With 2019 now in the rear-view mirror, all 20 Premier League sides will be hoping for a strong second half to the season in 2020.
Liverpool will be hoping it’s a season that ends with a first league title since 1990, with their 13-point lead and game in hand leading to many suggesting the title race is practically done and dusted.
Leicester City and Manchester City meanwhile are separated by just a point as they battle for second place, while the gap from Chelsea in fourth to Sheffield United in eighth currently stands at just six points.
Matters at the other end of the table remain equally as tight. Although Everton sit tenth with 25 points, they’re actually just seven points ahead of Aston Villa in 18th, with Watford only a further two points behind the Villains and Norwich three points behind the Hornets.
There’s usually plenty of twists and turns to either enjoy or endure, with 2020 set to be no exception.
Match of the Round – Arsenal vs Manchester United
It headlines the New Year’s Day fixtures, with games between Arsenal and Manchester United largely defining the Premier League era.
Both are ever-presents since the league’s inception in 1992, although the pair currently fall under the label ‘teams in transition’ rather than the title-chasing sides they once were.
Arsenal are currently at the beginning of a new cycle following the recent appointment of Mikel Arteta, yet while the performances have been good, the Spaniard has taken just one point from his opening two games in charge to see them currently occupy 12th.
There recent 2-1 defeat to Chelsea saw them concede two goals in the final ten minutes despite showing signs of improvement. One major positive to take would be the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has 13 league goals this season and looks reinvigorated under Arteta.
Manchester United meanwhile head into the games at the Emirates in better form, having won their last two games to sit four points behind Chelsea as they look to secure a top-four finish come the end of the season.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer searches for consistency from his side, he will undoubtedly be pleased with the form of Marcus Rashford this season, who already has 12 goals and four assists in the league so far, while three of Anthony Martial‘s seven league goals have come in his last two games.
Rest of the Round
Premier League football in 2020 commences from 12:30pm, as Chelsea travel to Brighton & Hove Albion looking to make it ten league wins in ten against the Seagulls.
Burnley welcome Aston Villa to Turf Moor in the other lunchtime kick-off in a fixture the home side have enjoyed, having lost just one of the last 11 league meetings.
Southampton face Tottenham Hotspur at St. Mary’s which is good news for Harry Kane, as he’s scored in each of his last six Premier League games against the Saints.
A rejuvenated Watford under Nigel Pearson take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vicarage Road.
Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping to make it three wins from three as Everton manager when he faces Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Norwich City – who are winless in their last seven league games – will be hoping for a win against Crystal Palace as they look to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
David Moyes’ second stint in charge of West Ham United begins with a home game against a Bournemouth side with just one win in their last nine league games.
One game takes place the following day, as Liverpool look to make it 51 league games unbeaten at Anfield when they face Sheffield United.
Premier League Player to Watch: Tammy Abraham – Chelsea – £3.13
Tammy Abraham had gone four Premier League games without a goal before scoring the late winner against Arsenal at the weekend, although that’s not to say that the 22-year-old hasn’t been performing of late.
London…. still blue 💙 pic.twitter.com/v2FzT7W0Lr
— Tammy Abraham (@tammyabraham) December 29, 2019
The striker was brilliant against Tottenham without scoring, with his winner against the Gunners potentially the boost he needed to find the net as regularly as he did earlier in the campaign.
He traded as highly as £3.71 earlier this season and could reach that level again if he’s able to add goals that his recent performances have justified.