One of the most anticipated days of the Premier League calendar takes place today as the Boxing Day fixtures signal the start of the festive period, with 20 games all taking place in the next week. League leaders Chelsea feature, as do Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City, while Sam Allardyce takes charge of his first match as Crystal Palace manager since replacing Alan Pardew.
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- Today’s Premier League fixtures:
- Watford 1 Crystal Palace 1
- Arsenal 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
- Burnley 1 Middlesbrough 0
- Chelsea 3 Bournemouth 0
- Leicester City 0 Everton – 2
- Manchester United 3 Sunderland 1
- Swansea 1 West Ham 4
- Hull vs Manchester City – 17:15
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This week’s Premier League fixtures:
Tuesday 27 December
Liverpool vs Stoke City – 17:15
Wednesday 28 December
Southampton vs Tottenham – 19:45
Friday 30 December
Hull vs Everton
Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Boxing Day Premier League action, with eight games set to kick-off a busy festive schedule. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all feature today, while Sam Allardyce makes his Premier League return with Crystal Palace after replacing Alan Pardew on Friday night, with the Eagles taking on Watford in the opening game of the day.
With everyone still in the Christmas spirit, sit back and relax as we bring you all the goals as they go in.
TEAM NEWS: Watford have made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend. Captain Troy Deeney and Juan Zuniga are omitted from the starting XI for Odion Ighalo and Daryl Janmaat as Walter Mazzarri looks to bounce back from consecutive league defeats.
Sam Allardyce has marked his first game in the Palace dugout with two alterations to the side that lost 1-0 to league leaders, Chelsea, last weekend. In an attacking line-up, Allardyce has opted for Andros Townsend and Mathieu Flamini over regular starters James McArthur and Joe Ledley.
STAT: Crystal Palace haven't kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since Boxing Day last year in a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth. Big Sam's introduction couldn't have come sooner.
No Troy Deeney? Watford scored three goals against Palace in the Premier League and the FA Cup last season and they all came from their skipper. Deeney scored Watford's equaliser during their 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat at Wembley in May and a brace to secure a 2-1 win over the Eagles at Selhurst Park earlier last season. Massive call to leave him out of the game today.
KEY MAN: Christian Benteke. The Belgium striker is beginning to come into his own at Palace after failing to impress during his short stay at Liverpool. After scoring six goals in his last seven away games for the Eagles, Benteke is proving to be an impressive outlet for Palace away from Selhurst Park and will be a big threat again at Vicarage Road.
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