Semi Ajayi had a mixed ending to 2020 but he’ll hope to start the New Year on a high against seemingly resurgent Arsenal.
Which other products from the West African nation could be in action in the first weekend of 2021?
While James Rodriguez’s return puts Iwobi’s run of starts under threat, the attacking midfielder showed in the final weeks of 2020 that he can be relied upon by Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton play host to West Ham United searching for their third straight win at Goodison Park, although they’ll have to go about it without supporters after the Liverpool city region moved into Tier 3.
The Hammers’ form has dipped slightly in December, with David Moyes’ side claiming just one win in their last five games, seeing them fall to 10th.
Despite the injury returnees, Iwobi ought to play in some capacity against the London outfit as the Toffees aim to maintain their top four spot in the league.
Having secured draws at Manchester City and Liverpool, being thrashed 5-0 by Leeds United at the Hawthorns wasn’t how Ajayi saw 2020 drawing to a close.
West Bromwich Albion host Arsenal on January 2 with the burning desire to respond to that mid-week thrashing by Marcelo Bielsa’s men, as they look to win only their second game since regaining promotion.
The Gunners, however, have won two on the spin after previously going winless since November and are favourites to win three on the bounce.
Ndidi is expected to return to the Leicester City side that’ll face Newcastle United on Sunday after being rested in the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in midweek.
The midfield anchorman has been in fine form since returning from injury and being able to count on the former Genk star at St James’ Park will increase the Foxes’ prospects against a team that held champions Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in midweek.
Brendan Rodgers’ team have the second-best away form in the PL and could win their seventh on the road if they secure a victory over the Magpies.
Back from injury, Osimhen’s return boosts Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli side who play Cagliari in the first game of the year after a short hiatus.
The Azzurri have fallen off in the Serie A title race after a three-game winless run at the backend of the year which saw them fall nine points behind AC Milan, albeit having played a game less.
Cagliari have lost only twice on home turf so far this season and could fancy their chances against a side with two successive defeats on the road.
While Crotone’s overall form improved before the brief break, Simy could only score once in the encouraging that saw the Pythagoreans win two and draw one of their final four games of the year.
The newly-promoted side play an in-form Inter Milan this weekend with the odds supremely stacked against them as they look to begin 2021 on a positive note.
Could Crotone possibly end Inter’s seven-game winning streak at San Siro?
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