Matchday 26 preview. Photo: The United Devils
Matchday 26 preview. Photo: The United Devils

The Premier League's inaugural winter break will split Week 26 of the 2019-20 campaign in two, with the 10 matches taking place over two weekends.

Per BBC Sport, the schedule is designed in such a way to give all teams at least 13 days between Premier League matches. Eight teams will be in action during the weekend of 8 and 9 February, and the rest a week later. None of the matches will take place at the same time.


Matchday 26 Fixtures and Schedule

Matchday 26 Fixtures and Schedule

Team News

Everton vs Crystal Palace on February 8

Everton midfielder Fabian Delph misses the visit of Crystal Palace as he serves a one-match suspension after his red card at Watford last weekend, according to Sky Sports.

With Andre Gomes (ankle) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh) still out injured, Carlo Ancelotti has only three fit central midfielders, with Tom Davies, Morgan Schneiderlin and Gylfi Sigurdsson competing for two places.

Andre Gomes could soon make a remarkable comeback from the horror ankle injury he sustained against Tottenham

Gomes is set to play in a friendly in the lead-up to Everton's match at Arsenal on February 23, while Ancelotti hopes to have Gbamin back before the end of the season.

Crystal Palace forward Cenk Tosun, on-loan from Everton, will be ineligible to face his parent club on Saturday but would have been unavailable anyway with a hamstring injury.

Mamadou Sakho (hamstring) and Jeffrey Schlupp (hip) both remain absent for Roy Hodgson ahead of the trip to Merseyside.

The versatile Martin Kelly will also miss the clash at Everton after suffering a calf injury, but he is not expected to be sidelined for long.

Brighton vs Watford on February 8

Photo: Radio Times
Photo: Radio Times

Brighton will again be without the services of Jose Izquierdo through injury, but Shane Duffy and Dan Burn have both made strong progress in their recoveries, with the latter potentially available to start this weekend, Sports Mole cites.

Potter has no other concerns heading into the contest, and there are not expected to be too many changes from the side that started at the London Stadium.

Glenn Murray scored his first Premier League goal of the season against the Hammers and could keep his spot, while Pascal Gross and Aaron Mooy should feature in attack.

As for Watford, Tom Cleverley - out of contention since October through injury - has rejoined the squad and could make the bench this weekend, but the match is expected to come too soon for Ismaila Sarr.

The attacker has missed his team's last two Premier League matches with a hamstring problem, and Pearson has admitted that the Senegal international remains a doubt for this fixture.

Defensive trio Daryl Janmaat, Craig Dawson and Kiko Femenia are also still out, while midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah remains a doubt due to a back injury.

Should Chalobah fail to recover in time then Danny Welbeck could earn a start in attack, although it does appear that the former is winning the race to prove his fitness.

Will Hughes, Andre Gray and Ignacio Pussetto are also options for change, but it seems unlikely that Pearson will make wholesale changes to a side that has largely performed well since his arrival.

Southampton vs Burnley on February 15

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has recovered from a deep cut in his leg but he will not be risked against Burnley this weekend if there is a chance the wound could open up again, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday.

Ward-Prowse was carried off five minutes before half-time in their 3-2 FA Cup defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last week after he suffered a laceration on his leg while trying to block Ryan Sessegnon's clearance.

The influential Ward-Prowse has been filling in at right-back in recent games but he is likely to return to midfield, with Spurs' on-loan defender Kyle Walker-Peters set to make his debut for the Saints.

Burnley will again be without striker Ashley Barnes (hernia) and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring).

Right-back Matt Lowton (knee) is a major doubt so Phil Bardsley could start, while left-back Charlie Taylor (hamstring) should be fit. New signing Josh Brownhill could be involved in the matchday squad for the first time.

Man City vs West Ham on February 19

Photo: Bitter and Blue
Photo: Bitter and Blue

Leroy Sane, Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte, who all trained on Monday, could all return for Manchester City against West Ham.

German forward Sane has not featured since tearing a cruciate ligament in the Community Shield win over Liverpool in August. Left-back Mendy has missed the last four games due to an unspecified knock and French center-half Laporte has managed just one game since recovering from a knee ligament injury sustained in August.

Their return to fitness will be a massive boost for Pep Guardiola, whose side sits one point above third-placed Leicester.

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling misses out due to a hamstring injury and Oleksandr Zinchenko is suspended following his dismissal for two bookable offenses in City's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last time out.

West Ham boss David Moyes is resisting the temptation to throw Jarrod Bowen into his starting line-up in an attempt to boost the Hammers' chances of Premier League survival.

Bowen joined from Hull during the January transfer window but he is yet to make his debut for West Ham and Moyes will continue to ease Bowen into his team even if he admits to being impressed by what he has seen so far.

Asked if Bowen was in his thinking to start at the Etihad Stadium, Moyes added: "I wouldn't say that and I wouldn't be direct as that and give you the answer even if I was. But obviously, he is a talent. We need goals, he can do that. I am also very aware that we don't need to put pressure on him too quickly."

Elsewhere, West Ham's Felipe Anderson is back in contention to play after missing five games because of rib and back injuries, but this match will come too early for Andriy Yarmolenko.

Matchday 26 Betting Lines: Chelsea host Manchester United

Matchday 26 brings us some big clashes at both ends of the table.

Photo: High Press Soccer
Photo: High Press Soccer

West Ham’s band “Moyes 2 Men,” fronted by Jesse Lingard, travel to the Etihad Stadium with the unenviable task of trying to end Manchester City’s 18 game winning streak. Chelsea host Manchester United and need 3 points to keep in touch with the Top 4. Liverpool will be confident they can end their 4 game losing streak with an away trip to bottom side Sheffield United.

Fulham has another big opportunity to build on their relegation revival with a trip to Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace has probably made themselves safe with their smash and grab 2-1 over Brighton. Scott Parker’s side will be hoping a little complacency creeps into Roy Hodgson’s side. Brighton will be hoping they can continue their run of good performances and turn one of them into 3 points, starting with West Brom.


"I’m backing Chelsea at +118 because I rate Thomas Tuchel as a manager and still unconvinced by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s tactics, says High Press Soccer.

Liverpool and Tottenham have both been pretty poor in recent games. They should both be able to get back to winning ways with weaker opposition this weekend. A 2 game Money Line Parlay is appealing at +115

Parlay Both Teams To Score NO and Under 2.5 Goals in West Brom and Brighton’s game at +118

I think Fulham will stay up and are a good bet at +128 to beat Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side isn’t producing the best performances at this moment and was lucky to beat Brighton in their last game".

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