While all other European Leagues take a break during this festive period, the Premier League action will go on with the traditional Boxing Day fixtures. In the past, Boxing Day has always produced a lot of surprising results and there is no doubt that today will be the same. With teams set to play three matches in the space of 10 days during this busy festive period, there is always a chance of teams dropping points or losing their concentration. Here are the top five matches in the Premier League to look forward to on Boxing Day.
1. Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion
Arsenal go into this fixture on the back of two disappointing defeats at the hands of Everton and Manchester City and they will be looking to get their Premier League campaign back on track at the Emirates Stadium on Monday. Aaron Ramsey faces a late fitness test to be ready for the match but Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who injured his hamstring in the match against Manchester City.
West Bromwich have been looking dangerous in the last few games and other than their loss to Manchester United and Chelsea, they have really put together some really good performances. Salomon Rondon will lead the line for West Brom, and given his current form and Arsenal's defencive problems, they will have to keep an eye on him. With Arsenal struggling to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches in the Premier League, something has got to change if Arsenal are to avoid another defeat.
2. Chelsea vs Bournemouth
Chelsea will be looking to make it 12 straight victories in the Premier league when they take on Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. There is no doubt that Chelsea are clear favourites to win this match but they will be without their top goal scorer Diego Costa and their key central midfielder N'golo Kante for this match as both of them are suspended. So, it will be interesting to see who Antonio Conte plays up front this match.
Another important thing to remember about this fixture is that Bournemouth actually managed to defeat Chelsea in this fixture last season thanks to a goal from Glenn Murray. So it will be interesting to see how this match goes on. Nathan Ake, who is on loan from Chelsea to Bournemouth, will miss this match and is considering how important he has been to the Cherries this season, defensively and going forward he will be a huge miss.
3. Manchester United vs Sunderland
Manchester United will be looking for another win in the Premier League as they continue to build on their slow start to the season when they take on David Moyes Sunderland. This will be the first time that David Moyes has returned to Old Trafford to face his former club since being sacked, so he will certainly have a point to prove. Manchester United could welcome back Henrikh Mkhitaryan for this match after the Armenian got injured in their 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Sunderland will be looking to build on their 1-0 win over Watford last week but given that they face Manchester United on Monday, they know nothing short of their best performance will do. Sunderland will be without Adnan Januzaj, who is ineligible for this match because of his loan agreement with Manchester united. Jermaine Defoe and Victor Anichebe will be two players that Sunderland will be heavily reliant on if they are to pull off a surprise victory.
4. Hull City vs Manchester City
The last time these two sides met on Boxing Day, Phil Brown, the then Hull City manager, gave his half-time team talk on the pitch with his team already 4-0 down. Manchester City went on to win that match 5-1 and Hull City will be hoping that today's match goes differently. Manchester City picked up an all-important win against Arsenal in their previous match and now they will be looking to build on that.
Fernandinho will be back for Manchester City in this game after he picked up a three-match suspension in their defeat to Chelsea, but the Citizens will still be without their top goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who will serve his final game of suspension and be ready for their match against Liverpool. Hull City have won only one game in their last five matches and manager Mike Phelan will be hoping that changes today. Robert Snodgrass will be important for them; if the Scottish international can provide Hull City with some good service, they certainly have a chance in this game.
5. Watford vs Crystal Palace
Both teams have won just one game in their last five matches and a win here will certainly help them as they move into the new year. The big news coming from this fixture is that Sam Allardyce has taken over from Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace with the Eagles managing to win only six games in 2016, this being the joint-lowest tally of league wins in a single calendar year.
Sam Allardyce is sort of a relegation specialist, given that he saved West Ham and Sunderland from relegation in the past, there is no doubt that he can do the same with Crystal Palace. Sam Allardyce could not have asked for a better place to start than Vicarage Road given that his team have won 6 and lost only one in their last 10 visits there. Watford, on the other hand, have been struggling for form recently after a bright start to the season.
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri will be hopeful that two of his top strikers in Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo can step up and deliver in front of goal. The duo were two of the top striking partners in the Premier League last season but for some reason, they have not been able to continue their form. It will be interesting to see how this match goes as both teams are in desperate need of a win.