As the busiest period of the Premier League season draws ever closer, many football fans including club managers have raised their concerns over the tight schedule which could eventually shape the outcome of the league, one of the loudest voices to be heard is that of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool is one of the teams looking forward to the next few days as lots of activities is expected when the transfer window opens.
The Merseyside club starting from Boxing Day will have just four days of rest between three matches. Only Southampton has a worse schedule regarding days given to a club for rest between games as the Saints have only three days of rest between three matches.
Chelsea, on the other hand, has been given a very favorable schedule. Antonio Conte’s men will have a total of seven days to rest between their games against Bournemouth, Stoke City, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea title rivals will surely not be happy with this schedule as the League leaders head into the busiest period of the season holding a six-point lead over Liverpool.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all have a day rest between their second and their third matches; Tottenham has two days break while Chelsea has three.
Jurgen Klopp, in particular, was not pleased after he discovered that his side would be playing Stoke City on Dec 27 instead of Boxing Day Dec 26. This means that their preparation for their match against Manchester City on 31st will be one day less than their opponent.
The Reds manager has voiced his displeasure about how such schedules could have a negative impact on the players:
“December 27, 31, no problem, that’s OK and a normal rhythm. But then to play again on the second (of January) makes no sense.
“I am a football fan, I would love to watch football every day, but if you do it, after four weeks, you cannot do it anymore. The only thing is you have to accept the problems you cause with things like this. Pep Guardiola said exactly the right comment about this. It’s not about coming from Europe and saying ‘let’s do it differently.’ It’s about what is right or wrong.”
“It is part of the game that you always need to be ready, but you need the boys for it. I care about the boys. For me it’s no problem to play a game every day – I don’t have to run. But the players have to run, in this case against City on the 31st and then Sunderland on the 2nd.” says Guardiola.
This holiday fixture build-up will certainly favor Chelsea as they will have more days to rest and prepare for their matches than their title rivals and this may eventually play a part in where the Premier League title will end up at the end of the season.