Phil Thompson says all four teams can come away with a point in the live Boxing Day matches.
Last Updated: 24/12/10 7:41am
Fulham v West Ham
11.30am, Boxing Day, Sky Sports HD1
This is a massive period for Fulham and West Ham and with both teams around the drop zone, the two managers will expect something from this one.
I think Mark Hughes will be pleased his players had a respite last week when their game at Liverpool was called off. They've drawn far too many matches this year and despite going seven unbeaten in the Premier League at the start of the season, they have been made to pay for failing to pick up three points often enough.
They are lacking confidence and find themselves just outside the bottom three at Christmas, so they need to take advantage of a home game against the side at the bottom of the table.
Teams still find it difficult to go and win at Craven Cottage, but I don't think it's as strong a fortress for Hughes as it was under Roy Hodgson.
A lot of that is down to the absence of Bobby Zamora. I know one player doesn't make a team, but they lost far fewer games before the England striker got injured. His absence has had a devastating effect on them and I think Hughes will want to do something about that when the transfer window opens.
He was never a prolific goalscorer under Hodgson, but his build-up play was exceptional - and that's what Hughes has struggled to replace. Their supporters will be concerned that by the time he is fit again, they will be deep in the mire.
Mousa Dembele started well, but has struggled to pull up any trees in the Premier League, while Andrew Johnson has struggled for fitness. They need an injection up front in January or it could be a difficult second half of the season for them.
This is a game that Avram Grant will be looking to win. I covered their game with Blackburn for Soccer Saturday and I thought they played very well, particularly in the second half.
That was a game away from home against a team that could be dragged into the relegation mix. They went and got a good draw- and I think they could repeat the trick at Fulham.
DRAW - I can see West Ham going to Fulham and getting a score draw, probably 1-1. Unfortunately, I can't see them escaping the bottom three in the New Year; they are certainly one of the relegation favourites at this moment in time.
THOMMO'S TOP MAN
CLINT DEMPSEY - For West Ham, the key man is Scott Parker, just as it is every week! But from Fulham's point of view. I will be keeping an eye on Dempsey, who I believe is a fine player. He's not a prolific goalscorer but he needs to share that burden while Zamora is out. There has been talk of him leaving the Cottage, but they can ill afford to let him go. He is vital to their hopes.
Aston Villa v Tottenham
5.15pm, Boxing Day, Sky Sports HD1
It goes without saying that Gerard Houllier has found things very difficult at Aston Villa so far this season.
The mitigating circumstances are obviously the injuries to several of his better players and I'm sure things will improve when the likes of Emile Heskey, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stiliyan Petrov are fully fit and can get an extended run in the team.
Unfortunately, while those players have been out, some of his other established names have performed poorly, in particular Richard Dunne. The Irish defender has always been rock solid for Villa, but he has had to bare the brunt of the absences elsewhere in the side - and that appears to have taken its toll on him.
He has lost his form this season, as happens to everybody, and unfortunately it has come at a bad time for him and for Aston Villa. That culminated in him being left out of the side in their last game against West Brom.
When Heskey is back playing to his full potential, it will be a huge boost. Agbonlahor has lacked the fitness and the confidence to play up front on his own, we saw that against Liverpool, and Villa are always stronger when he and Ashley Young are firing on all cylinders.
Despite their problems, Harry Redknapp won't see a trip to Villa Park as an easy game. You only have to look at Manchester United's visit there a few weeks ago when they got turned over and were very fortunate to get away with a draw. This Villa team - and the supporters - will make it difficult for Spurs.
I'd say Tottenham have been one of the most consistent teams of the season and, with their experiences in the Champions League, they have developed a tougher mindset for the challenges ahead.
It was always going to be difficult for Harry to keep such a large squad of players happy and he has done so very well - although the likes of Niko Kranjcar have had a few rankles of late.
Saying that, I still believe they are only one or two players away from being able to challenge for the title. They're not far away - a lot of the pieces of the jigsaw are in place - but I do think a championship challenge is just beyond them at the moment.
Saturday's game is likely to be won and lost in the midfield and it will be interesting to see how Houllier approaches it. He could play five across the middle with Heskey up front, or he could adapt to more of a 4-3-3 with maybe Agbonlahor or Marc Albrighton the right and Ashley Young on the left.
Whichever way he goes, I think this will be close.
DRAW - When these teams met at White Hart Lane, Villa were by far the better team until Heskey went off injured. They didn't get the rewards for that and Tottenham came back to win 2-1. However, I see this one finishing as a 1-1 scoreline.
THOMMO'S TOP MAN
ASHLEY YOUNG - He's the one that Houllier will be looking towards to turn it on at Villa Park. If he can reach his potential - as he so often has over the last few years - then he is a possible matchwinner for Villa.
Paul Merson will be back after Christmas