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Key games ahead of Christmas, winter break

Title race, key games in Europe's big leagues ahead of Christmas and winter break

December 9, 2019 By Ali M.
December 25 is right around the corner, with only two weeks and several exciting games left between the holiday.

Christmas is fast approaching and that means the winter break is right around the corner for all but one of Europe's top-five leagues – the Premier League being the exception, but football fanatics already know that.

Roughly, each league will go through two rounds between now and December 25. With the title racing heating up, the next weeks could go a long way in shaping up the title race. Then there's the fact that several exciting games are set to place during this timeframe. Here's a look at what to expect in Europe.

Here's how things stand in Europe's top-five leagues

Liverpool, Leicester, Man City, PSG, Marseille, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, RB Leipzig, English Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Bundesliga

Premier League

This is the league that has the biggest gap between first and second, with Liverpool boasting an eight-point lead over Leicester. However, during this period, the Reds will play only once unlike the rest due to their League Cup and FIFA Club World Cup fixtures.

That sole game is against Watford, which should be three easy points in the bag. Matchday 18, when Klopp's side won't be in action, their two closest rivals Leicester and Man City will lock horns. If the Foxes win their next two fixtures, they will be five points behind Liverpool at the very least come Boxing Day. 

The Citizens have the trickiest time as they will have to travel to Arsenal before the showdown with Vardy and Co. Below are the standout fixtures leading up to Christmas in the Premier League.

  • December 15, 2019: Man United vs Everton

  • December 15, 2019: Arsenal vs Man City

  • December 21, 2019: Everton vs Arsenal

  • December 21, 2019: Man City vs Leicester City

  • December 22, 2019: Tottenham vs Chelsea

La Liga

Barcelona and Real Madrid sit at the top, tied on 34 points each – the Blaugrana have the slight advantage to due goal difference. For the Catalan giants, it will be rough. First, they must travel to fourth-placed Real Sociedad. Then, they will host Los Blancos in El Clasico on Wednesday, December 18 before returning back to the pitch on Saturday, December 21.

Real Madrid won't have it easier either. Their next three opponents in the build-up to the winter break are Valencia, Barcelona, and Athletic Club. This could be good news for Sevilla, who trail the top two sides by only three points and could leapfrog one of the two by Christmas.

  • December 14, 2019: Real Sociedad vs Barca

  • December 15, 2019: Valencia vs Real Madrid

  • December 18, 2019: Barcelona vs Real Madrid

  • December 21, 2019: Barcelona vs Alves

  • December 22, 2019: Real Madrid vs Athletic Club

Serie A

Juventus find themselves two points behind Inter Milan heading into the final two rounds before the winter break. Neither of them will face teams from the top 10 before the break, with the Nerazzurri taking on Fiorentina and then Genoa and the Old Lady facing Udinese and then Sampdoria. Lazio, meanwhile, the only team that can challenge the top two before Christmas, will be in action in the league before December 25 only once and that's against fourth-placed Cagliari.

Bundesliga

This is an odd season in the Bundesliga, with reigning champions Bayern Munich sitting outside even a Europa League spot. The Bavarians will be in action three times before the winter break, with two coming against Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg but they will also face 5th-placed Freiburg.

Dortmund are in for a rough time as they will face two of the top eight teams in the league in the form of RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim, their clash with Mainz being the exception. Borussia Mönchengladbach are the leaders and are likely to remain the leaders as they face no team in the top 10 in the next two weeks.

  • December 17, 2019: Dortmund vs RB Leipzig

  • December 18, 2019: Freiburg vs Bayern Munich

  • December 20, 2019: Hoffenheim vs Dortmund

  • December 21, 2019: Schalke vs Freiburg

Ligue 1 

The French top-flight appears to be a two-horse race between PSG and Marseille. Five points separate the two sides, with Les Parisens boasting that advantage. Mbappe and Co's clash with St Etienne could be tricky but their other clash is against Amiens so we expect PSG to remain on top by Christmas. Will Marseille drop points? They'll face Metz and Nimes.


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