The Premier League rumbles on and on. It’s mid-January and the season isn’t quite halfway over yet. This should tell you why the games congestion is so bad right now.

And it will only get worse if the FA Cup bravely continues, more cancellations due to outbreaks of Covid-19 are likely on training grounds and European competition returns soon as well.

This means that there are only a handful of days in January when English elite football is not played in either the Premier League, FA Cup or League Cup.

No wonder we are all starting to feel it a little no matter the players.

Monday 18th January

  • Arsenal versus Newcastle
  • 8 p.m. kick-off
  • Reporting on the Sky Sports Main Event and the Sky Sports Premier League from 7 p.m.

Under fire Newcastle manager Steve Bruce will take on Mikel Arteta and hope to follow in his footsteps.

Newcastle have played eight games without a win while Arteta stopped the rot at Arsenal. An unbeaten run in five games has put the Gunners in 11th place in the Premier League and in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the latter at the expense of the Magpies.

Bur Bruce is philosophical about the pressure and says, “Whether you are in charge of Newcastle or who you are in charge of in the Premier League, we are always under pressure about the results. Arsenal have had some decent results in a short amount of time, which always helps. Right on time, he [Arteta] has had a good run. “

Steve Bruce is under pressure in Newcastle as he prepares for Arsenal (Picture: GETTY)

Bruce said his side would approach the game “the right way, like we did in the cup tie, and we’ll see if we can get a better result”.

Tuesday January 19th

  • West Ham versus West Brom
  • 6 p.m.
  • Coverage of BT Sport 1 from 5.30 p.m.

David Moyes expects Mikhail Antonio to face West Brom but wants to make sure his side doesn’t become overly dependent on him.

Antonio scored the winner against Burnley on Saturday in his first league start since November.

“He’s an important part of the team for us – you could tell we got a result with his goal on Saturday – so we have to be careful with him,” said Moyes.

“But we also want to win games and keep moving forward, so we’ll try to prepare for the West Brom game.”

  • Leicester versus Chelsea
  • 8.15 p.m.
  • Reporting on the Sky Sports Main Event from 8 p.m. and the Sky Sports Premier League from 7.30 p.m.

Brendan Rodgers expects Jamie Vardy to be fit against Chelsea despite the seasoned striker being out of the running in the 90th minute against Southampton on Saturday.

The 34-year-old has been plagued by a recurring hip injury all season, but Rodgers declared “everyone should be fine” when asked if Vardy could play a role. Ricardo Pereira will also return after 10 months.

Brendan Rodgers hopes Vardy will recover in time to face Chelsea on Tuesday (Photo: REUTERS)

N’Golo Kante will be absent from the club he won the 2015/16 Premier League title for with a hamstring injury that left Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Fulham on Saturday without Chelsea.

Wednesday January 20th

  • Man City versus Aston Villa
  • 6 p.m.
  • Coverage of BT Sport 1 from 5.30 p.m.

Aston Villa make their return to the Premier League on Wednesday, 19 days after their previous game in the competition, as they face Manchester City on Wednesday.

The club had to postpone the games against Spurs and Everton last week after a severe Covid-19 outbreak at the training ground in Bodymoor Heath.

Villa couldn’t have received a more difficult assignment in their first game since New Years when City extended their run in the winners’ league to five games against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

City have conceded just one goal in ten games Ruben Dias and the revived John Stones played together.

  • Fulham versus Manchester United
  • 8.15 p.m.
  • Reporting on BT Sport 1 from 8 p.m.

Manchester United will look to maintain their exceptional away form this season as they travel to west London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has the best away record in the Premier League, winning seven and two of their nine games on the road and scoring the highest score with 22 goals.

Marcus Rashford was particularly explosive in away games. He scored six goals and registered five assists in nine games, compared to just one in nine goals at Old Trafford.

In contrast, Fulham have fought for goals and haven’t found the net in any of their last three home games.

Thursday January 21st

  • Liverpool versus Burnley
  • 8 p.m.
  • Coverage of the Sky Sports Main Event and the Sky Sports Premier League from 7.30 p.m.

Liverpool will be desperate to end their worst goalless run in the Premier League in 16 years when they face Burnley on Thursday, a team with attacking problems of their own.

A 0-0 draw with Manchester United at the weekend extended Liverpool’s league drought to three games and 384 minutes since Sadio Mane met West Brom in December.

However, Liverpool’s attacking problems are insignificant compared to Burnley’s. Sean Dyche’s side have scored just nine goals in their first 17 games, only one of which – an own goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – is different from Turf Moor.


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