Manchester United and Liverpool are set to suffer the tightest fixture schedules over the festive period.
English football’s two most successful sides will both have to play three games in just seven days when the Premier League resumes in December following the World Cup. They will both have 55 hours less time to prepare between matches than top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
It comes after the announcement of the Premier League’s new Christmas and New Year’s fixtures on the weekend. And the changes could provide a blow to Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag’s ambitions to qualify for the Champions League this season.
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Premier League action gets underway again on December 26, eight days after the World Cup final in Qatar. Spurs will be the first of the ‘big six’ to play, taking on Brentford in a lunchtime Boxing Day clash.
The new schedule will also see Arsenal kick-off at the later and somewhat bizarre Boxing Day time of 8pm against West Ham. Chelsea will be given additional rest as they now face Bournemouth on December 27.
Reigning Premier League champions and title favourites Manchester City’s fixture against Leeds United has been pushed back to December 28 in a bid to “allow greater time for players to recover” between gameweeks 18-19.
While it allows sides like City to no longer play within 48 hours of their other matches, it gives their players 48 hours more post-World Cup rest than United and Liverpool.
What do you think of the new Premier League winter fixture list? Let us know in the comments section.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils will take on Nottingham Forest on December 27, before travelling to Wolves on New Year’s Eve. Ten Hag’s men will then have just two days before they have to face Bournemouth on January 3.
Liverpool, who are currently eighth in the table, play Aston Villa at 5.30pm on Boxing Day. In a move that will likely enrage Jurgen Klopp, the Reds will face Leicester four days later and then Brentford away on January 2.
Rivals Chelsea and Tottenham have the luxury of a nine-day gap between the start and end of their festive fixtures, while Leeds have drawn the short straw with just 167 hours and 45 minutes between their first three matches.
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