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Premier League Christmas Schedule - Winners & Losers

Posted on December 14, 2020

The hectic fixture scheduling over Christmas has always been a discussion point for Premier League Managers. Winter breaks are commonplace for the top leagues across Europe with the likes of Germany, Spain and Italy all having 2-week breaks over the festive period. The Christmas period is one of the most hectic times of the year for English football teams. Games have been traditionally played on Boxing Day and New Years Day, with games in between.

Last season was the first season in Premier League history that teams benefited from a Winter Break, albeit in the new year and not over Christmas.  There will be no winter break this season due to the fixture congestion caused by COVID-19.  As a result of the pandemic, the season started later than usual in September.  The opening games are usually played in mid-August meaning almost a month of the season had been lost.  Added to this, the postponed 2020 European Championships have been rescheduled to summer 2021, meaning the league couldn’t be extended into next summer.

Christmas 2021 Premier League Fixtures

Here we look at the fixtures over the festive period and where you can watch each game.  It will be the first time football fans can watch every minute of Premier League action for free over the Christmas period.

All times are showing in GMT.  The New Year fixture schedule is still to be confirmed.

Saturday, 26 December

Leicester City v Manchester United (12:30 – BT Sport)

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (15:00 – BBC)

Fulham v Southampton (15:00 – Sky Sports)

Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 – Sky Sports)

Manchester City v Newcastle United (20:00 – BT Sport)

Sheffield United v Everton (20:00 – BT Sport)

Sunday, 27 December

Leeds United v Burnley (12:00 – Sky Sports)

West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion (14:15 – Sky Sports)

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion (16:30 – Sky Sports)

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur (19:15 – Sky Sports)

Monday, 28 December

Crystal Palace v Leicester City (15:00 – Amazon)

Chelsea v Aston Villa (17:30 – Amazon)

Everton v Manchester City (20:00 – Amazon)

Tuesday, 29 December

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal (18:00 – Amazon)

Burnley v Sheffield United (18:00 – Amazon)

Southampton v West Ham United (18:00 – Amazon)

West Bromwich Albion v Leeds United (18:00 – Amazon)

Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers (20:00 – Amazon)

Wednesday, 30 December

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham (18:00 – Amazon)

Newcastle United v Liverpool (20:00 – Amazon)

Premier League Winner and Losers

The Premier League have tried to ease the burden on Premier League clubs by increasing the average break between two matches over the Christmas period. It has increased the average break between matches from 52.90 hours last Christmas to 62.05 hours this Christmas. Under Premier League rules, it is a minimum requirement for clubs to have a gap of at least 48 hours between games.

The Winners

On paper, it appears Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have one of the most relaxed Christmas timetables.  Liverpool will have nine rest days between December 19th and December 30th.  They also have an eight-day break between their away game against Crystal Palace on December 19th and their home game against Wolves on December 27th.  Elimination from the EFL Cup has helped Liverpool reduce their fixture congestion, as it has all other teams who have been knocked out. Other winners include Fulham who have nine rest days of fixtures and Southampton who have eight rest days.

The Losers

Conversely to the above, participation in the EFL Cup has had a negative impact on the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal.  The EFL quarter-finals are scheduled to be played between December 22nd and 23rd.  Manchester City face a tight turnaround playing Arsenal in the EFL game on December 22nd, Newcastle on Boxing Day and Everton on December 28th.  They only have 48 hours between the two kick-offs – the minimum requirement. Everton have a similar quandary.

Even though Chelsea have been knocked out of the EFL Cup, they still only have five rest days between their three fixtures over the Christmas period.

It remains to be seen who will hold the crown of being first in the Premier League on Christmas Day!