The festive period is truly upon us, with matches seemingly every single day. This weekend in the Premier League boasts a bevy of quality tilts, highlighted by a Merseyside Derby and clash between Arsenal and City. So, who will head into Christmas full of cheer? Win, lose or draw, here's how we predict each Premier League game will shake out.
(All times ET)
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 7:30 a.m.)
The Blues' run has to end at some point. Despite two narrow wins against less-than-frightening opponents, there's little reason to bet that it ends this weekend. Palace couldn't handle Manchester United midweek, and they won't be able to stop Antonio Conte and Chelsea. The Blues might look to rest a few key players during the busy stretch, but the quality is still there that they should be just fine. Even when they're not at their best, they still have a world-class shot-stopper in Thibaut Courtois to back them up. More misery for Palace,
Final score: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea
Sunderland vs. Watford (Saturday, 10 a.m.)
The Black Cats are almost certain candidates for the drop, but they've shown some pluckiness lately. Losing to Swansea was a big blow, but they brushed that off and put in a quality shift against Chelsea midweek. If not for a miracle save from Thibaut Courtois late, Sunderland would have swiped a point from the leaders. Watford are better than anyone expected, but they can still be had. In the theme of the season, look for Sunderland to get a glimmer of Christmas cheer.
Final score: Sunderland 1-1 Watford
Middlesbrough vs. Swansea City (Saturday, 10 a.m.)
This one is tough to call, and the stakes are actually quite high. Boro sit just outside the relegation zone with a three-point cushion. Swansea, meanwhile, could do themselves a huge favor if they manage to claim a win. Boro are bad, but they're fairly balanced in that they can't score, but they don't concede a whole lot, either. Swansea, on the other hand, have let in 13 goals in their last five matches. They've won two of those five, though! Something's gotta give in this match. Or does it? Probably not.
Final score: Middlesbrough 0-0 Swansea City
Stoke City vs. Leicester City (Saturday, 10 a.m.)
Stoke have been respectable run, collecting at least a point in nine of their last 11 matches in the league. Leicester, meanwhile, are still fighting to find their mojo. The Foxes aren't as bad as their standing shows, but it's getting harder and harder to give them a pass. They should push their way away from the Premier League relegation zone as the season wears on, but will hit another speed bump against the Potters.
Final score: Stoke City 2-1 Leicester City
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West Ham vs. Hull City (Saturday, 10 a.m.)
After going six matches without a win, West Ham finally broke their slide with a 1-0 win against Burnley. Scrappy Hull still haven't fixed their issues at the back, and it'd be expecting a lot to think they ever will. The Tigers have conceded six in their past two, but they did draw Palace two matchdays ago. It's early to call this a must-win for West Ham, but losing to Hull would be a huge reality check. The Hammers had high expectations that have completely evaporated, but relegation would be unthinkable. A win will ease a lot of nerves around London Stadium.
Final score: West Ham 1-0 Hull City
West Brom vs. Manchester United (Saturday, 12:30 p.m.)
The aura of Manchester United has faded in recent years, and West Brom won't be intimidated when the Red Devils roll into The Hawthornes. United are finding their footing under Jose Mourinho, though. They're undefeated in eight straight and Paul Pogba looks settled. Oh, and that Zlatan guy can still score worldies. The Baggies are solid and played the leaders tight, but an early goal from the aforementioned United standouts could open the game up. Henrikh Mkhitaryan's absence could play a big role, but perhaps United will adapt.
Final score: West Brom 1-2 Manchester United
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Bournemouth vs. Southampton (Sunday, 8:30 a.m.)
Southampton weren't much of a goal scoring threat before Charlie Austin went down injured. Without him, their attack is a huge question mark. Bournemouth have been up and down this season, but did secure a win against Leicester midweek. Eddie Howe has turned the Vitality Stadium into a place where the Cherries find a lot of joy, winning five of the matches they've played there.
Final score: Bournemouth 1-0 Southampton
Tottenham vs. Burnley (Sunday, 11 a.m.)
Harry Kane returning to the fold and Spurs finding a bit of their attacking prowess is no coincidence. Spurs have at least three away goals (and five against Swansea) at home since Kane returned in early November. They've had away losses at Chelsea and Man United, but at home they're showing some pop. They're back home again against Burnley and the Clarets aren't striking too much fear in anyone when they're on the road. Tip Spurs to win and reassert themselves.
Final score: Tottenham 2-0 Burnley
Manchester City vs. Arsenal (Sunday, 11 a.m.)
Ahh, the highlight of the weekend! With the festive period piling in the matches, it's difficult to know which squad is going to show up when the teams are playing so often. Arsenal followed up a three-match winning streak with a peak Arsenal performance in a loss to Everton. City are an enigma that still need figuring out, and not in a good way. Pep Guardiola's men are strong going forward, but Sergio Aguero is set to miss another match, and he doesn't help their weak defense, anyway. Alexis Sanchez is a man on fire and will look to expose the Citizens' shaky defensive structure in a shootout.
Final score: Manchester City 2-3 Arsenal
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Everton vs. Liverpool (Monday, 3 p.m.)
If not for City/Arsenal on Sunday, the Merseyside Derby would take top billing. As it stands, it's still a very worthy undercard and could even be a co-main event. There should be plenty of action in this one as Liverpool boast the league's top offense with a whopping 40 goals scored. Doubtful that anyone would call Everton "potent" at the moment, but if there's a man that loves a big spotlight it's Romelu Lukaku. Liverpool's goalkeeper situation is unsettled, to boot, so who knows what will be in store. Either way, I'd (almost) be willing to eat my hat if this game doesn't have at least two goals to cap the weekend.