Festive Fixture grades for all 20 Premier League clubs

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Forty matches in 17 days can make anyone’s head spin, and make matches from, well, 17 days ago feel like 17 weeks.

But let’s stretch back one further week, as Premier League clubs found themselves with six scheduled matches between Friday, Dec. 11 and Monday.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

How did the teams fare? We’ll dish out grades, A-F, for all 20.


Arsenal (3W-1D-2L)

The Gunners lost two of three to start the period, but those matches saw them superior to Burnley and Everton sides that claimed all of the points. Saints were better than the Gunners, but there’s no debate about the last three Festive Fixtures. Grade: B+

Arsenal 0-1 Burnley
Arsenal 1-1 Southampton
Everton 2-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
Brighton 0-1 Arsenal
West Brom 0-4 Arsenal


Aston Villa (3W-2D-1L)

Look at Dean Smith’s boys, all growns up. the Burnley draw stings and the United loss feels tough. Don’t both of those tell you something about the progression of expectations for the Villans? Grade: B+

Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 0-0 Burnley
West Brom 0-3 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa
Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa


Brighton and Hove Albion (0W-4D-2L)

Graham Potter’s Seagulls may be cursed, because out-performing the opponent and not collecting all or even any of the points is the rule, not the exception. Grade: D-

Leicester City 3-0 Brighton
Fulham 0-0 Brighton
Brighton 1-1 Sheffield United
West Ham 2-2 Brighton
Brighton 0-1 Arsenal
Brighton 3-3 Wolves


Burnley (3W-1D-1L)

Who cares if the manner of the results aren’t terribly impressive (aside from the Wolves win)? Sean Dyche’s men have new owners and a new outlook on life, the manager imagining what might be with new talent. It would be nice to see what he’d cook with different ingredients, or what he’d select from the market. Grade: A

Arsenal 0-1 Burnley
Aston Villa 0-0 Burnley
Burnley 2-1 Wolves
Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
Burnley 1-0 Sheffield United
Burnley v Fulham – Postponed


Chelsea (1W-1D-4L)

Maybe he’ll rebound, but this feels like the stretch of Frank Lampard’s young career where the weaknesses of his current plan have been exposed and he needs to find a way to swim. Grade: D

Everton 1-0 Chelsea
Wolves 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa
Chelsea 1-3 Man City


Crystal Palace (1W-3D-2L)

The draws were all quality, but the losses to Liverpool and Villa look rough. A win over Blades hardly gets the good vibes flowing, but a win is indeed a win. Grade: B-

Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs
West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool
Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester City
Crystal Palace 2-0 Sheffield United


Everton (4W-0D-1L)

The West Ham hiccup aside, Carlo Ancelotti’s men should be nothing short of happy with their performances from a brutal run of fixtures. The Blades win wasn’t what they wanted, but nine-of-nine points from Chelsea, Leicester, and Arsenal? Chef’s kiss. Grade: A-

Everton 1-0 Chelsea
Leicester City 0-2 Everton
Everton 2-1 Arsenal
Sheffield United 0-1 Everton
Everton v Man City – Postponed
Everton 0-1 West Ham


Fulham (0W-4D-0L)

No one asks for a COVID-19 rise, obviously, but it came at a bad (or good) competitive time for Scott Parker’s Cottagers. They’ve been cagey and resolute, led by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, and while they’ll have wanted a deserved win over the Magpies, the four points put them on better footing. Grade: B

Fulham 1-1 Liverpool
Fulham 0-0 Brighton
Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham
Fulham 0-0 Southampton
Spurs v Fulham – Postponed
Burnley v Fulham – Postponed


Leeds United (3W-0D-3L)

The beatdowns of bad teams and lashings from the good attacks come as no surprise, but the West Ham loss and Burnley win challenge the mind. Leeds deserved a bit better from West Ham’s visit, but the chances given up to Burnley beg the question of whether there’s anyone Marcelo Bielsa’s men can sincerely limit (even with the clean sheet). Grade: B-

Leeds United 1-2 West Ham
Leeds United 5-2 Newcastle United
Man Utd 6-2 Leeds United
Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
West Brom 0-5 Leeds United
Spurs 3-0 Leeds United


Leicester City (3W-2D-1L)

This was a rough stretch of matches, but the Foxes picked up enough points to stay in the top four fight while also showing some backbone in stopping the Man United and Palace draws from turning into a slump. Could’ve been Newcastle by much more than a goal. Grade: A-

Leicester City 3-0 Brighton
Leicester City 0-2 Everton
Spurs 0-2 Leicester City
Leicester City 2-2 Man Utd
Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester City
Newcastle United 1-2 Leicester City


Liverpool (2W-3D-1L)

The Reds produced a lot of chances and we need to be fair — if you knew that Man City’s early season slide was about fortune and finishing rather than form, than the Reds deserve the same break. Still, all three draws were uninspiring and the Saints loss a tough one to sit on for two weeks heading into a huge clash with longtime rivals Man United. Grade: C-

Fulham 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool
Liverpool 1-1 West Brom
Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool
Southampton 1-0 Liverpool


Manchester City (3W-2D-0L)

While there will be questions about behavior given Benjamin Mendy’s faux pas and the COVID postponement of the Everton game, there’s little to dislike here besides the West Brom draw. In these matches, Man City’s combined expected goals score line?

