Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
Selhurst Park, London
Saturday, 19-12-2020 @3:30pm
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Liverpool are on a six-match winning league streak against Crystal Palace. The Reds have also won on their past five league trips to Selhurst Park. Palace’s most recent home win over Liverpool was 3-1 in November 2014. The three most recent encounters have produced 14 goals.
Crystal Palace will be without suspended former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke who is suspended. Defenders Mamadou Sakho and Nathan Ferguson remain sidelined but Palace have no fresh injury concerns.
Liverpool will assess Joel Matip, who has trained since missing the win over Spurs because of ongoing back spasms. Their lengthy injury list includes Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.
Crystal Palace are unbeaten in three games this month, winning once and drawing twice. Palace’s tally of 18 points is their second-highest after 13 matches of a Premier League season. The Eagles have won just two of their past 10 home league matches, losing five and drawing the other three. Palace are winless in 18 home league matches against established top six opposition. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 Premier League games since beating Southampton 1-0 at Selhurst Park on the opening weekend. Five of the Eagles’ past six home victories have been by a single-goal margin. Roy Hodgson has lost all six league matches against Liverpool since he left the club. If selected, Patrick van Aanholt will be making his 200th Premier League appearance.
Liverpool are unbeaten in nine Premier League matches, winning five and drawing four. However, the Reds are winless in five away league games, drawing their last four fixtures. They have not endured a six-match winless run since January 2011. They have won just three and lost four of their last 12 league matches on their travels. Jurgen Klopp’s side have only lost one of their 13 most recent top-flight fixtures in London, winning eight and drawing four. Liverpool have scored in 19 successive league games, and are the only club to have scored in all of their Premier League fixtures this season. Mohamed Salah has scored 17 goals and provided nine assists in 21 Premier League matches played in December.
Southampton vs Man City
St. Mary’s Stadium, Hampshire
Saturday, 19-12-2020 @6pm
Ref: Mike Dean
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl can select from a full-strength squad for the visit of Manchester City. Midfielder Oriol Romeu is one booking away from incurring a suspension.
City’s all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero missed a training session in midweek because of another injury niggle and he may not be risked. Defender Eric Garcia remains absent and is set to miss the Christmas programme with a muscle injury, while Oleksandr Zinchenko is also still sidelined.
Southampton’s 1-0 win in July ended a run of seven consecutive defeats against Manchester City. Saints could claim consecutive top-flight victories against City for the first time since a three-match winning streak between 2001 and 2003.
Saints have only lost one of their past 11 league games, winning seven of those fixtures. Southampton have scored at least twice in each of their last seven Premier League home games, scoring 16 goals in total. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have scored in 12 consecutive top-flight matches, their longest such run since 2002. Danny Ings is one short of 50 Premier League goals.
Manchester City could draw three consecutive league fixtures for the first time since a similar sequence between March and April 2017. City have won their last 11 away league games which kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday, with their most recent such defeat coming at Aston Villa in 2013. Their total of 20 points from 12 games means this is the worst start to a top-flight season of Pep Guardiola’s coaching career. Gabriel Jesus has only had four efforts on goal all season in the Premier League, scoring twice. Kevin de Bruyne has yet to score a top-flight goal from open play this term, though he has converted two penalties.
Everton vs Arsenal
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Saturday, 19-12-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Andre Mariner
Arsenal’s tally of 34 Premier League wins against Everton is a club record against any opponent. The Gunners have scored 110 goals in this fixture, a Premier League record for one club against another. Everton have beaten Arsenal just twice in 12 Premier League meetings, drawing two and losing eight. However, Everton can keep three league clean sheets at home versus Arsenal for the first time since 1969.
Everton midfielder Allan is sidelined for the festive period after sustaining a hamstring injury during Wednesday’s win at Leicester City. James Rodriguez is still recovering from a calf injury but Seamus Coleman is available after missing five games with a hamstring issue.
Arsenal have reported several unspecified injury “doubts” ahead of the trip to Goodison Park. Granit Xhaka and Gabriel are suspended, while Thomas Partey remains out.
Everton have won back-to-back league games for the first time since 3 October. However, they have triumphed in only half of their six home fixtures, drawing one and losing two. The Toffees have kept successive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since June. They have not kept three in a row since May 2019. Everton did not face a single shot on target in the second half of their wins against Chelsea and Leicester City. They have failed to win any of their past six league matches played immediately before Christmas, drawing two and losing four. Richarlison’s goal against Leicester City was his first from open play this season. He has not scored in consecutive Premier League appearances since February, against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Arsenal have won only once in nine Premier League games, losing three of the last four. The Gunners could go three successive league away fixtures without scoring for the first time since September 2017. Arsenal have won 14 of their 17 matches in cup competitions under manager Mikel Arteta, in contrast to 13 victories in 33 Premier League games. They can become just the second club after Inter Milan to win four successive matches against a side managed by Carlo Ancelotti.
Newcastle United vs Fulham
St. James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Saturday, 19-12-2020 @11pm
Ref: Graham Scott
Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce says he is still without up to five players because of coronavirus. Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almiron and Emil Krath are all pushing for recalls after being among the substitutes at Leeds.
Fulham boss Scott Parker has suggested he may rotate his squad given the busy festive fixture programme. Bobby Decordova-Reid has a minor thigh muscle injury and could miss out, with ex-Newcastle forward Aleksandar Mitrovic an option to replace him.
Newcastle have lost just one of the past five Premier League meetings, winning three times and drawing once. However, the Magpies have registered only one win in the most recent five encounters in all competitions, with Fulham completing the Championship double over them in 2016-17. Fulham failed to score in four of their last five Premier League fixtures between the sides. The clubs played out a goalless draw when they last met at St James’ Park in December 2018.
Newcastle can reach 20 points after 13 Premier League fixtures for the first time since 2013-14. Steve Bruce’s side are attempting to win a fourth home game out of six. The Magpies are without a clean sheet at St James’ Park in 10 attempts. They have won their final pre-Christmas league match in each of the past five seasons. Newcastle face a newly-promoted side for the third consecutive fixture. The Magpies have opened the scoring in their past three matches. Callum Wilson has either scored or assisted 10 goals in his 11 league appearances for Newcastle.
Fulham have lost only one of four league games and have recorded back-to-back draws. They have been beaten in 22 of their past 27 Premier League away games, winning twice and drawing three times. The Cottagers have won just four of their last 25 top-flight matches played in December. Fulham could keep back-to-back Premier League clean sheets for the first time since April 2019. They have registered just two clean sheets in their past 43 top-flight away games, albeit one of those was at Newcastle in December 2018. Fulham are the only side yet to concede a goal from outside the penalty area this season. The Cottagers are one short of 300 top-flight away defeats.
Premier League fixtures on Sunday
-Brighton and Hove Albion vs Sheffield United @3pm
-Tottenham vs Leicester City @5:15pm
-Man United vs Leeds United @7:30pm
-West Bromwich Albion vs Aston Villa @10:15pm
Premier League fixtures on Monday
-Burnley vs Wolves @8:30pm
-Chelsea vs West Ham United @11pm