2021 Premier League action is drawing to a close as we approach the final round of fixtures this calendar year.
Though the new wave of positive COVID-19 cases continues to cause havoc to the Premier League schedule, four matches are set to go ahead on Tuesday.
We will have a quick look at the three best picks to watch out for tomorrow.
Crystal Palace vs Norwich City
Crystal Palace will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on basement boys Norwich City at Selhurst Park.
With head coach Patrick Vieira sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, the Eagles slumped to a horrendous 3-0 defeat to Tottenham in an all-London encounter on Boxing Day.
Though the ex-Arsenal manager won’t be in the dugout for Norwich’s visit to the capital, Palace will still be favorites to snap a two-game winless Premier League streak (D1, L1).
The hosts have gone unbeaten in their last 16 league H2Hs on home turf (W11, D5) following a run of five consecutive defeats between 1991 and 1996.
So Palace should feel confident of finding their way out of the crisis, especially given Norwich’s embarrassing performances in December.
Since beating Southampton 2-1 at home on his touchline debut, new manager Dean Smith has failed to win any of his last five Premier League matches in a row (D1, L4).
Furthermore, the Canaries have lost their last four league matches by an aggregate score of 11-0 as they appear to be sinking without a trace.
Considering they head into proceedings as the only Premier League side yet to hit double digits this season (8 goals scored), it’s hard to make a case for Norwich to pick up the points at Selhurst Park.
Prediction: Crystal Palace to win / Crystal Palace to score over 1.5 goals
Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur
The Christmas schedule has not been kind to Southampton as they gear up for an exciting Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur just days after taking a trip to West Ham United.
Yet, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men defied the odds in the capital to claim an all-important 3-2 triumph at the London Stadium on Boxing Day, halting a run of six league games without a win (D3, L3).
Though it may still turn out to be a fluke, the Saints face a rare opportunity to post back-to-back Premier League wins, a feat they’ve managed just once this season.
Southampton can still draw confidence from their solid Premier League home record this season (W2, D5, L1) and the fact they take the field unbeaten in their last five league fixtures at St. Mary’s Stadium (W2, D3).
That may all come to no avail against a high-flying Tottenham side that have undergone quite a renaissance under a charismatic new boss Antonio Conte.
Spurs have gone unbeaten in all six Premier League matches under the Italians’ stewardship (W4, D2), including an electrifying 3-0 victory over cross-town rivals Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.
However, Conte could find himself in a bit unfamiliar territory, as this will be Tottenham’s first Premier League away fixture in 51 days, with the Londoners drawing a blank in their last two top-flight travels (D1, L1).
Prediction: Both teams to score
Leicester City vs Liverpool
Tuesday’s Premier League action closes out at the King Power Stadium as mid-table Leicester City take on second-placed Liverpool in a blockbuster showdown.
Brendan Rodgers’ team suffered a humiliating 6-3 defeat to reigning champions Manchester City at the weekend, though they almost stunned Boxing Day.
After finding themselves 4-0 down at half-time, the Foxes fashioned a storming comeback to make it 4-3 midway through the second half, striking fears into the hearts of the Etihad faithful.
Unfortunately, two late goals from Pep Guardiola’s side ensured a clear-cut win for the Citizens, pouring more misery on Leicester’s lackluster domestic campaign.
The Midlanders have now won just one of their last five Premier League outings (D1, L3), frustratingly conceding 2+ goals on each occasion.
As for Liverpool, a COVID-19 outbreak within the Leeds United squad forced the postponement of their Boxing Day fixture at Anfield, giving Jurgen Klopp’s men extra rest days.
Coming into this matchday, the Reds hit back twice to hold Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in London as their six-match winning streak in the Premier League ran out of the window.
Still, Liverpool have been too hot to handle on hostile turf this season, as evidenced by their intimidating scoring return of 28 goals from nine top-flight travels to date (W6, D2, L1).
In addition to scoring at least eight more goals than any other Premier League side on the road, the Merseyside heavyweights remain one of only two teams to have reached double digits in both halves of away action this term.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals / Liverpool to score over 1.5 goals