EPL 2020-21, Matchday 17 preview: Chelsea and Manchester City headline New Year's clash

First Published Jan 1, 2021, 11:49 AM IST

The English Premier League enters the year 2021 with its Matchday 17, as the competition nears its half-way mark. Liverpool remains on top, while it is the defending champion, having won the title last season, after 30 years. Manchester United is the only team in contention for the top.

<p>As the new year, 2021, kicks in, we enter Matchday 17 of the English Premier League (EPL). Liverpool happens to remain at the top, while Manchester United is the only other team, in contention for the top spot. As fans look ahead to the New Year's clash, we present the matchday preview, involving the top teams.</p>

As the new year, 2021, kicks in, we enter Matchday 17 of the English Premier League (EPL). Liverpool happens to remain at the top, while Manchester United is the only other team, in contention for the top spot. As fans look ahead to the New Year's clash, we present the matchday preview, involving the top teams.

<p><strong>United takes on unpredictable Villa:</strong> Aston Villa has been one of the most surprising EPL teams this season, especially after the 7-2 drubbing it handed to Liverpool. Currently placed fifth, it travels to Old Trafford, to take on United. Although United is favourite to win the clash, Villa can pull off an upset. A win for United would see it stay on second, levelled on same points with Liverpool, as the latter has a better goal difference. For Villa, a win would take it to the third spot. The match will be played on Friday.</p>

United takes on unpredictable Villa: Aston Villa has been one of the most surprising EPL teams this season, especially after the 7-2 drubbing it handed to Liverpool. Currently placed fifth, it travels to Old Trafford, to take on United. Although United is favourite to win the clash, Villa can pull off an upset. A win for United would see it stay on second, levelled on same points with Liverpool, as the latter has a better goal difference. For Villa, a win would take it to the third spot. The match will be played on Friday.

<p><strong>Spurs faces inconsistent Leeds: </strong>Tottenham Hotspur seemed to be going good initially, until some recent results going against it. Meanwhile, on Saturday, it faces Leeds United at home, in London. Spurs is favourite to win here again. However, Leeds is highly inconsistent and can pull off a surprise, now that it has won its previous two clashes. A win for Tottenham could take it to the third spot from seven, while Leeds could enter top-10 with the win.</p>

Spurs faces inconsistent Leeds: Tottenham Hotspur seemed to be going good initially, until some recent results going against it. Meanwhile, on Saturday, it faces Leeds United at home, in London. Spurs is favourite to win here again. However, Leeds is highly inconsistent and can pull off a surprise, now that it has won its previous two clashes. A win for Tottenham could take it to the third spot from seven, while Leeds could enter top-10 with the win.

<p><strong>Arsenal in a test against West Brom:</strong> Arsenal has had a woeful season so far, lurking just outside the relegation zone following a string of poor results. Nonetheless, having won its previous two matches, it has improved its position slightly and is currently placed 13th. Meanwhile, it travels to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion, on Sunday. A win could see Arsenal rise to the 10th spot, while a win for West Brom still won't be enough to take itself out of the relegation zone.</p>

Arsenal in a test against West Brom: Arsenal has had a woeful season so far, lurking just outside the relegation zone following a string of poor results. Nonetheless, having won its previous two matches, it has improved its position slightly and is currently placed 13th. Meanwhile, it travels to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion, on Sunday. A win could see Arsenal rise to the 10th spot, while a win for West Brom still won't be enough to take itself out of the relegation zone.

<p><strong>Leicester risks Newcastle test:</strong> Leicester City is going good so far, currently placed on third. Having been unbeaten in its last three games, The Foxes now travels to face 14th-placed Newcastle United, on Sunday. The Magpies is winless in the previous four matches, as it faces a tough test. While a win could take Leicester up to second, Newcastle could rise to 12th.</p>

Leicester risks Newcastle test: Leicester City is going good so far, currently placed on third. Having been unbeaten in its last three games, The Foxes now travels to face 14th-placed Newcastle United, on Sunday. The Magpies is winless in the previous four matches, as it faces a tough test. While a win could take Leicester up to second, Newcastle could rise to 12th.

<p><strong>Chelsea hosts City in the big New Year's clash: </strong>Undoubtedly, the fresh new year's biggest clash. The Blues is winless in its past two games, while Manchester City has won its previous two. While Chelsea is placed sixth, City is at the eighth spot, locked on same points, divided by goal difference. A win for either could see them rise to the third spot on Sunday.</p>

Chelsea hosts City in the big New Year's clash: Undoubtedly, the fresh new year's biggest clash. The Blues is winless in its past two games, while Manchester City has won its previous two. While Chelsea is placed sixth, City is at the eighth spot, locked on same points, divided by goal difference. A win for either could see them rise to the third spot on Sunday.

<p><strong>Does Liverpool have a threat from Southampton?</strong> The defending champion has been on a smooth ride so far, losing just a game in 16 matches. As it sits on the top, it still has a task at hand, while a loss could see the side squander the spot. Meanwhile, it travels to Southampton, who is placed ninth and is winless in its past four matches. Known for being unpredictable, The Saints could play spoilsport to Liverpool's reign. Although The Reds is favourite here, this would undoubtedly be an exciting clash on Monday night, as Southampton, too, could rise to the third spot from ninth, provided other results go its way.</p>

Does Liverpool have a threat from Southampton? The defending champion has been on a smooth ride so far, losing just a game in 16 matches. As it sits on the top, it still has a task at hand, while a loss could see the side squander the spot. Meanwhile, it travels to Southampton, who is placed ninth and is winless in its past four matches. Known for being unpredictable, The Saints could play spoilsport to Liverpool's reign. Although The Reds is favourite here, this would undoubtedly be an exciting clash on Monday night, as Southampton, too, could rise to the third spot from ninth, provided other results go its way.