Premier League football continues in the new year, as Week 20 of the 2015-16 campaign kicks off on Saturday when West Ham United host Liverpool. League leaders Arsenal play host to Newcastle United, while co-leaders Leicester City are at home against Bournemouth.
The race at the top of the standings is still very close, as no team has been able to open up a gap during the busy festive period. Meanwhile, the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa are desperate to turn their fortunes around, and perhaps 2016 will bring better luck.
Here's a look at the full schedule for Week 20, along with TV info, live stream and predictions for every match:
|Week 20 Guide|
|Date||Time (GMT/ET)||Home||Away||TV Info||Live Stream||Prediction|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||12:45 p.m./7:45 a.m.||West Ham||Liverpool||BT Sport 1 (UK)/NBCSN (U.S.)||BT Sport app/Live Extra||1-1|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||WBA||Stoke||/||Live Extra||2-3|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Arsenal||Newcastle||NBCSN (U.S.)||Live Extra||3-0|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Leicester||Bournemouth||/||Live Extra||2-0|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Manchester United||Swansea||USA Network (U.S.)||USA Live TV||1-0|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Norwich||Southampton||/||Live Extra||1-1|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Sunderland||Aston Villa||/||Live Extra||2-1|
|Saturday, Jan. 2||5:30 p.m./12:30 p.m.||Watford||Manchester City||Sky Sports 1 (UK)/NBC (U.S.)||Sky Go/Live Extra||1-1|
|Sunday, Jan. 3||1:30 p.m./6:30 a.m.||Crystal Palace||Chelsea||Sky Sports 1 (UK)/NBCSN (U.S.)||Sky Go/Live Extra||2-1|
|Sunday, Jan. 3||4 p.m./11 a.m.||Everton||Tottenham||Sky Sports 1 (UK)/NBCSN (U.S.)||Sky Go/Live Extra||1-2|
More Away Woes for Manchester City?
Manchester City's poor away form continued in Week 19 with a scoreless draw against Leicester City, and per Squawka Football, that means the Citizens have picked up just three points from their last six matches away from the Etihad Stadium:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Manchester City's last six Premier League away games: LDDLLD Poor. https://t.co/xdQKUjEzLc12/29/2015, 10:26:59 PM
City sit just three points behind Arsenal and Leicester City in the standings and are still in prime position to be involved in the title race, but Manuel Pellegrini's troops desperately need to turn their away form around.
Watford's unbeaten run came to an end in Week 19 against Tottenham Hotspur, but the Hornets remain a tricky opponent to face, especially at home. The attacking duo of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney has been in tremendous form, and the Citizens are still without captain Vincent Kompany, as Pellegrini confirmed on Thursday, per Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News.
Per WhoScored.com, Watford haven't been held scoreless since a loss against Arsenal in October, whereas City's attack has been woeful away from home.
Sergio Aguero's absence due to injury and subsequent struggle for form has played a part in that, and Pellegrini expects better from his top striker in 2016, as he told the Manchester Evening News (h/t Goal's Stefan Coerts):
We know Kun needs three or four games to return his performance after an injury and I am sure we are going to see the best Kun in the second half of the season.
I never talk about individual performances because we are a team. We know, because we know him and after all this year he needs two or three games to return to his normal performance.
Improving their away form should be City's top New Year's resolution, and that won't come easy against Watford. A positive start to 2016 would be a major boost for City's title hopes, but without Kompany or an in-form Aguero, another draw seems more likely.
Can Tottenham Hotspur Surge Continue?
Tottenham have quietly climbed into fourth place in the standings and currently hold a comfortable lead over Crystal Palace and Manchester United, sitting just one point behind City. Mauricio Pochettino's squad have flown under the radar all season long, but three consecutive wins are difficult to ignore.
Spurs boast the top-ranked defence in the Premier League entering Week 20, led by the Belgian duo of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. They'll have their hands full on Sunday, however, as they face one of their most dangerous compatriots.
The 2015-16 campaign has been a strong one for Romelu Lukaku so far, and he currently leads the league in scoring, along with Leicester's Jamie Vardy. Former England international Gary Lineker is a fan:
Gary Lineker @GaryLineker
2 more goals for Lukaku. He's turning into a goal-scoring machine.12/28/2015, 4:23:05 PM
The strong play of Gerard Deulofeu has played a big role in Lukaku's improved statistical output. The former Chelsea man seems less inclined to move out wide and try to force his way toward goal, and the better positional play has served him well.
Everton have been far from their best this season, and the 4-3 loss against Stoke City highlighted a number of key issues plaguing Roberto Martinez's squad. Defensively, the Toffees lose focus all too often, and goalkeeper Tim Howard was more of a liability than a strength in 2015.
But their knack for scoring goals makes them a dangerous opponent, regardless, and Spurs will be in for a real test at Goodison Park. With most of the clubs in the European spots taking on teams ranked near the bottom of the standings, Tottenham will likely have to win to maintain their advantage in the race for a Champions League ticket.