Premier League enters frenetic period

The action is all set to ratchet up in the Premier League, beginning with Boxing Day matches on Monday.

A comprehensive victory for United.

Leaders Manchester City will play West Brom at the Hawthorns, looking to continue the run that has seen them top the table at Christmas for the first time in 82 years.

Manchester United will look to keep the pressure on their city-rivals when they welcome a resurgent Wigan to Old Trafford on the same day.

Premier League Boxing Day Team News

City boss Roberto Mancini is under no illusion that the title is in the bag - although he has set a target of 90 points if City were to find themselves in top spot come May next year.

"If we want to win the title we should get 90 points because United keep winning," he was quoted as saying in The Sun newspaper.

"I'm happy we're top of the table at Christmas but as I've said many times, it is important to stay there for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Liverpool could pile further misery on under-pressure Steve Kean when they host Blackburn at Anfield.

Much of the spotlight is expected to fall on two men - Luis Suarez and Steve Kean.

The Reds came in for criticism for their strongly-worded statement in the wake of the Uruguay international's eight-match ban imposed for using insulting words towards Patrice Evra, with a reference to the Manchester United player's skin colour.

However, when the players issued their statement prior to Wednesday's goalless draw at Wigan and wore T-shirts in the warm-up depicting an image of Suarez with his name and number seven on the back there was further outcry.

However, Dalglish defended the club's stance in giving their full support to Suarez.

"The statement couldn't have caused anyone any trouble and I don't think the players have caused any trouble with the FA either by their statement or support by their T-shirts," said the Scot.

"If we are not in any trouble we will leave it at that before we do get in any trouble."

Kean, who was subjected to verbal abuse during his side's 2-1 defeat to Bolton in midweek, has received support from fellow managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I have not seen anything as bad as that," said Ferguson. "I feel for the lad.

"He seems to be in complete control of himself at press conferences and has not let events get to him.

"It is remarkable that under that kind of pressure he can retain his dignity the way he has done.

"I tried to phone him the other day but he is probably right to keep it off."

Chelsea will be hoping to get their potential title bid back on track when they welcome Fulham, who are still fresh from their 5-0 hammering by United.

Arsenal's proposed game against Wolves on Boxing Day has been postponed to Tuesday. And Arsene Wenger's side will look to continue their impressive form after claiming a late 2-1 win against Aston Villa last Wednesday.

Newcastle will look to halt their freefall and bounce back after the 3-2 defeat at home to West Brom when they visit Bolton.

Alex McLeish has expressed his desire to win over the support of Aston Villa fans and could do with a away victory against Stoke.

Martin O'Neill's impressive start to his Sunderland career could get even better when they welcome Everton to the Stadium of Light.

Besides the Arsenal-Wolves match on Tuesday, new-boys Swansea and Queens Park Rangers will clash at the Liberty Stadium while Tottenham visit Norwich City.

Monday's Premier League Fixtures

Chelsea vs Fulham

Jol: AVB's age is not an issue

Sturridge calls for focus against Fulham

AVB not budging on Alex stance

West Brom vs Man City

Bridge: Mancini doesn't speak to me

Mancini: Aguero can hit 30 this season

Reid ruled out for a month

Sunderland vs Everton

Brown wants Sunderland form to continue

Moyes: Sunderland can be a force

Bolton vs Newcastle

Ba not setting any targets at Newcastle

Coyle coy on Kevin Davies role

Liverpool vs Blackburn

Kean expects owners to splash cash

Dalglish happy with Spearing's attitude

Man United vs Wigan

Fergie: Injuries won't force transfers

Caldwell has United in his sights

Evans wary of Wigan threat

Valencia: Sentiment out the window

Stoke vs Aston Villa

Pulis backs McLeish to succeed at Villa

Bent wants to score more for Villa

Tuesday's Premier League Fixtures

Arsenal vs Wolves

Wenger wants festive results

Wenger considering Henry loan move

Henry targets Wolves improvement

Swansea vs QPR

Warnock wants leaders at QPR

Norwich vs Tottenham

Lambert hails brilliant Redknapp

King: Spurs capable of top four finish

Scott Parker earns his Spurs



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