United have won more Premier League games on Boxing Day than any other team (18).
- Jermain Defoe has scored six times on Boxing Day in the Premier League, more than any current player in the division. The record scorer on Boxing Day in Premier League history is Robbie Fowler (9).
- This will be the third time in their last 10 Premier League Boxing Day matches that the Black Cats have faced Manchester United; losing to twice against them in 2007 (0-4) and 2010 (0-2).
- Since the start of November, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored seven goals from just eight shots on target in the Premier League.
- Ibrahimovic has scored 40 goals in the month of December within the ‘big five’ European Leagues since he joined Juventus in 2004-05; his best goal tally in a single month.
- Manchester United are 6th place in the Premier League table at Christmas – only the second time in the Premier League era that they are outside the top five on this date after 2013-14 (8th).
- Since 2014-15 in the Premier League, Man Utd have won 64% of the 44 matches that Michael Carrick has started, compared to 39% of the 49 games that he hasn’t.
- David Moyes managed to win 50% of his games in the Premier League as Manchester United manager, a higher ratio than Jose Mourinho at the club so far (47%).
Swansea City v West Ham United
Monday 26 December 2016 (15:00)
Liberty Stadium, Swansea
- Swansea beat West Ham 4-1 in May, their only win in their last seven Premier League fixtures against the Hammers (D3 L3).
- West Ham have taken a point in their last three visits to Liberty Stadium in the Premier League, but haven’t won there since April 1983.
- Swansea City have won consecutive Boxing Day fixtures for the first time since 2007, beating Aston Villa in 2014 and West Brom in 2015 – both by 1-0 scorelines.
- This will be the third occasion that Swansea and West Ham will play each other on Boxing Day; with the Hammers unbeaten in both previous clashes (winning 3-0 in 1949 and drawing 1-1 in 1933).
- Swansea only had three points more after 17 Premier League games of 2015-16 (15) than they currently have this season (12) – they ended in 12th place last season.
- West Ham have lost twice as many Premier League games this season (8) as they had at this stage in both 2015-16 (4) and 2014-15 (4).
- The Hammers have kept a clean sheet in their last two Premier League games – they last kept three in a row in the competition in December 2015.
- Dimitri Payet has created 63 goalscoring chances in the Premier League this season; more than any other player. No other West Ham player has created more than 19.
- Since Bob Bradley took charge of his first Swansea City game on October 15th, the Swans have conceded 25 goals – more than any other side.
- West Ham haven’t won any of their last seven Premier League away matches against opposition that were placed in the relegation zone coming in to that match (W0 D5 L2).
Hull City v Manchester City
Monday 26 December 2016 (17:15)
KCOM Stadium, Hull
- Hull’s only previous game against Manchester City on Boxing Day ended in a 5-1 defeat at the Etihad in 2008.
- The Citizens have lost just one of their previous eight Premier League games against Hull City (W4 D3).
- Raheem Sterling has scored on each of his last two games on Boxing Day, once against Burnley in 2014 and against Sunderland last season.
- The Tigers have won their last two league games played on Boxing Day, scoring three goals in each clash (3-0 v Burnley in 2015 and 3-1 v Sunderland in 2014).
- Hull City found themselves bottom of the Premier League on Christmas Day. 21 of the 24 sides to be bottom of the league at Christmas have been relegated that season.
- Hull City have conceded the first goal in 14 different Premier League matches this season; more often than any other side.
- Hull are the only Premier League team yet to win in December this season (P4 W0 D1 L3).
- Of Hull’s 14 Premier League goals this season, Robert Snodgrass has had a hand in half of these (five goals, two assists).
- Raheem Sterling has been involved in eight goals in 15 Premier League appearances this season (five goals, three assists) – the same number as in 31 apps in 2015-16 (six goals, two assists).
- Kevin De Bruyne has a league-high nine assists in 2016-17. He assisted nine in 25 Premier League appearances in 2015-16.
Liverpool v Stoke City
Tuesday 27 December 2016 (17:15)
- Liverpool have won five of their last six Premier League games against Stoke, losing the other 6-1 in May 2015.
- Stoke beat Liverpool in the 2nd leg of their League Cup semi-final last January 1-0, though they were eliminated on penalties. This ended a run of 36 games without a win in any competition at Anfield. They then lost 4-1 in April in the Premier League there.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 15 Premier League home games (W9 D6 L0) – the longest current unbeaten home run in the competition.
- The last time that they went on a longer run at Anfield in the Premier League was a 31-game unbeaten streak between December 2007 and August 2009.
- Joe Allen has scored five goals in 16 Premier League appearances for Stoke City this season; one more than he scored in his entire Liverpool career in the competition (four goals in 91 games).
- Mark Hughes has never won a Premier League game as a manager at Anfield (W0 D4 L6). He also suffered his heaviest defeat as a player in the competition there; 1-7 for Southampton in January 1999.
- Stoke have failed to score in 11 of their previous 17 trips to Merseyside in the Premier League (against Liverpool and Everton combined).
- Sadio Mane has had a hand in eight goals in his last nine Premier League appearances (five goals, three assists).
- Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged starting XI in his last Premier League game (versus Everton) – only the third time he’s done this in the competition but he’s never done it in successive PL matches.
- Liverpool have kept two successive Premier League clean sheets – they have not kept three in a row in the competition under Jurgen Klopp before.
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur
Wednesday 28 December 2016 (19:45)
St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
- Southampton’s 2-1 win over Spurs in May ended a run of seven Premier League games without beating them (D1 L6).
- After six successive away defeats to the Saints in all competitions, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last four games against them on the south coast (W3 D1).
- Spurs’ boss Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Southampton 54 times in the Premier League and won 35% of his matches there (19).
- Southampton’s 17 Premier League games this season have seen just 33 goals scored; fewer than any other side.
- Only Chelsea (43) have allowed their opponents fewer shots on target than Southampton (45) in the Premier League this season.
- Tottenham (111) are one of only two sides to have attempted 100+ shots on target in the Premier League this season, alongside Liverpool.
- Saints haven’t conceded a home goal in five hours and five minutes of Premier League football.
- Since joining Southampton in August 2014, Fraser Forster has kept a clean sheet in 40% of his Premier League matches for the club (26/65) and conceded only 54 goals.
- Harry Kane has scored with just two of his 17 shots in the Premier League since November 26th and one of these goals was a penalty.
- Spurs are winless in five Premier League away games, losing the last two (D3 L2). They haven’t lost three successive away games in the competition since March 2014 under Tim Sherwood.
- Kyle Walker has assisted four goals this season in the Premier League; more than any other defender, while only Nathaniel Clyne (28) has created more chances from defence than the Spurs’ full back (26).