These four teams will do well over the festive period

The Christmas period is a busy one for football, and teams will be looking to pick up as many points as possible to build for the rest of the season. But four teams in particular have a good chance of putting a lot of points on the board in the news few days - Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United.

With games on Boxing Day, the weekend of the 28th and 29th of December, and then New Year's Day, Premier League managers will be looking to build momentum as they head into 2014.

Here are four teams who we believe will succeed over the festive period:

Aston Villa – Crystal Palace (H), Swansea City (H), Sunderland (A)

Aston Villa are in need of a good Christmas period, with Paul Lambert's side hovering precariously above the drop zone. Aston Villa lie in thirteenth place and six points clear of the bottom three, but just one win in the last six games has fans worrying.

Over the festive fixtures, Aston Villa will face six-pointers against Crystal Palace and Sunderland – two games that they will expect to win. The home game against Swansea is also winnable, with Michael Laudrup's side struggling to balance the commitment of Europa League football alongside a Premier League campaign.

Everton – Sunderland (H), Southampton (H), Stoke City (A)

Everton have had an impressive first half of the season under Roberto Martinez, with Sunday's 2-1 win at Swansea City leaving them in fourth place, just two points behind leaders Liverpool.

Martinez's side now face a double header at Goodison Park as they take on strugglers Sunderland and a recently struggling Southampton team, whilst their away game sees Everton visit Stoke City. There's no reason to believe that Everton can't come out of this period of games with a maximum nine points.

Manchester City – Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (H), Swansea City (A)

It's been well documented that Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City side have struggled away from home, but Saturday's 4-2 win over Fulham could kick them into gear on the road.

The game against Liverpool will be a tough test, but Manchester City's home form against the 'big sides' has been sensational – beating Manchester United 4-1, Tottenham 6-0 and Arsenal 6-3 at the Etihad. The games against Crystal Palace and Swansea should be routine wins – even without star striker Sergio Aguero, who will miss all three games with a calf injury.

Manchester United – Hull City (A), Norwich City (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H)

David Moyes' first season in charge at Manchester United hasn't been a smooth ride, but Saturday's 3-1 win over West Ham should set the club up for a positive Christmas period.

With away games against Hull City and Norwich City, Moyes – and Manchester United fans – will be looking for nothing less than six points, whilst the final game of this stretch against Spurs will see them back at Old Trafford. With Tottenham yet to appoint the successor to manager Andre Villas-Boas, Manchester United will be looking to take advantage and claim all three points in their quest to close the gap on the leaders.

image: © Iris Chase

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