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BBC to air first ever live Premier League game on Boxing Day


Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left), Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (centre) and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
Solskjaer (left), Klopp (centre) and Guardiola have criticised this season’s fixture schedule

The BBC will show a live game on 26 December for the first time after the Premier League confirmed its fixtures over the festive period.

BBC TV will show Aston Villa’s match against Crystal Palace on 26 December.

The television fixture list was delayed because of the ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no winter break this season because of fixture congestion, with all festive matches televised by either the BBC, Sky Sports, BT Sport or Amazon.

The fixtures have been published in the wake of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urging broadcasters to talk to each other to ease the strain on players.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Manchester United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have also criticised the TV timings in recent weeks.

The full Christmas fixture list and where you can watch

Saturday, 26 December

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

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

Fulham v Southampton (15:00 GMT – Sky Sports)

Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 BST – Sky Sports)

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

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

Sunday, 27 December

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

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

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

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

Monday, 28 December

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

Chelsea v Aston Villa (17:30 GMT – Amazon)

Everton v Manchester City (20:00 GMT – Amazon)

Tuesday, 29 December

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

Burnley v Sheffield United (18:00 GMT – Amazon)

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

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

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

Wednesday, 30 December

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham (18:00 GMT – Amazon)

Newcastle United v Liverpool (20:00 GMT – Amazon)

Who has the shortest recovery?

According to Premier Injuries,external-link which compiles a database of injuries in the top flight, there have been 133 muscle injuries in total over the first nine matchdays of this Premier League season, a 23% increase compared to the same period last year.

The Premier League had to scrap its winter break for this season because of fixture congestion resulting from the coronavirus pandemic – with the campaign immediately followed by the postponed European Championship.

Team 26 Dec* 27 Dec* 28 Dec* 29 Dec* 30 Dec* Turnaround time**
Chelsea 17:30 17:30 48:00
Everton 20:00 20:00 48:00
Crystal Palace 15:00 15:00 48:00
Man City 20:00 20:00 48:00
Wolves 19:15 20:00 48:45
Leicester 12:30 15:00 50:30
Aston Villa 15:00 17:30 50:30
West Brom 16:30 18:00 51:30
West Ham 14:15 18:00 51:45
Brighton 14:15 18:00 51:45
Burnley 12:00 18:00 54:00
Leeds 12:00 18:00 54:00
Sheffield United 20:00 18:00 70:00
Tottenham 19:15 18:00 70:45
Arsenal 17:30 18:00 72:30
Southampton 15:00 18:00 75:00
Liverpool 16:30 20:00 75:30
Man Utd 12:30 20:00 79:30
Newcastle 20:00 20:00 96:00
Fulham 15:00 18:00 99:00

*All kick-off times are GMT. **Time in hours and minutes between kick-offs

Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton and Crystal Palace have the shortest recovery times to contend with, as all four clubs face two matches in 48 hours. Wolves have an extra 45 minutes.

The fixture schedule has, however, been kind to Fulham and Newcastle in particular, with both Scott Parker and Steve Bruce’s sides having 99 and 96 hours recovery respectively.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton and Arsenal all also have more than three days between their two games.

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