Morata returns to lead Chelsea to victory, Man City extend record, Kane breaks Shearer record: Premier League predictions
The latest round of fixtures kicks off at Wembley Stadium with Tottenham Hosting Southampton on Tuesday, and wraps up with Arsenal's trip to Crystal Palace on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Southampton 0 Why? Put aside the hammering at Manchester City, Tottenham have made light work of recent opponents, scoring five at Stoke City, two against Brighton and Hove Albion, and putting three past Burnley. Harry Kane is in form and will break Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 36 goals in a calendar year. In contrast, Southampton have not won in six league matches and their biggest goal threat, Charlie Austin, is suspended. An easy afternoon's work for Spurs. Paul Childs / Reuters
Bournemouth 1 West Ham United 1 Why? It's been a tough few weeks for Bournemouth who have lost four and drawn three of their past seven games, although defeats to Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City are nothing to be ashamed of, and they did produce a good showing at Old Trafford. West Ham have shown drastic improvements under David Moyes but the defeat last time out to Newcastle United showed there is still much work to be done. This looks set to be honours even.
Andrew Yates / Reuters
Chelsea 4 Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Why? Chelsea were left frustrated in their last match against Everton as the lack of a genuine centre-forward proved costly. However, Alvaro Morata is back from injury and suspension, and will surely lead the line against visiting Brighton. With Eden Hazard in fine form and Brighton struggling to score goals, this should be a formality at Stamford Bridge. Clive Rose/Getty Images
Huddersfield Town 1 Stoke City 2 Why? Form suggests Huddersfield should win this one, having won two and drawn one of their past four matches, while Stoke have lost three of their past four. But a comfortable win against West Bromwich Albion last time out offered signs of life from a Stoke side that doesn't want for talent. The sort of fixture between two lower-mid table sides that could go either way, but Stoke's better quality should shine through.Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Manchester United 1 Burnley 1 Why? United manager Jose Mourinho has not cut a particularly happy figure in recent days after his side conceded two costly late goals - firstly to Bristol City in the League Cup, then against Leicester City. His side are struggling to break down organised defences and few come more organised than Burnley's. This could be another frustrating day at the office for Mourinho and his players. John Sibley / Reuters
Watford 2 Leicester City 2 Why? Watford's early season promise seems like fantasy now after a run of four defeats in succession. The goals have dried up and the impressive away form has vanished. The defeat at home to Crystal Palace aside, Leicester are in good form and will be buoyed by the draw against United. However, Watford will end their dismal run some time and they have the ability to get at Leicester's defence. Should be an entertaining game.
Matthew Childs / Reuters
West Bromwich Albion 0 Everton 1 Why? Alan Pardew's arrival at the Hawthorns has not had the galvanising effect the club would have hoped for. West Brom have lost three and drawn two of his five matches in charge. On the opposing side, Sam Allardyce's appointment has had an immediate impact on the fortunes of Everton, who have won three and drawn two of their past five. Wayne Rooney will return from illness and should lead his side to a narrow victory. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Liverpool 5 Swansea City 2 Why? A match in the past that Liverpool could have slipped up in, given their baffling inconsistency. But Swansea are getting increasingly worse by the week, and Liverpool's front line will have too much for a side looking destined for relegation. Swansea could pinch a couple of goals if they give it a go at Anfield but this will be a comfortable outing for Jurgen Klopp's men. Alastair Grant / AP Photo
Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 3 Why? Copy and paste from any number of past predictions involving City - too much talent, too many goal threats and the best midfielders in the league. All of which makes ominous reading for Newcastle, who did get a much-needed boost against West Ham in their most recent match but had previously lost seven of eight. Rafa Benitez is a tactical master so will configure his side the best way he can but it might be a case of damage limitation rather than anything too ambitious. Andrew Yates / Reuters
Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 1 Why? It's been tough going for Arsenal recently, with just one win in their past five league matches, but they will take heart from the comeback draw against Liverpool. On the flip side, going 2-0 down showed the clear vulnerabilities in Arsene Wenger's side, and Palace have enough quality to cause a minor upset. In Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend they have the pace and directness to trouble Arsenal, and with Christian Benteke showing signs of a return to form, a striker who can bully the best of defenders. David Davies / PA
One of the biggest benefits of the festive period is the packed Premier League schedule. While the rest of Europe's big leagues enjoy a winter break, the games come thick and fast in England's top flight, which may concern managers, but is great news for fans.
With the Christmas day festivities out of the way, business resumes on Tuesday, with eight matches pencilled in around the country.
Wembley Stadium kicks off proceedings as Tottenham Hotspur host Southampton, with striker Harry Kane looking to break Alan Shearer's record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year. England's No 9 is level with his predecessor and has one match to write his own name in the history books.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, champions Chelsea look to return to winning ways against Brighton and Hove Albion, while Manchester United host Burnley.
In the day's late game, free-scoring Liverpool host bottom side Swansea City.
Runaway leaders Manchester City then travel to Newcastle United on Wednesday, before Arsenal's trip to Crystal Palace concludes this round of fixtures on Thursday.
As ever, The National have provided predictions for each match and the reasons for each score.
Updated: December 25, 2017 08:52 PM