Premier League returns after WC break

Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal leaders to pick up where they left off by winning their first Premier League title since 2004, when English football peaked after the World Cup break.

The Gunners were in excellent form, with 12 wins in 14 games, when the league was paused in an unprecedented pause to allow the first World Cup in a northern hemisphere winter to be held in Qatar.

All season long, fans and pundits debated whether the break would help or hinder the clubs’ ambitions; Arsenal are now without Gabriel Jesus after being sent home early from the World Cup due to a knee problem he suffered in Brazil’s shock loss. by Cameroon.

But Arteta was in a lively mood before his team returned to their Premier League fight against London rivals West Ham at the Emirates on Monday.

“I want the team to play a certain way, and the more consistent we are about it, the more we will win,” he told Sky Sports.

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“There is excitement and we should get excited and embrace the opportunity that lies before us.”

Arsenal are currently five points away from reigning champions Manchester City.

City will be the last of the title contenders in the Boxing Day holiday fixture round when they head to competitive Leeds on Wednesday.

Third place is Saudi-backed Newcastle away to Leicester on Monday.

The Magpies last won a major domestic trophy in 1955, and so is the northeastern club’s desire to end this drought, Howe used his five players in Qatar during a grueling 1-0 win over their Premier League rivals Bournemouth. A place in the last eight of the League Cup.

Tottenham and Manchester United are fourth and fifth respectively, while Champions League qualifiers coming right after Newcastle remain a real possibility.

Manager Erik ten Hag may be under the most pressure to get into the top four given their status, but manager Erik ten Hag said: “I think it’s also for Chelsea (Graham Potter), Newcastle (Eddie Howe) and the manager of all these clubs. He invests a lot in his squad, so there’s a lot of pressure for every manager to get into the Champions League, that’s very clear.’

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As Tottenham travels to Brentford with manager Antonio Conte, they are confident that Harry Kane will leave his World Cup heartache behind.

Kane’s missed penalty against Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris was a pivotal moment in England’s 2-1 loss to France in the quarterfinals.

“No, to be honest (I’m not worried) because we’re talking about a world-class forward,” Conte said.

Liverpool will try to restart the season away from Aston Villa on Monday.

At the bottom of the table, the Wolves begin their quest for top-level survival under new manager Julen Lopetegui, when the former Spain and Real Madrid coach, who managed his League Cup win against Gillingham in the middle of the week, makes his Premier League debut away at Everton.

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“The only goal for me is the next game,” said Lopetegui, who replaced the sacked Bruno Lage.

Fulham’s match against Crystal Palace on Monday will be their first game since club great and England 1966 World Cup winner George Cohen died at the age of 83.

Premier League chiefs announced that between Boxing Day and December 28, there will be a momentary applause in Cohen’s honor before all high-level games as all players and officials wear black armbands as a sign of respect.

LUMINAIRES

(1500 GMT unless specified)

Monday

Arsenal – West Ham (2000 GMT), Aston Villa – Liverpool (1730 GMT), Brentford – Tottenham (1230 GMT), Crystal Palace – Fulham, Everton – Wolves, Leicester – Newcastle, Southampton – Brighton

Tuesday

Chelsea – Bournemouth (1730 GMT), Manchester United – Nottingham Forest (2000 GMT)

Wednesday

Leeds – Manchester City (2000 GMT)



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