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The only South African players in action this weekend will be those based in England, Scotland and Israel as many leagues across Europe take a break for the festive season

Former Bafana Bafana skipper Steven Pienaar will be involved in a crucial game for his Everton club as they face Premiership rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

The Toffees could move above Chelsea into third with a win, which would be a fine way to end 2012 for Pienaar and company. ‘Schillo’ scored in this fixture last season as Everton won 2-0. They have in fact not lost to The Blues at Goodison Park in the league since 2008.

Andrew Surman is still battling back from a knee injury as his Norwich City side entertain the champions, Manchester City.

In the Championship, Kagisho Dikgacoi’s Crystal Palace will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Nottingham Forest.

Palace have dropped to fourth in recent weeks after taking just three points from the last 12 available, and come up against a Forest side who beat Leeds United 4-2 on Wednesday.

Directly after that they fired manager Sean O’Driscoll and replaced him with Alex McLeish, this despite the club sitting just a point outside of the promotion playoff places.

Davide Somma will hope for more game-time as his Leeds United side visit Yorkshire rivals Hull City, with the Bafana forward having netted his first goal for the club against Forest after 18 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

In League One, Dean Furman’s Oldham Athletic have been sucked back towards the relegation zone after four defeats in their last five games. They host mid-table Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

In Scotland, the Jacobs brothers, Keaghan and Kyle, could be in action for Livingston as they host Hamilton. Livi are still in the promotion hunt, though they trail leaders Partick Thistle by nine points.

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