Monday 1 May 2017

Revealed! Was the Christmas Premier League schedule the 'most uneven' ever?

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte congratulates Diego Costa after their side's win over Stoke on New Year's Eve. Getty Images
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte congratulates Diego Costa after their side's win over Stoke on New Year's Eve. Getty Images

Evan Bartlett

Chelsea have had more rest over the busy Christmas period than any other team in the Premier League, an analysis of the fixture schedule has shown.

The league leaders, who last played on New Year's Eve, can extend their buffer at the top of the table to eight points if they beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.

Southampton, who have had the least rest of any team in the league, have lost all three of their games over the festive period - as a table at the bottom of this article shows.

Areene Wenger claimed the fixture schedule has been the "most uneven" he has seen in his 20 years of managing in the Premier League.

His Arsenal side travel to Bournemouth on Tuesday night, just two days after beating Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

"The difference of rest periods is absolutely unbelievable, compared to the other teams it is unbelievable," Wenger said after his side's victory on Sunday.

"Every game is so difficult in this Premier League that we go now into a game in 48 hours' time with a big handicap on the fixtures."

While the Frenchmen bemoaned his side's schedule, Arsenal have actually had the second most amount of rest between games out of the so-called 'big six'.

Of the title challengers, it is Liverpool - who slipped up against Sunderland on Monday - who had the least rest between the kick-off of their first festive fixture and the final whistle of their last.

PL stats.jpg

It is not just Wenger who has taken aim at the scheduling. Sam Allardyce even went so far as to say the person who organises the Premier League's fixture list should be sacked after his Crystal Palace side's defeat on New Year's Day.

"We have been dealt the blow of not having enough time between games today and on Tuesday,” Allardyce said. “I don’t know who does the fixtures but he needs sacking."

Palace have had the third most amount of rest of all Premier League clubs over the Christmas period.

Independent News Service

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