Ah, Christmas time in the Premier League. That unforgiving, hectic period in the season that has the power to either make or break teams challenging for the title.
Come 8pm on New Year’s Day - in little over a weeks’ time - Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal will have all played three demanding fixtures, and the Premier League table could look very different to what it does now.
We’ve taken a look at the aforementioned quartet’s Christmas fixtures, predicted the relevant scorelines - please, for your own sakes, leave your money safely tucked away in your wallets - and calculated how many points they’ll emerge with.
Chelsea 3-1 West Ham
Despite West Ham’s superb start to the season, Chelsea should have too much for their London rivals on Boxing Day - particularly if the excellent Eden Hazard is declared fit.
Southampton 1-2 Chelsea
Jose Mourinho’s men should emerge unscathed from another tough Christmas fixture on December 28. Southampton will trouble the west London outfit, but will ultimate come up short against the Premier League title favourites.
Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea took Tottenham apart at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, but it might be a different story at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day - especially if Spurs avoid defeat to Manchester United three days earlier.
Total points = 7
West Brom 1-2 Manchester City
Manchester City should make it seven Premier League wins on the bounce when they travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom on Boxing Day.
Manchester City 4-0 Burnley
And seven will become eight when the host Burnley at the Etihad Stadium two days later. A routine victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Manchester City 1-1 Sunderland
Sunderland have been Manchester City’s bogey team in recent years. The Premier League champions will again come unstuck against the Black Cats - although they should avoid defeat on this occasion.
Total points = 7
Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle United
A comfortable Boxing Day victory over Newcastle United will delight the Manchester United supporters. Another goal for Radamel Falcao is inevitable.
Tottenham 2-2 Manchester United
Tottenham v Manchester United is one of the great Premier League fixtures - and their next meeting, on December 28, promises to be a real cracker. It finished 2-2 the last time they went head-to-head at White Hart Lane. Don’t be surprised if it’s the same outcome 12 months later.
Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester United don’t enjoy visiting Stoke City at the best of times, let alone on New Year’s Day. Louis van Gaal’s men won’t enjoy the experience and will be lucky to escape with a point.
Total points = 5
Arsenal 3-0 Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers’ away form is dismal - and their luck will not improve against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day. A 3-0 home win, if QPR are lucky.
West Ham 2-1 Arsenal
This is the type of fixture where Arsenal often come unstuck. West Ham are going great guns in the Premier League this season and should bounce back from defeat at Chelsea on Boxing Day with three points over the Gunners.
Southampton 2-1 Arsenal
And it’s more bad news for Arsenal on New Year’s Day - but great for the rest of us who enjoy the delights of Arsenal Fan TV - as Southampton record a narrow 2-1 win over Arsene Wenger’s side on January 1. Start as you mean to go on, lads.
Total points = 3
Agree or disagree with any of our predictions? Have your say in the comments section below.