Mourinho’s Chelsea march among 5 table-shaping festive themes
Given that Christmas arrives mid-way through the Premier League season, by definition it is not a make or break run of games which surround the nation’s favourite, football-filled holiday.
Nevertheless, it would be foolish to ignore the possible momentum or otherwise that can be generated from a run of three games within five days.
Christmas 2014 is no different as we check in on some of the major storylines which may unfold.
Will Chelsea prise open a greater advantage than three points?
Having already opened up a three-point gap on Manchester City, all eyes will be on Chelsea over the festive period and whether the 4/11 title favourites can extend their advantage.
West Ham await on Boxing Day, but the signs are ominous for the rest with Jose Mourinho at the helm.
During both previous title-winning campaigns under the Portuguese, Chelsea were top at Christmas and went onto win all their festive assignments.
Will Manchester City keep the heat up?
The Citizens are on a brilliant run of six consecutive league wins and face relatively easy games against West Brom, Burnley and Sunderland.
However, they are seriously light up front thanks to injuries to Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, though the latter is thought to be nearing his comeback.
Can Manchester United remain unbeaten throughout?
The Red Devils have ridden their fair share of luck on the way to seven matches unbeaten in the top flight, but face tough games away at Tottenham and Stoke after Newcastle visit on Boxing Day.
Newcastle are priced up at 7/1 to cause a shock at Old Trafford on the 26th.
Will hard-to-beat Sunderland climb away from trouble?
Confidence will be high on Wearside after a derby win over Newcastle and the Christmas fixture list could send the Mackems into cosy mid-table from their position of 14th.
Freefalling Hull visit, before a trip to Aston Villa and although Man City await at the Etihad on New Year’s Day, Sunderland have secured a point there in two of the last three seasons.
Can Leicester make ground on Hull by beating them?
Rock-bottom Leicester do not have it easy with games against Tottenham and Liverpool, but sandwiched in-between is the standout six-pointer of the festive fixtures.
The Tigers are the slight 9/4 outsiders to win at the KC Stadium with either losing manager’s neck likely to move closer to the chopping block.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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