There is nothing that quite compares to the drama and passion of the English Premier League. Most top flight managers would have had countless sleepless nights as the festive season approaches, with games coming in thick and fast - but for football fans, it is like Christmas has come early.
Many football experts yearn a winter break period which has become part and parcel of the domestic season in both Spain and Italy. Both players and managers become engrossed by the fear of burnout, but this is one of the reasons why we all love the Premier League. How else would die hard fans spend their Boxing Day?
Christmas time may well be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ and Football Ticket Pad has picked out five reasons why we love the Premier League Christmas schedule.
Fans can enjoy a Christmas bonanza with live Premier League matches every night from 26th December until 4th January 2017 with the biggest teams all in action. Take a look at our available tickets here.
The League Table: This is often the most testing time of the season for Premier League clubs and it is where fans can really gage on how the season will pan out. The team at the top of the table is heaped as favourites to win the title, whereas those at the bottom are destined to be relegated.
Six times in the last seven seasons the team sitting top of the table on Christmas Day have been there at the end of the season. Manchester City are the only exception, as they climbed from third to first in the 2013-14 season under Manuel Pellegrini at the expense of Liverpool, who agonisingly ‘slipped up’ in claiming their first title since 1990.
Meanwhile, out of the 21 teams that have been bottom of the table at Christmas, only three have survived since the 1995/96 season: Leicester in 2014/15, Sunderland in 2013/14 and West Brom in 2004/05.
Boxing Day Fixtures: This is a round of fixtures which dates back to 1860 and has become part and parcel of the football calendar in the UK and it often guarantees goals.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day double-headers were a routine part of the fixture list until 1957 and, although a handful of clubs ploughed on with hosting matches on 25 December, they had generally fallen out of favour by 1963.
As Christmas night in the UK dwindles towards Boxing Day fans start to switch their attentions to their beloved football club with stadiums across the top flight sold out for one of the most popular fixtures of the season. This year, fans with Premier League tickets can look forward to Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium, league leaders Chelsea v Bournemouth and Manchester United v Sunderland at Old Trafford - Plus five other games.
New Year Fixtures: Fans can prepare for seven fixtures on New Year's Eve - including a mouth-watering clash at 5:30pm at Anfield for Liverpool v Manchester City. Elsewhere, Manchester United take on Middlesbrough and Chelsea welcome Stoke City to Stamford Bridge.
Whilst fans nurse a New Year hangover, supporters can enjoy welcome 2017 in style with Premier League football tickets. Tottenham Hotspur travel to Watford for the Sunday lunchtime kick-off, with Arsenal v Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium later in the afternoon. The New Year fixtures are often highly anticipated with fans wiping the slate clean and offering a fresh start for the second half of a grueling domestic season.
Fancy Dress: The festive period is highly charged on the pitch, but in the stands there is a joyful atmosphere and buoyant mood amongst both home and travelling support which makes for a friendly and enjoyable matchday experience for both friends and family.
Across the Premier League there is numerous pre-match entertainment to add to the match atmopshere. Pre-match and half-time entertainment on the pitch is always a winner and match-goers can expect to see numerous fans swapping their club jerseys for a more seasonal fancy dress outfit.
Tradition: Lastly, the festive period of Premier League fixtures is a novelty which is what makes English football so appetising and attractive to football fans all over the world. These are a set of fixtures which have always been the most popular matches with fans and one which supporters always look towards when the fixtures are released at the start of the season. The Premier League festive fixtures are the gift that keeps on giving and football fans across the country would not have it any other way!
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