Given Arsenal’s current run of form and the task ahead for their nearest rivals, we expect to see the Gunners topping the table on Saturday night after a Boxing Day fixture list that plays straight into Arsene Wenger’s hands.
Arsenal travel down to St Mary’s where they will take on Ronald Koeman’s Southampton for the day’s late kick-off at 7.45pm. Southampton last won a match back on November 7th, when they beat Sunderland 0-1 at the Stadium of Light on Wearside. Since then the Saints have lost five and drawn one, including the 6-1 thrashing by Liverpool back on December 2nd via Whoscored.
By contrast, Arsenal’s last loss in the Premier League came at the Hawthorns back in November, with the Gunners losing 2-1 to a bruising West Bromwich Albion side that day.
The match away to clubs like Southampton are must-win games for teams that want to win the league, and with Mesut Ozil playing the best football of his career, it’s hard to imagine the Gunners returning to North London with anything less than three points under their belt.
Meanwhile, top of the table Leicester City travel to Anfield, where they take on Jürgen Klopp’s hot and cold running Liverpool.
It is hard to know which Liverpool team will turn up on the day, but given the Reds’ dreadful performance at Vicarage Road against Watford – where they lost 3-0 last Sunday – you can be sure that Klopp had a right go at his players and that they will be looking to make amends against Leicester City.
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After the match German manager, Klopp summed up by saying: “We lost our minds” (via the Liverpool Echo).
One question everyone who follows the English Premier League has been asking is, when will Leicester implode?
The high-flying Foxes are a team on a mission, having now not lost in the Premier League since the 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal back in September – a match in which Alexis Sanchez’s hat-trick ended their unbeaten start to the season.
Liverpool’s main problem is scoring goals against teams that sit back and defend, which should not be the case with Leicester. The surprise table-toppers don’t seem capable of dropping a gear, and with the goal scoring threat that Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy pose, who can blame them?
This means that manager Claudio Ranieri will have the Foxes playing for a win rather than a draw, which will play into Liverpool’s game plan.
A win for Arsenal and a loss for Leicester would be enough to see the Gunners go top, while a win for Arsenal and a Leicester draw at Anfield would see both teams share top spot until Monday, when Arsenal take on Bournemouth at the Emirates.
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Leicester are next in action against Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, a win-win situation for Arsenal where two of our title rivals can potentially drop points.
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