Chelsea will look to set a new club record and confirm top spot in the Premier League for the end of 2016 when they face AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day. Antonio Conte's side are targeting a landmark 12th win in a row, but they must do so without leading scorer Diego Costa and summer signing N'Golo Kante for the first time this season.
A point at Stamford Bridge against Eddie Howe's men will ensure the Blues start 2017 as the pace-setters in England's top flight, with one game to spare. Five of the last seven teams to end the calendar year top of the league have gone on to claim the Championship - but fans of the west London club will be well aware of the fate which befell Arsenal who failed to convert their dominance at the same stage last season.
Conte's success comes 12 months after Jose Mourinho was unceremoniously sacked as Chelsea manager, and even if the club cannot finish the year top of the table, the Italian has made a significant impression in England.
The former Juventus boss admits his squad have exceeded expectations and is now challenging them to finish the job during the second half of the campaign.
"Not one person thought or forecast that Chelsea would stay top of the table, for many reasons," he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
"Because the squad was the same as last season's. Because our market wasn't a great market. I think we found the right balance. But now we are only two games away from halfway through the season. So, for this reason, we must have the right pressure. These players, in the past, have had the habit of staying top of the table."
Liverpool remain in contention to finish 2016 top of the Premier League, but they face a gruelling festive period which starts on 27 December against Stoke City. The Reds then take on Manchester City on New Year's Eve knowing they must win both matches to stand any chance of replacing Chelsea.
City could thrust their way back into title contention if they can enjoy a 100% winning run over Christmas and New Year. Pep Guardiola's side take on bottom club Hull City on Boxing Day, with Sergio Aguero serving the final match of his four-game ban for being sent off against Chelsea.
Arsenal have lost their last two league fixtures but will aim to bounce back against West Bromwich Albion, knowing a third loss in a row for the first time in ninth months could see them drop out of the top four. Tottenham Hotspur have to wait until 28 December to take on Southampton at St Mary's, but Jose Mourinho's Manchester United could take immediate advantage if they overcome Sunderland.
David Moyes returns to Old Trafford for the first time since being sacked as United boss in April 2014 and has spent the build-up of the game bemoaning his luck during his tenure as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement. The Scot lasted just 10 months after joining from Everton and insists any manager would have struggled taking over from Ferguson.
"I think most people looking back at it and me myself would say I don't think whoever had taken over from Sir Alex would have had an easy ride," he said, according to Eurosport. "Whether it had been Jose then or Carlo Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola or David Moyes, I think it would have been a difficult job for whoever took over.
"I was definitely unfairly treated. Over the piece, other managers have come and gone and it's been difficult for them as well. I think it would have taken whoever it was time to change the squad around."
In the lunchtime kick-off, Sam Allardyce takes charge of his first game as Crystal Palace manager when the Eagles travel to Watford. Allardyce, who resigned after 67 days in charge of England after a newspaper sting, was appointed as replacement for Alan Pardew less than 48 hours after the ex-Newcastle boss was dismissed after a run of one win in the last 11 games.
Everton will be looking to build on their mini-revival when they travel to a Jamie Vardy-less Leicester City, who have won one of their last eight in the Premier League. Claudio Ranieri was named the BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year last weekend but results have been hard to come by since his team claimed the title last season.
Burnley and Middlesbrough face each other for the first time in the Premier League when they face-off at Turf Moor. The Clarets have dropped to within three points of the bottom three after five defeats in their last six while Middlesbrough will look to pull clear of danger with just their second away success of the campaign.
Finally, West Ham United will aim to extend their 100% record at the Liberty Stadium when they face Swansea City. Bob Bradley's side did inflict upon The Hammers defeat in their final game at Upton Park but could hit rock bottom if they suffer a heavy loss.