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Premier League Resumption: Leaders Arsenal return with London derby

Premier League leaders Arsenal return to action on Boxing Day with a home clash against London rivals West Ham.

The English top-flight resumes following a six-week hiatus for the World Cup on Boxing Day with seven games set to take place.

Brentford and Tottenham get the day underway with a 12:30 clash at the Gtech Community Stadium ahead of four fixtures at 15:00, including Julen Lopetegui's first league engagement with Wolves when they head to Everton.

Liverpool travel to Aston Villa at 17:30 and Arsenal welcome West Ham to the Emirates at 20:00.

There's a double-header on 27th December with Bournemouth facing Chelsea, a 17:30 kick-off at Stamford Bridge, and Nottingham Forest taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford at 20:00.

Leeds and Manchester City feature as the only game on 28th December with the clash, which gets underway at 20:00, set to take place at Elland Road.

Home comfort key for Gunners

What: Arsenal v West Ham, Premier League
Where: Emirates Stadium, London
When: 20:00, Monday 26th December 2022
How to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Odds: Arsenal 1/2, Draw 10/3, West Ham 5/1

Arsenal enjoyed a great run before the campaign was halted for the World Cup, picking up 37 points from a possible 42 via 12 wins, one draw and one defeat to cement their place at the top of the standings.

They've not put a foot wrong on home soil, winning each of their six home fixtures, including an emphatic 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest when they last stepped out at the Emirates.

West Ham, who sit 16th, will attempt to become the first club to take some points away from the Emirates on Boxing Day but the form book suggests they may struggle.

The Hammers have already tasted defeat nine times this campaign, losing each of their last three outings, and they have earned just one win from seven engagements on the road.

Scoring goals, especially away from home, has been a big problem for West Ham, with just three to their name.

With that in mind, backing Arsenal To Win to Nil at 6/4 offers interest.

One thing to note is that Arsenal will be without Gabriel Jesus after he was forced to undergo surgery on his knee following an injury sustained with Brazil at the World Cup.

Finding a solution in his absence is key for boss Mikel Arteta and it could weaken Arsenal's ability to find the net regularly.

The Gunners have scored at least two goals in each of their six home league games, scoring three or more on four occasions.

However, without Jesus, it might be worth tempering the expectations in the final third, so an Arsenal win & Under 2.5 Goals at 11/4 could be the way to go.

Lopetegui looking for positive PL start

What: Everton v Wolves, Premier League
Where: Goodison Park, Liverpool
When: 15:00, Monday 26th December 2022
How to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Odds: Everton 5/4, Draw 23/10, Wolves 11/5

After a protracted search for Bruno Lage's successor, Wolves finally got their man when confirming the appointment of Lopetegui on 5th November.

Lopetegui led Wolves to victory in his first game in charge, overseeing a 2-0 win over League Two Gillingham in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old, who has previously managed Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla, gets his first taste of the Premier League on Boxing Day courtesy of a trip to Everton.

He has a major job on his hands in trying to get Wolves off the foot of the table, having collected just 10 points from their 15 fixtures.

The clash with Everton offers a big opportunity to earn some much-needed points against another club in the relegation picture.

Everton are 17th and just four points clear of Wolves with just a one-point gap to the bottom three.

They are without a win in three, having last tasted victory when beating Crystal Palace on 22nd October, and failed to score in each of those games.

The Toffees, along with Nottingham Forest are the joint second-lowest scorers in the division, registering only 11 times, while Wolves are the lowest scorers in the top-flight after netting only eight times.

That suggests this clash could be a tense and tight affair between two clubs low on confidence and Under 1.5 Goals at 11/5 looks a sensible option.

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United face improving Forest

What: Manchester United v Nottingham Forest, Premier League
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
When: 20:00, Tuesday 27th December 2022
How to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Odds: Manchester United 3/10, Draw 9/2, Nottingham Forest 7/1

Manchester United's hopes of challenging for the title already look slim but they are firmly in the mix To Finish in the Top 4 and can be backed at 5/4 to achieve that goal.

They are the only club to have beaten league leaders Arsenal this term and have lost just once in their last seven.

At home, the Red Devils are unbeaten since losing their opening game against Brighton, winning four and drawing one, while they've kept three clean sheets in a row.

Forest make the trip with an improving record after a terrible start to life back in the Premier League.

Steve Cooper's men lost six of their opening eight games and picked up just one win from their first 11 fixtures.

However, the tide appears to be turning and they have won two of their last four with just one defeat, a 5-0 loss to Arsenal, during that sequence.

It is worth taking into account their record on the road, though, with just two points to show from seven games and only one goal to their name.

Forest are undoubtedly moving in the right direction but taking something positive away from Old Trafford looks a big ask.

A Manchester United Win to Nil at 1/1 looks like the standout selection.

City can't afford another slip-up

What: Leeds v Manchester City, Premier League
Where: Elland Road, Leeds
When: 20:00, Wednesday 28th December 2022
How to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Odds: Leeds 13/2, Draw 11/2, Manchester City 2/7

Defending champions Manchester City trail leaders Arsenal by five points as they prepare to return to action at Leeds.

A 2-1 loss at home to Brentford before the World Cup break has left them with plenty of work to do and any further mistakes could be extremely costly.

Scoring certainly hasn't been a problem, netting a league-high 40 goals, thanks largely to summer arrival Erling Haaland, who already has 18 to his name.

Haaland, 1/6 Top Goalscorer, wasn't involved in the World Cup so the Norway international will be raring to go for a trip to the city of his birth, Leeds.

The 22-year-old was born in Leeds and this trip to Elland Road will likely be an emotional one for the frontman, who is 2/1 To Score First and 2/1 To Score 2 or More.

Leeds have struggled for consistency this term but they have won two of their last three games, notably a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.

It's at Elland Road where they have done their best work, though, with 11 of their 15 points coming at their West Yorkshire base.

And there never seems to be any shortage of excitement or drama when the Whites are involved with nine of their 14 goals boasting at least three goals.

Goals are often on the agenda when these two sides meet, with City running out 4-0 winners at Elland Road last term after they'd claimed a 7-0 win at home.

A City win and over 3.5 goals in the Result/Total Goals market is 6/4.

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