Premier League Preview: 'The Chosen One' prepares for Old Trafford return
We look ahead to the day's 3pm fixtures11:39 Monday 26 December 2016, 11:39 26 Dec 2016
The St. Stephen's Day fixtures remain some of the most high-profile in the Premier League season.
Six games are being played at 3pm, with consequences at both the top and bottom of the table. A Chelsea win, over Bournemouth would see Antonio Conte's side stretch their lead to nine points, at least temporarily. At the bottom of the table, both Swansea and Sunderland are both in danger of slipping away.
While at Old Trafford, there is the return of 'The Chosen One'. Here are some of the main talking points ahead of the day's games.
Moyes returns to Manchester United
In public, he will claim it is not about him, but David Moyes will be the centre of attention, when he walks up the Old Trafford sideline this afternoon. The Sunderland manager takes his place in a dugout at the stadium for the first time since he was sacked by the club in 2014.
Sunderland come to Manchester off the back off the back of a win against Watford, but they still lie in the relegation zone. On the other hand, Jose Mourinho's side are the kings of December 26th. No team has won more games than United on St. Stephen's Day. In the Premier League-era, they have won on this date 18 times.
Moyes was proclaimed as 'The Chosen One', and still had the support of many United fans when he was sacked. The team have failed to improve considerably since his sacking under both Louis van Gaal and Mourinho. What reception awaits the 53-year-old will be one of the day's abiding images.
Can Chelsea cope without Costa and Kante?
11 wins in a row looks like it will send Chelsea to Premier League glory at the end of the season. Diego Costa has been instrumental in that run, scoring in six separate games.
Against Bournemouth, the Brazilian-born Spanish international will be watching from the sidelines along with N'Golo Kante. Both players are suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.
The resurgence of Costa, and the addition of Kante have been two of the main reason for the side's outstanding form in the past three months. The duo have started all 11 games, since Conte switched formations to 3-4-3. Can the team cope without the duo against Bournemouth?
Swansea's survival hopes depends on home form
The first half of the 2016/17 has been an enormous letdown for both Swansea City and West Ham. With one stuck in the relegation zone, and the other having only recorded back-to-back wins for the second time this season, 2017 cannot come soon enough.
Bob Bradley's Swansea have shown glimpses of hope under their new manager. With two wins, and a draw from their last four home games, Bradley's best hope of survival is through the Liberty Stadium On the road, Swansea are a mess, but they have a tendency to perform on front of their home fans.
While West Ham's teething problems continue at their new stadium, their away form leaves a lot to be desired. One win on the road this season has seen the side struggle to emulate last season's form. The game at the Liberty Stadium could be one of the more fascinating games of the day. Sadly, not fascinating in a good way.
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