Will Everton have much to celebrate this Christmas? - Alex Livesey
A brief preview of the upcoming games Everton have in December in the Premier League.
The holiday season is always a time for joy and celebration, but what will Everton bring us this month? December is usually busy in the Premier League, and this year is no different - Everton has six games, three at home and three away.
First up on Saturday Dec 1st is the defending champions Manchester City, who seem to have found their feet of late and are in second place, just a point behind crosstown rivals Manchester United. City have built an impregnable defence and lead the League in goal difference.
The next Sunday is a home game against fifth-placed Tottenham, who just leapfrogged Everton on Wednesday. Spurs have also come along lately with two wins after consecutive losses against City and Arsenal. Spurs do have a very leaky defence and the game against them will be another six-pointer.
On Dec 15th the Toffees travel to Stoke City who are in at ninth. The Potters have been proving to be a very hard nut to crack at home, unbeaten and having conceded only two goals at the Britannia. Tony Pulis has taken pride in his side's long-ball reputation, but when you have the horses for the course, then why not play the game?
The Christmas break sees Everton travel to West Ham on the 22nd, and then return home to play Wigan Athletic on the 26th. The Hammers under 'Big' Sam Allardyce have had an up and down season, but find themselves in at 10th, but did hold Manchester City scoreless at home. Wigan have struggled lately, dropping to fifteenth place after some heavy losses. They had tied Everton 2-2 at the DW Stadium in October, but the Toffees will be hoping to punish them at Goodison for that indiscretion.
To round off the busy Christmas schedule the Blues then play another home game, on the 30th, against Chelsea. The London side sit in third currently, but with Rafa Benitez having replaced Roberto Di Matteo in a hasty sacking, it remains to be seen which direction The Pensioners head in.