Christmas is behind us, and the new year is ahead, and that means we're in for some fantastic soccer, particularly in the Premier League with its crowded fixture schedule throughout the holiday season.
Southampton vs. Tottenham, Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET ( NBC Sports Network )
A sneaky good match in the middle of the week and one that should be caught by all soccer fans. The Spurs are in desperate need of a road win, something the likes of which they haven't gotten in almost three full months, and St. Mary's might not be the best place to go in search of it. Southampton is 4-3-1 at home this year, and its form here has been impeccable.
Defense hasn't been in order in the EPL this season, as scoring is way up, but this match features some of the best young defenders in the world, including one of the best goalies out there in Hugo Lloris, a man who has been in great form since his return from injury. One goal could be all that makes the difference on Wednesday between these two sides.
Manchester United vs. Middlesbrough, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET ( NBC Sports Network )
Oh, the pressure on Manchester United! The Red Devils were great on Boxing Day against Sunderland in a 3-0 win, and they're presented with another match that should be put in the win column here on New Year's Eve against Boro. In fairness to Middlesbrough, it has played better this year in the top flight than most would have suspected, as it's got its head above the red cut line and is only -4 in goal differential, a sure sign that perhaps it has some staying power this year.
But this game in Old Trafford could end up being really tough. Sure, Boro has a relatively solid 1-5-3 record away from home this year, but the Red Devils are coming off of perhaps their best showing of the season, and they'll want to parlay that into three more points against another minnow that should be set back.
Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET ( NBC Sports Network )
If you want to talk about a match that has to be had for both of these teams, this is it. Chelsea has gotten very fortunate of late to have a string of matches against teams towards the bottom of the Premier League table, and that has given it the opportunity to go on a record run of 12 straight victories domestically. The end result has seen the Blues go seven clear as we head through the holidays, and that margin won't easily be made up.
Liverpool and Man City are the top challengers on 37 and 39 points respectively, and this match is the real deal for both teams. The Citizens have 21 points in nine road fixtures this year, second best in the league, but Liverpool is one of two teams to not be beaten at home yet with a 5-2-0 mark in its seven home fixtures. The team has also outscored its foes by 15 goals. It'll be a tough match for City, but one that Pep Guardiola knows that his side must win if it legitimately wants a shot at that big piece of silverware at the end of the season.
BetCris offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BetCris!
Check out our sports videos to get the latest news and game analysis, don't forget to like and subscribe.