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Dec 26, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
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Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
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Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
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Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
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Tottenham Hotspur
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Dec 26, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign thus far

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop preview Chelsea and Stoke City, where Mark Hughes has taken seven points from nine Premier League games against Jose Mourinho.

It's fair to say most midseason reviews start out exaggerating just how entertaining a campaign has been so far, but in the case of the 2014-15 Premier League, it's fair to say few before have packed in quite so many surprises at this stage.

The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton have all dropped points in at least 10 of their 17 league matches to date, while West Ham have scaled heights that none would have foreseen. Admittedly, it's been a far more predictable affair at the other end of...

 By James Dall

West Ham are capable of ensuring Chelsea don't run away with the title

Ahead of his side's Boxing Day English Premier League clash against West Ham United, Chelsea boss praised his opponents performances this season.

Premier League Spotlight previews the week's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Festive fixtures

Boxing Day
Chelsea vs. West Ham
Burnley vs. Liverpool
Crystal Palace vs. Southampton
Everton vs. Stoke
Leicester vs. Tottenham
Man Utd vs. Newcastle
Sunderland vs. Hull
Swansea vs. Aston Villa
West Brom vs. Man City
Arsenal vs. QPR

Battle of the week: Chelsea vs. West Ham

Well, the Premier League title race was fairly fun while it lasted. Chelsea wobbled (sort of) for all of seven days. A draw at Sunderland on Nov. 29 was met with hesitant hope that their glory was not a foregone conclusion after all. And although the Blues bounced back at home to Tottenham Hotspur, comfort was taken in it...

 By Max Hicks

Swansea would benefit from playing Bafe Gomis, Wilfried Bony together

Swansea City manager discusses signing Benfica striker Nélson Oliveira on loan until the end of the season.

This season Swansea get to play their Boxing Day fixture at home, which the players ought to be pretty happy about. Last season's Boxing Day match involved a trip to London and a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea; this time it's middleweight Aston Villa at the Liberty.

Swansea CitySwansea City
Aston VillaAston Villa
3:00 PM GMT
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Swansea should be able to build on last week's 1-0 victory over Hull, a timely but scrappy win which halted a two-game slide. Villa held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw, so the visitors might just have the psychological...

 By Rizal Hashim

Towards 2015: Five optimistic New Year wishes for Malaysian football

ESPN FC's John Wilkinson and Fay Hokulani break down Malaysia's performance in the AFF Suzuki Cup final where they fell 4-3 on aggregate to Thailand.

Defying the doomsayers and proving the critics wrong, Malaysia came within 10 minutes of winning their second AFF title before conceding two late goals in the second leg of 2014 Suzuki Cup final against Thailand on Dec. 20.

With Pahang FA claiming the cup double and Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) winning the league, it turned out to be a satisfying year for Malaysian football. But what will 2015 be like?

Veteran football journalist and Astro Arena TV host Rizal Hashim...

Koke to Chelsea for £47m, Podolski to escape Arsenal for Inter?

The ESPN FC crew select their best and worst transfers of 2014, with signs pointing to Liverpool's Mario Balotelli.

Christmas is here but the January transfer window is coming up next. Find out the latest gossip with Transfer Talk...

Can Koke move to Chelsea for 47 million pounds?

Atletico Madrid have undergone a bit of a change since they won La Liga last season. Most notably, star striker Diego Costa and on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois have moved to strengthen Chelsea instead. But will they now be able to hold on to midfielder Koke when the Blues come calling?

"We must thank the interest of Barcelona...

Struggling Everton's turnaround could start against Stoke

Everton manager Roberto Martinez expects a tough Stoke City at Goodison Park as his side tries to recover from their 3-0 defeat to Southampton.

What a difference a year makes. Without dissecting the how and why of it, the raw statistics paint a much-changed picture. This time 12 months ago, Everton had lost just once and sat level on points with Chelsea, just two behind leaders Liverpool. The Toffees possessed a league-high eight clean sheets, conceding just 16 goals in their first 17 matches.

It is 27 goals against this time around -- and the last of three clean sheets arrived against Swansea on Nov. 1-- for a side currently 13 points worse...