The English Premier League is the only top league in Europe that doesn’t pause for the holidays. The end of the calendar year marks the busiest time of the season for EPL teams, which will play nearly two dozen games over the next week. Here are a few worth watching this weekend:
EPL: The holiday period could mark a turning point for Wolverhampton, which hasn’t played in a European tournament since 1981. With a win Friday (NBCSN, Universo, 11:45 a.m. PST) over Manchester City (12-4-2), the Wolves (6-3-9) would vault over three teams and into position for a Europa League invitation, a position it could solidify Sunday when it travels to Anfield to play Liverpool (17-0-1), the unbeaten FIFA World Cup club champion (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. PST). Wolverhampton, whose three losses are second only to Liverpool, beat City 2-0 in Manchester in October and another win Friday would mark the first league double over City since 1999-00, when both teams were in the second division. Wolverhampton hasn’t had a top-flight sweep since 1960-61. For Liverpool, meanwhile, a win Sunday could send the Reds into the new year with a 16-point lead atop the table, the largest in Premier League history. After Thursday’s rout of second-place Leicester City, the Reds have lost just one of their last 58 league matches dating to May 2018. Also on Sunday, Chelsea (10-7-2) and Arsenal (5-5-9) will renew their rivalry in a match both need to win (NBCSN, Universo, 6 a.m. PST). In its first season under Frank Lampard, Chelsea has lost five of its last seven to fall to fourth in the table while Arsenal, working under its third manager in the last month, has won just once since Oct. 6 and could find itself in danger of relegation without a quick turnaround.