11.41 for, 2.28 against. Pep’s back and he probably never left. Grade: B+

Man Utd 0-0 Man City
Man City 1-1 West Brom
Southampton 0-1 Man City
Man City 2-0 Newcastle United
Everton v Man City – Postponed
Chelsea 1-3 Man City


Manchester United (4W-2D-0L)

The only team not to lose despite four of the six fixtures appearing quite challenging. Yes, they were fortunate to draw at Old Trafford. Yes, they labored to outlast Blades. But level in first with a match-in-hand with this stretch starting days after bombing out of the Champions League with two losses in seven days? Big time mentality stuff there. Grade: A+

Man Utd 0-0 Man City
Sheffield United 2-3 Man Utd
Man Utd 6-2 Leeds United
Leicester City 2-2 Man Utd
Man Utd 1-0 Wolves
Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa


Newcastle United (1W-2D-3L)

Perhaps the point against Liverpool makes amends for the draw with Fulham, who as noted above are better than their record, but there’s a lot to dislike here. The long COVID-19 absences of Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin shouldn’t go against Steve Bruce’s record, but the disorganization against Leeds and failure to look up a man against 10-man Fulham should. The League Cup setback to Brentford doesn’t go into their grade, but if it did… Grade: C-

Newcastle United 2-1 West Brom
Leeds United 5-2 Newcastle United
Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham
Man City 2-0 Newcastle United
Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool
Newcastle United 1-2 Leicester City


Sheffield United (0W-1D-5L)

The first three matches? Fine. Everton even? Fine. But if the 2-point Blades claimed wins over Burnley and Blades they’d be in the thick of a rise out of a historically-bad start. Instead, it’s zero goals and points in three. Grade: F

Southampton 3-0 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 2-3 Man Utd
Brighton 1-1 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 0-1 Everton
Burnley 1-0 Sheffield United
Crystal Palace 2-0 Sheffield United


Southampton (2W-3D-1L)

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have deal with injuries and sickness to allow a total of two goals in six games, including zero to Liverpool and one to Man City. There’s a plan here and it’s executed more often than not. Grade: A

Southampton 3-0 Sheffield United
Arsenal 1-1 Southampton
Southampton 0-1 Man City
Fulham 0-0 Southampton
Southampton 0-0 West Ham
Southampton 1-0 Liverpool


Tottenham Hotspur (1W-2D-2L)

A tough and rough stretch became — perhaps — a lesson learned from the Lilywhites when they went after Leeds and did not relent once ahead. Very much in the picture, though that Roberto Firmino goal at Anfield may be what keeps them from touching distance of the top. Grade: C-

Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs
Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
Spurs 0-2 Leicester City
Wolves 1-1 Spurs
Spurs v Fulham – Postponed
Spurs 3-0 Leeds United


West Bromwich Albion (0W-2D-4L)

Drew the two best teams in the league for two different coaches. Absolutely hammered at home by a derby rival and then two teams who haven’t lit the league on fire. Big Sam says he needs new players to stay alive in the top flight? Let’s hope he has a backup plan. Grade: D

Newcastle United 2-1 West Brom
Man City 1-1 West Brom
West Brom 0-3 Aston Villa
Liverpool 1-1 West Brom
West Brom 0-5 Leeds United
West Brom 0-4 Arsenal


West Ham United (2W-3D-1L)

This is a bit of a headscratcher. Given recent seasons at the London Stadium, nine points out of 15 is nothing but a success. The Chelsea loss is not great and the Palace draw a bummer but London derbies can be fierce. Grade: B+

Leeds United 1-2 West Ham
West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham
West Ham 2-2 Brighton
Southampton 0-0 West Ham
Everton 0-1 West Ham


Wolves (1W-2D-3L)

Life without Raul Jimenez has proven a major challenge, but the lack of a clean sheet in the bunch is perplexing given a series of strong days for Conor Coady and Romain Saiss. The latter has been in particularly strong form. But what grates Wolves will be that the losses have come against a team they’d like to pass (Villa), one they stuck with (Man United), and one well below their level (Burnley).  Grade: C+

Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa
Wolves 2-1 Chelsea
Burnley 2-1 Wolves
Wolves 1-1 Spurs
Man Utd 1-0 Wolves
Brighton 3-3 Wolves