Boxing Day is one of the most unpredictable match day on the calendar and with every team playing, it’s a land of both opportunity and confusion for daily fantasy football managers. With managers having to fight against a packed schedule it always comes down to those that have an embarrassment of riches in the squad department. To help out, every game has been broken down in detail to try and create some semblance of normality from the festive madness.

Stoke v Man Utd

Jose Mourinho is on the market and if you believe everything the papers have to say, Louis van Gaal has two games to save his job starting at the Britannia on Boxing Day. United have not won in six games in all competitions and the last three have resulted in significant losses to Wolfsburg, Bournemouth and Norwich. Even more worrying than that, they have conceded six goals. In the Premier League, 78% of the goals United have conceded have been away from home. They do, however, have a good record at Stoke and have only lost there once since the Potters arrived in the Premier League and that was when David Moyes was at the helm. Stoke’s home form has been indifferent this season and they have won just 37.5% of the time on home soil. Neither team has a consistent goal scorer to speak of and a boring draw could very well be on the cards.

Who to pick

Bojan, Stoke City ($4,000)
Jack Butland, Stoke City ($3,200)
Anthony Martial, Man Utd ($6,400)
Memphis Depay, Man Utd ($6,500)

Aston Villa v West Ham

The claret and blue derby comes around twice a season and will not be pretty this festive season. Villa’s home form has been absolutely woeful this season and yielded a paltry two points from eight games. Jordan Ayew has two goals in four games that, for Villa, can be called a glut. West Ham have struggled since Dimitri Payet’s injury and it was the precursor to an injury crisis of Arsenal proportions. As a result, Slaven Bilic’s men haven’t won in six games – the same form that the hosts can admit to. Between the two teams they have scored seven goals in six games and this is another to file in the 0-0 column.

Who to pick

Jordan Ayew, Aston Villa ($4,200)
Jordan Veretout, Aston Villa ($3,500)
Mauro Zarate, West Ham ($4,800)
Andy Carroll, West Ham ($4,000)

Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Two of the Premier League’s form sides meet on the South Coast with Alan Pardew aiming to crack the top four before 2016 kicks in. Despite being eight places below Palace (14th vs 6th), Bournemouth have scored just one goal less and are unbeaten in five games including credible wins against Chelsea and Manchester United. The speed of Junior Stanislas and Josh King have been bearing fruit and Glenn Murray could be a factor against his old club. Palace have been most imposing away from home this season and have won a very impressive five of eight games away from Selhurst.

Who to pick

Matt Ritchie, Bournemouth ($6,400)
Charlie Daniels, Bournemouth ($2,900)
Wayne Hennessey, Crystal Palace ($3,700)
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace ($4,500)

Chelsea v Watford

Fresh from sacking Mourinho, Chelsea looked exceptional against a poor Sunderland side but Watford represent a very different challenge. Guus Hiddink’s team sit 11 points off the top four at the halfway point of the season and a Champions League spot is still very much within their grasp. However, Chelsea were by no means flawless in that game and the lackadaisical nature of their defending under King Jose will have Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney foaming at the mouth in anticipation. Even under such a cloud, Chelsea have won four of eight at home and haven’t lost to the visitors since 1986. For Watford, Ighalo has scored in his last four league games, which have all been wins, and the Glory Hornet Boys have lost just twice away all season. Ighalo’s 27 goals in 2015 are more than any other player in England and making it 30 before the year is out is definitely within the Nigerian’s grasp.

Who to pick

Willian, Chelsea ($7,000)
Diego Costa, Chelsea ($6,000)
Odion Ighalo, Watford ($6,900)
Troy Deeney, Watford ($5,300)

Liverpool v Leicester

Claudio Ranieri’s title pretenders are still top at Christmas and are the story of the season. Liverpool continue to flounder under Jurgen Klopp and the early optimism that saw wins over Chelsea and Man City has since floated away into the Irish Sea. Klopp has encountered problems in front of goal since the beginning of the month, and three goals in four games is not good enough when you consider the opposition was Swansea, Newcastle, West Brom and Watford. Leicester have had no such problems and Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have by far the most potent attack in the division. Add to that the best away record and there’s no reason to think they won’t get another win, or at least a draw, here.

