Next Game

Man Utd v LA Galaxy

Thursday, 24 July 2014, 04:00

Friendly Match

Premier League preview

The North East will have their say in the Premier League title race when the top two face Newcastle and Sunderland on Boxing Day.

Last Updated: 24/12/12 at 10:18

Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini hoping to end 2012 better than it began ag

Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini hoping to end 2012 better than it began ag

It's a busy afternoon of Boxing Day fixtures in the Premier League

The North East will have their say in the Premier League title race when the top two face Newcastle and Sunderland on Boxing Day.

League leaders Manchester United host Alan Pardew's Newcastle side, while the Premier League champions Manchester City travel to Sunderland.

United have a four point lead over City after managing only a draw at Swansea on Sunday.

Newcastle beat the Red Devils in their first game of 2012 but Sir Alex Ferguson will expect all the points against a team that is just five points above the drop zone.

Sunderland are even closer to the relegation spots, a point and a place below the Magpies, but Martin O'Neill has reason for encouragement.

Not only can the Black Cats point to Reading's battling display against Roberto Mancini's men at the weekend but Sunderland also beat City on New Year's Day thanks to Ji Dong-Won's late goal.

O'Neill has had his struggles since then but he will be looking to end the year how it began with a morale-boosting triumph.

Live on Sky

In the televised games, Aston Villa have the chance to bounce back from their eight-goal thrashing at Chelsea when they host Tottenham in front of the Sky Sports 1 HD cameras at 5.30pm.

With Arsenal's game against West Ham cancelled due to transport issues, Spurs will move above their north London rivals if they can avoid defeat at Villa Park.

After that match, it's the turn of Stoke and Liverpool to take centre-stage as they clash in the 7.45pm kick-off live on Sky Sports 1 HD.

Stoke have the meanest defence in the Premier League but no team in the division has scored fewer so it could be a tight affair as Tony Pulis and Brendan Rodgers square off in the Potteries.

Down at the bottom, it's a big day for Queens Park Rangers as they host West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road.

Harry Redknapp was unbeaten in his first four games in charge of the Hoops but defeat to Newcastle on Saturday was a setback and they need wins fast if they are to escape the drop.

Desperate

The situation is even more desperate for Reading who sit bottom of the pile with just nine points so far this season. Brian McDermott will be targeting three much-needed points when the Royals entertain Swansea.

Elsewhere, Chelsea look to build on Sunday's sensational drubbing of Villa and strengthen their grip on third place when they travel to Norwich.

The Canaries saw their 10-game unbeaten run end in defeat at West Brom last time out but they are a tough proposition at Carrow Road so the Blues will need to be at their best to claim the points.

Playing to their best is something Fulham failed to do at Anfield at the weekend but that four-goal beating needs to be forgotten as the Cottagers host struggling Southampton.

The Saints have won three of their last six but are only kept out of the drop zone on goal difference so need to maintain that form if they are to survive.

Wigan are the team the other side of that line at the moment and, while Roberto Martinez has a habit of finding a way to stay up, the Latics need a win at Everton to stop the rot.

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Transfer news: Liverpool appear to be close to completing a deal for Loic Remy

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Loic Remy with the French forward reportedly having his medical in Boston.

Manchester United still global giant and prepared to spend big insists Ed Woodward

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says the club is prepared to break transfer records, if necessary.

Mail Box

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

Anyone But Rooney. Or Baines. Or Hart.

There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property