Welcome to IPTVKing’s festive football round up.
As is customary at this time of the football season, the games come thick and fast, with the traditional Boxing Day match-ups being amongst the best attended.
Let’s start with a couple of games from December 26th…
Stoke City v Manchester United
There’s nothing that Mark Hughes would like more than to put one over his old side.
Manchester United certainly won’t enjoy a trip to the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day that’s for sure. In fact, there’s never a good time of year to visit the Potteries, Stoke being one of the hardest places to go and get three points these days.
Hughes has changed the dynamic by introducing a more sweeping pass-and-move philosophy, entirely at odds with Tony Pulis’ previous reincarnation of the side, which relied more on the physical aspects of the game.
Stoke still have a player of two that will put their foot in, but the manager will want them to stand toe-to-toe with Louis Van Gaal’s side and beat them at their own game.
United’s fans aren’t too enthralled with what that’s supposed to be at the moment, the Red Devils nothing like the swashbucklers of old.
Having said that, United are still in amongst the runners and riders at the top of the table and whilst the style of play might not be right up their alley, some silverware in the cabinet come May might just change the opinion of the Dutchman in the locale.
A real Christmas cracker this one.
Liverpool v Leicester City
A couple of disappointing results and the shine has started to disappear from Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at Anfield.
Incredible just how fickle football fans can be. In the space of six months followers of the Reds have meandered from “Brendan Rodgers deserves more time” to “sack Rodgers” to “Klopp is king” to “what planet is Klopp living on?”
Against this backdrop, what hope is there for the German?!
As he noted at his press conference, he needs the entirety of his contract to prove that he is the right man for the job, implementing strategic changes at his pace and not at the behest of the locals.
If the pressure continues unabated, it’s arguable that Klopp may just rip up his contract and decide to move elsewhere. Be careful what you wish for Liverpool fans…
Claudio Ranieri on the other hand has defied all expectations.
As we reach the halfway point of the season, and with no let up in Leicester’s intoxicating brand of football, the talk is now of whether Leicester can remain as contenders for the title.
Indeed, only one other club in the history of the Premier League have failed to win the trophy when in the position the Foxes find themselves in at this point, Newcastle United in 1996.
There is evident enjoyment on the faces of the Leicester players and their freedom of expression on the football pitch has been a joy to watch this season.
Klopp may end up feeling downcast for a little longer.
Other games available on IPTVKing.com on Boxing Day are: Manchester City v Sunderland, Aston Villa v West Ham, Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Newcastle v Everton, Chelsea v Watford, Swansea v West Brom, Tottenham v Norwich City and Southampton v Arsenal.
And on December 28th……
Watford v Tottenham
A super London derby to end the year.
Pity there’s no Glenn Hoddle still on the pitch for the Lilywhites. Those of a particular vintage will remember the drag back and exquisite chip at Vicarage Road in the 1980’s with fondness.
Quique Sanchez Flores’ Hornets have climbed up the table almost unnoticed and their second London derby in two days will establish them, or not, in the top six. Quite the feat for a side who were expected to be amongst the whipping boys in the division.
They’ll have to be at their very best to beat a resurgent Tottenham side who are once again showing their true self. The eternal sleeping giant has evidently awoken this season.
Seeing Tottenham achieving their potential finally has been a long time coming for a generation of Spurs fans.
Indeed, probably not since the days of Hoddle, Ardiles et al have the north Londoners had a team that their fans can be truly proud of.
Harry Kane remains the standard bearer, but behind the figurehead the likes of Dele Alli,
Erik Lamela and others are playing to a level rarely attained in their careers.
This promises to be a fascinating game by two teams that like to play football. He who dares wins….
Arsenal v Bournemouth
If Arsenal are generally perceived to be a “Barcelona-lite”, then it’s probably fair to suggest that Bournemouth are “Arsenal-lite”.
That is in no way intended to be derogatory either. Eddie Howe’s side have been playing a magnificent brand of attacking football all season, sometimes to their detriment.
When the Cherries pitch up at the Emirates Stadium, there’s a guarantee that they’ll play the Gunners at their own game.
And with one or two star names missing from the hosts’ line up, there’s every chance of another upset, following hot on the heels of wins against Chelsea and Manchester United.
For some while, Bournemouth were enthralling their customers but without getting the results that their performances deserved.
Those wins are now arriving and the associated confidence has taken things up a notch.
Arsene Wenger knows he has a side capable of finally delivering the Premier League title after an age.
The next half-dozen games could be crucial in determining if those aspirations are just that – aspirational and nothing more.
Frankly, it’s time for a side that plays some of the best passing football in the division to make that leap and give their fans something to shout about.
And whichever side of the fence you sit on in this particular battle, football will be the winner on the day.
Other games available on December 28th/29th/30th on IPTVKing.com are: West Brom v Newcastle, Norwich City v Aston Villa, Crystal Palace v Swansea, Everton v Stoke City, Manchester United v Chelsea, West Ham v Southampton, Leicester City v Manchester City and Sunderland v Liverpool.
Finally on the first weekend of the new year….
Sunderland v Aston Villa
A relegation battle if ever there was. In the first week of January?! You bet.
The visitors are as good as down.
No one in their current predicament has ever survived in the top flight and it’ll be the first time in Premier League history that Villa will have been relegated.
For a team as big as they, it’s a huge blow to local pride and given the cavernous gap between EPL and Championship now, bouncing straight back up won’t be as easy as in previous campaigns.
Sunderland have yo-yo’d in recent seasons, mainly due to the “hire ‘em and fire ‘em” scattergun approach of their chairman Ellis Short when it comes to recruiting new managers.
“Big Sam” Allardyce is the current incumbent but hasn’t really had the impact expected since his arrival on Wearside.
Although Sunderland’s plight isn’t anywhere near as bad as Villa, the Black Cats do need to start putting points on the board if they want to save themselves from a dogfight in the latter part of the campaign.
Don’t expect too much in the way of entertainment here, rather a good old-fashioned physical encounter.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
No doubting who is in more need of the points in this new year derby.
With Jose Mourinho gone, it’ll be interesting to see just how much Chelsea’s performances improve.
Were the players not playing for their manager perhaps? Deliberately forcing the club to act.
Although we’re talking about professional players here, it has been known in the past and with the Special One’s particularly divisive nature evident recently, it’s entirely possible his charges had thrown in the towel in the hope of his removal.
Of course, that could be the complete opposite viewpoint to the shenanigans at Stamford Bridge and the Blues have, for whatever reason, lost their mojo.
Against Crystal Palace they’ll get a game of it all right.
Alan Pardew is no respecter of reputations and this is a ground where Chelsea were comprehensively outplayed last season.
The scalp of the former champions, despite their decline, is still a feather in the cap and adecent festive period keeps the Eagles in and around the European places.
The pace of Palace’s forward line are bound to cause problems for Chelsea’s ageing back four, however, man for man the visitors are a cut above.
About time they started to show it.
Other fixtures available on IPTVKing.com are: West Ham v Liverpool, Norwich City v Southampton, Manchester United v Swansea, West Brom v Stoke City, Arsenal v Newcastle, Leicester City v Bournemouth, Watford v Manchester City and Everton v Tottenham.
That’s about it for now, so nothing more to do than wish you all “Happy Holidays” from everyone at IPTVKing.com – don’t forget to check our schedules regularly for updates.