Who to pick

Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool ($6,600)
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool ($4,000)
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City ($8,600)
Jamie Vardy, Leicester City ($8,000)

Man City v Sunderland

City faltered on Monday against Arsenal and looked nothing like the title favourites they have been almost all season. Their title bid relies on two players being fully fit: Sergio Agüero and Vincent Kompany. Aguero did return on Monday but the defensive frailties remain due to the fact Manuel Pellegrini has to play Eliaquim Mangala every week. In three of their last four visits to the Etihad Stadium, Sunderland have scored two goals or more and they revel in being an underdog against the Mancunian side. The early optimism under Sam Allardyce has given way to the same mistake-ridden displays that were such a regular occurrence under Dick Advocaat. Sunderland also have a worse away record than Aston Villa this season and apart from the smash-and-grab against Palace at the end of November, have only gained a point from eight other away games.

Who to pick

Sergio Agüero, Man City ($8,000)
Kevin de Bruyne, Man City ($7,400)
Patrick van Aanholt, Sunderland ($3,300)
Duncan Watmore, Sunderland ($3,100)

Swansea v West Brom

If there’s one game that is worth missing on Boxing Day, this is it. Apart from Aston Villa, these two have been the worst sides in the division to watch since August. In the 13 games since beating Manchester United, Swansea have beaten just one other side (Villa) and finally slipped into the bottom three at the weekend. Both teams have struggled in front of goal, Swansea scoring 15 goals and West Brom 17 goals this season, and only Stoke and Aston Villa (both 14 goals) have scored less. The visitors will be missing key players in James McClean and Salomon Rondon after both were red carded against Bournemouth. Even so, they are a tough nut to crack when on the road and Tony Pulis’ side have lost only twice in eight away trips.

Who to pick

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Swansea City ($5,600)
Wayne Routledge, Swansea City ($3,200)
Saido Berahino, West Brom ($3,800)
Chris Brunt, West Brom ($3,700)

Tottenham v Norwich

Spurs got back on the winning trail at Southampton last weekend and Norwich manager Alex Neil won’t be relishing a trip to a member of the top four. Tottenham have the third best home record in the league after Man City and Leicester. The only problem is that of the nine home games they’ve played, four have been draws. Harry Kane is a striker very much in form with nine goals in his last 11 league games, plus he once spent a period on loan in Norfolk. Norwich like nothing more than to play a defensive game and have rarely lost by more than the odd goal on their travels, the exception being the 6-2 loss at Newcastle.

Who to pick

Harry Kane, Tottenham ($7,400)
Christian Eriksen, Tottenham ($6,900)
Cameron Jerome, Norwich ($3,700)
Robbie Brady, Norwich ($6,000)

Newcastle v Everton

Newcastle, who are three games unbeaten, welcome Everton to St James’ Park on a run of form that has seen them slide into the bottom half of the table and just four points ahead of Saturday’s opponent. Good news is that Newcastle have conceded the third most goals in the Premier League this season and have won just twice on home soil. Romelu Lukaku, who has scored in eight straight games in all competitions, has five goals in his last six games against Newcastle and team-mate Ross Barkley has a similarly impressive record with three in his last four against the Toon Army.

Who to pick

Daryl Janmaat, Newcastle ($3,900)
Georginio Wijnaldum, Newcastle ($5,000)
Romelu Lukaku, Everton ($8,100)
Ross Barkley, Everton ($6,800)

Southampton v Arsenal

Ronald Koeman’s Saints come into this clash on a rotten run of form that has seen them lose four of the last five and Arsenal are not who they will want to be facing. Southampton’s main problem has been that Graziano Pelle has stopped scoring since tallying against Bournemouth on November 1 and no one else has picked up the can in his place, thus meaning the South Coast lads have scored just three times in six games. Arsenal do have the second best away record in the league but haven’t had it all their own way in recent years at St Mary’s. Since their return to the Premier League in 2012/13, the Gunners have not won in three visits including last year’s 2-0 reverse. Olivier Giroud can’t stop scoring right now, Mesut Özil has 15 assists for the season, which bodes well for Arsenal’s title bid.

Who to pick

Graziano Pelle, Southampton ($6,300)
Cedric Soares, Southampton ($4,200)
Mesut Özil, Arsenal ($8,100)
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal ($7,000)