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BBC Sport analyse which Premier League clubs have busiest festive schedule – Well I never…

1 month ago
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BBC Sport have posed the question – Which Premier League clubs have the busiest festive schedule?

As usual, a lot of managers have been having their say.

As usual, a lot of them aren’t very happy about how many games Premier League clubs are expected to play in a very short period of time in this upcoming festive period.

Here is what a couple of them have said…

Jurgen Klopp:

“It’s crazy. It was always crazy and it will always be crazy.”

Marcelo Bielsa:

“The calendar is so overcharged it doesn’t bear in mind the development of the preparation.”

BBC Sport saying this before they reveal who has the most and least time between the first game (Boxing Day round of matches) and the third (New Year round of games)

‘So who might get a bit more time to rest over the festive schedule and sneak in an extra chocolate and which teams will have to make sure they eat their sprouts?’

Well, to nobody’s surprise, just look at who has the least time between first and last (third) games of the festive period…

Time between first kick-off and third kick-off:

Newcastle United 138 hours

Arsenal 141.5 hours

Manchester City 141.5 hours

Leicester City 144 hours

Norwich City 144 hours

Tottenham 144 hours

Crystal Palace 146.5 hours

Watford 146.5 hours

West Ham 146.5 hours

Brentford 162 hours

Brighton 162 hours

Aston Villa 164.5 hours

Manchester United 165.5 hours

Burnley 167 hours

Chelsea 167 hours

Everton 167 hours

Southampton 167 hours

Leeds United 169.5 hours

Liverpool 172 hours

Wolves 197 hours

For Newcastle United, the three games are Man Utd at home (8pm Monday 27 Dec), Everton away (7.30pm Thursday 30 Dec) and Southampton away (2pm Sunday 2 January).

It would have been even worse, the 138 hours between Man Utd and Southampton reduced by 23 hours to only 115 hours, as the Saints game was due to be 3pm on Saturday 1 January. I can’t recall why now but I’m sure that Southampton match was put back to the Sunday only because of a knock-on effect to suit the broadcasters / Premier League, not to help Newcastle United or their fans!

I’m guessing that NUFC will also ‘win’ the challenge of who has most miles to travel for those three festive games, considering we are off to Everton and Southampton.

Indeed, when you consider the wider festive / December programme for Newcastle United…

Sunday 12 December 2pm – Leicester away (Sky Sports)

Thursday 16 December 8pm – Liverpool away (BT Sport)

Sunday 19 December 2pm – Man City home (Sky Sports)

Monday 27 December 8pm – Man Utd home (Sky Sports)

Thursday 30 December 7.30pm – Everton away (Amazon Prime)

Sunday 2 January 2pm – Southampton away

Six games in the space of three weeks and four of the six away.

Newcastle United and especially the NUFC fans, facing trips to Leicester 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, Liverpool 8pm on a Sunday night, Everton 7.30pm on a Thursday night, then Southampton 2pm on a Sunday afternoon!

Yet all four games have seen the full away allocations swiftly sell out, as well as the two home games against the Manchester sides both sold out as well.

Eddie Howe says that Paul Dummett is back out running and working with a physio outside, training on his own, but apart from that the NUFC boss looks to have a full squad available going into Leicester tomorrow and the games beyond.

Looks like he might well need to be using that wider squad in the next three weeks…

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