Article for http://www.theteamofyourdreams.co.uk
Published 24 December 2011
For many, Boxing day signals eating leftover turkey and feeling blue that Christmas day has come and gone for another year. However, for football fans it’s a day ensured to be jam-packed with exciting matches. Let’s take a look at the games ahead and see which footballers could give us a belated Christmas present by bagging some fantasy football points.
The early kick off of the day sees Chelsea take on Fulham in the West London derby. The Cottagers will be looking to get back on track after suffering a heavy defeat at home to Manchester United on Wednesday. However, they don’t have a great record at Stamford Bridge winning just two out of 37.
Blackburn travel to Anfield, and Steve Kean will be hoping to pick up crucial points before 2011 ends. An away game could prove to be in the Rovers manager’s favour after the hostile reception he received midweek. Nevertheless, the Reds will certainly be the favourites to take all three points.
Manchester City’s 3-0 win midweek means they’ll be champions on Christmas Day, and they’ll be hoping this remains the case as they take on West Brom. City have scored over 50 Premier League goals already this season and the Baggies bagged themselves three midweek, so a repeat of the goalless draw encountered last time the sides met on Boxing Day is unlikely.
Other games on Monday see Bolton hoping to build on there midweek win as they welcome Newcastle to the Reebok. Wigan have gained an unexpected two points in their last games against Chelsea and Liverpool, but they’ll have to be at there best to get anything when they take on Manchester United. Martin O’neill saw his side get a well deserved late winner against QPR this week and he’ll be hoping for more of the same as Sunderland welcome Everton. Finally, Stoke take on Aston Villa in the late kick off.
There are also three games on Tuesday; Arsenal welcome Mick McCarthy’s Wolves, Swansea take on QPR in the battle of the promoted sides, and Tottenham make the journey to Carrow Road to face Norwich.
Players to watch:
Robin van Persie (Arsenal) – The striker is three goals away from beating Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year. A home game against Wolves could be the perfect match to add to his impressive tally.
Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland) – Bendtner looked impressive at Loftus Road and seems to be finding his form under the new boss.
Andy Carroll (Liverpool) – Carroll has failed to make an impression since his big money move in January. However, the former Newcastle man has a chance to start the game against Blackburn and with pressure surrounding Suarez this could be his time to shine.
Demba Ba (Newcastle) – The Senegalese striker is in fine form scoring 12 fantasy football points midweek despite Newcastle losing 2-3 to West Brom. Bolton have conceded the most goals so far this Premier League season, so there’s a high chance the former West Ham player will be on the score sheet.
Junior Hoilett (Blackburn) – Rovers may have lost against Bolton midweek but Hoilett was the shining star of the team and if they’re going to get anything at Anfield he’s likely to be involved.
Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) – The young striker is in great form and will be looking to add more goals to his tally after rescuing a point for Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.