Fri | Sep 22, 2017

BPL PREVIEWS

Published:Saturday | December 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

BOURNEMOUTH VS CRYSTAL PALACE

AFC Bournemouth are on a roll after winning three games in a row, while they are unbeaten in five games. The rapid rise of Bournemouth, in the top flight for the first time, can be measured by the fact that just two years ago, their Boxing Day opponents were Yeovil Town. By contrast, Crystal Palace have lost three of their last four games on Boxing Day.

ASTON VILLA VS WEST HAM

Aston Villa are rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier League. Traditionally, the team bottom at Christmas suffers relegation five months later, though Leicester, last season, and Sunderland in 2013-14, were bottom at Christmas and both survived. Traditionally, Villa struggle on Boxing Day; they have not won on this festive day since 2005, when they beat Everton 4-0 at Villa Park.

CHELSEA

VS WATFORD

Chelsea begin life (again) under caretaker Guus Hiddink. The former Dutch international manager had a previous spell as interim boss in 2009, when he lost only one of 22 league games and led Chelsea to success in the FA Cup. Chelsea are just three points clear of the relegation zone with only 18 points; last season they had 42.

NEWCASTLE VS EVERTON

Newcastle United are at home for only the second time in five Boxing Day fixtures while, in the previous 10 years, they have won just twice on this day. Everton are away for the first time on Boxing Day since 2011 and lost the last two, both 1-0 at Goodison Park. In 21 previous Premier League clashes between Newcastle and Everton at St James' Park, Newcastle have won 12, drawn four and lost five.

STOKE CITY VS MAN UNITED

Louis van Gaal is under pressure. The fans are turning against the Dutchman and some believe he has two games left to safe his job - this trip and the home game against Chelsea two days later. But United should be confident; in seven Premier League visits they have won four, drawn two and lost just once.

SWANSEA

VS WEST BROM

Swansea were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham United on Sunday, ending a run of three straight defeats. However, the Welshmen have now gone seven games without a win, their longest spell since they failed to win in eight in the 2013-14 season.

Swansea have won none of their last seven Premier League home games at Liberty Stadium, drawing four and losing three, while failing to score in five of those matches.