United hunt Foxes as pressure builds on Arteta – 5 Premier League talking points

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The festive fixture list remains one of the most treasured traditions in English football.

And even at a time when games are coming thick and fast every week amid the pandemic, the Boxing Day games promise to be a special treat for fans.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at the key talking points in the Premier League.

Foxes to test United’s credentials

A few short weeks ago, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was favourite in the Premier League sack race. Now the Norwegian is trying to play down title talk around Old Trafford as their fine form continues. In domestic action, United have won seven and drawn one of their last eight, reaching the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and moving up to third in the Premier League, five points behind Liverpool with a game in hand on the champions. Boxing Day sends them south to Leicester, where they will face one of the two teams still above them in the standings. The Foxes should provide a stiff test, having won four of the last five themselves, including an impressive 2-0 win at Tottenham last weekend.

Parker isolating

Fulham have shown some resilience in recent weeks as their battle against the drop continues. They remain in the drop zone but have taken points off both Leicester and Liverpool to offer a blueprint of how they might survive. Southampton are the visitors on Boxing Day, but Fulham’s plans have been complicated with manager Scott Parker self-isolating after a positive Covid-19 case within his household. Parker himself has tested negative, but assistant Stuart Gray and first-team coach Matt Wells will take charge on Saturday.

Arteta battles on

Mikel Arteta file photo
Mikel Arteta is under mounting pressure at Arsenal (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Man in the middle

Nuno Espirito Santo file photo
Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to face an FA charge following his criticism of Lee Mason (Peter Powell/PA)

Allardyce up against it

Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Anfield
Sam Allardyce oversaw Crystal Palace’s 2017 win at Anfield – Liverpool’s last home defeat in the league (Peter Byrne/PA)

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