Neil Humphreys: Wishing for a ballistic Boxing Day
Our columnist comes up with his wishlist for four key matches
With the English Premier League tiptoeing towards a one-horse race, here are my wishes for the following four games during the festive period... And what is more likely to happen.
1 CHELSEA V BOURNEMOUTH
CHRISTMAS WISH: The Blues concede two goals in the first five minutes and still go on to comfortably defeat Bournemouth - just to show that they can.
David Luiz wears a Santa hat for the entire 90 minutes and no one notices. Eden Hazard keeps swishing a red rag to unleash the Chelsea bull.
Finally, the Belgian realises that Diego Costa is suspended, so he cuts inside and scores himself.
And in the final stages, Chelsea's back three, in a desperate bid to stay active in the freezing conditions, start passing the ball to striker Callum Wilson - just to show that they can.
Inevitably, this foolish arrogance leads to a goal... Chelsea counter-attack and score down the other end.
WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN: The Blues keep another clean sheet.
There is more chance of Costa being cast in a romantic comedy than there is of Chelsea conceding against Bournemouth.
2 LIVERPOOL V STOKE CITY
CHRISTMAS WISH: The Reds knock a hat-full past the perplexed Potters, with Adam Lallana pulling the strings that Mesut Oezil has temporarily misplaced at Arsenal.
Everyone at Anfield forgets that the back four has "makeshift" stamped across its collective chests and contains Bojan Krkic, thus enabling the Reds to put pressure on the Blues at the EPL summit.
To celebrate, every Liverpool footballer follows Lallana's lead from last week and takes turns to jump into Juergen Klopp's arms to get their backsides squeezed in gratitude (which made for weird, but strangely fascinating TV).
WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN: Liverpool win and Klopp squeezes the delicate body parts of every passing Scouser. The man just can't help himself.
3 HULL CITY V MAN CITY
CHRISTMAS WISH: To the delight of Manchester United supporters everywhere, Hull manager and United old boy Mike Phelan remembers that his job description requires him to win the odd game.
He plays a formation that doesn't look like it's been drawn by a kindergarten kid trying to design a Christmas tree and the hosts hang on for a lucky draw.
Irritated with the media's interrogation, Pep Guardiola rails once more against the rudimentary aspects of English football.
He mocks the EPL's obsession with long balls, heavy tackles and cliches involving "spirit and commitment".
He ridicules the wearing of Christmas hats and sweaters in the crowd, the poor standard of local takeaways and the insufferable habit of TV pundits adding unnecessary plurals whenever they mention "the Guardiolas, the Mourinhos and the Wengers".
WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN: Leroy Sane leads City to an easy victory. Everyone secretly agrees that Guardiola's petty rant against English football was mostly correct.
4 ARSENAL V WEST BROM
CHRISTMAS WISH: Oezil reminds himself that he has a nagging tendency to occasionally be one of the world's best players.
At Man City last week, he reproduced the kind of effort usually associated with the class rebel who scrawls swear words across the exam paper before swaggering out of the school hall.
Without a doubt, Oezil remains the most enigmatic, exhilarating and exasperating performer in the EPL, often all three in the same game.
After a shaky couple of weeks that confirmed every longstanding suspicion of Arsenal's inherent, psychological frailties, Arsene Wenger's shivering superstars deck the halls of the Emirates with a towering display from Oezil.
When he delivers, so do the Gunners. When he doesn't, they look less convincing than a skinny Santa in a dodgy beard.
WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN: Baggies boss Tony Pulis chugs along with the bus and Arsenal's confused first 11 spend 90 minutes staring at the alien object.
They finally snatch a goal before retreating inside their gloves and thermal underwear.