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Matches to watch in the week ahead (December 25-31)

Matches to watch in the week ahead (December 25-31)
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The English Premier League and the Italian Serie A are the only two active leagues during the upcoming holiday week.

The Catholic world celebrates Christmas on Monday/Tuesday and then on Wednesday, footballers in England and Italy will find themselves on the green grass again. All but one game from Premier League’s Round 19 will be played on December 26. None of the “big guns” face each other. Manchester City probably has the toughest task on the road at Leicester City. The Foxes are coming off their biggest victory of the season (away to Chelsea) and will also be looking to exact revenge on The Citizens for the EFL Cup elimination just a week ago. That game will be played at 16:00 CET. Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United all have home dates scheduled for the same time. Newcastle, Bournemouth and Huddersfield will be their opponents. Later on (18:15 CET), Arsenal visits Brighton and then in the late game, Chelsea have a tricky visit to Watford (20:30 CET).

In Serie A, Juventus also have a tricky test in the name of Atalanta. Don’t be surprised if they become the second team to take points away from The Old Lady this season. That game is scheduled for 15:00 CET. The late night fixture is the one that draws most of the attention, as Inter take on Napoli in Milan. Napoli have run away from Inter in the past couple of weeks, so this will be a good chance for The Nerazzurri to catch up and reduce the gap between the two. The kickoff time for that game is 20:30 CET.

The same two leagues are the only ones active over the upcoming weekend as well. While all of Serie A’s games are scheduled for Saturday, the Premier League has divided theirs. Liverpool vs. Arsenal is the headline match, due to kick off at 18:30 CET on Saturday. None of the games in Italy scream “Watch me!”. On Sunday, Chelsea takes the pitch first when they visit a pumped up Crystal Palace side (13:00 CET). It’s a fixture The Blues might end up dreading when all is set and done. Manchester City are in action against Southampton at 15:15 CET. The Saints have done well under new manager Ralph Hassenhuttl and will look to keep it up against the defending champions. Finally, Manchester United host Bournemouth in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s highly anticipated homecoming at 17:30 CET.

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