Premier League: No Christmas Eve fixtures for English top flight

Leicester and Manchester United
Leicester's game against Manchester United, at 19:45 GMT on 23 December, will be the last Premier League game before Christmas

No Premier League games will take place on Christmas Eve after none of the scheduled 23 December games were moved there for live television coverage.

It had been thought that Liverpool's trip to Arsenal was under consideration to be moved from 23 to 24 December.

Instead, it will be played on Friday, 22 December, with a 19:45 GMT kick-off.

Three other fixtures have been moved from the 15:00 slot on 24 December - Everton v Chelsea, Burnley v Tottenham and Leicester v Manchester United.

Chelsea's trip to Goodison Park will be a 12:30 kick-off and the other two games will take place on the Saturday evening, with Burnley kicking off at 17:30 and Leicester at 19:45.

Premier League fixture amendments - Christmas 2017-18 (all times GMT)
Friday, 22 DecemberArsenal v Liverpool (19:45)
Saturday, 23 DecemberEverton v Chelsea (12:30), Burnley v Tottenham (17:30), Leicester v Manchester United (19:45)
Tuesday, 26 DecemberTottenham v Southampton (12:30), Liverpool v Swansea (17:30)
Wednesday, 27 DecemberNewcastle v Manchester City (19:45)
Thursday, 28 DecemberCrystal Palace v Arsenal (20:00)

The Premier League had previously assured fans that no game would take place at 16:00 or later on Christmas Eve.

After further discussions, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore praised the "flexibility" of UK television broadcasters Sky and BT.

''We appreciate this is the peak time for supporters attending and watching the Premier League," he said.

"With matches scheduled on Christmas weekend for the first time in 11 years, the process of selecting games for live broadcast has been a more complex one than usual and I would like to thank our broadcast partners and clubs for their co-operation and flexibility.

"When selecting matches, the broadcasters are using the rights that we the Premier League and the clubs have sold them, and they should therefore not be criticised for doing so."

There will be a lunchtime game on Boxing Day, with Southampton's trip to Tottenham beginning at 12:30 GMT.

The last Premier League game to take place on Christmas Eve was in 1995, when Leeds beat Manchester United 3-1.

Until 1957, there was a full programme of Football League fixtures on Christmas Day, with the reverse fixtures taking place on Boxing Day.

Blackpool continued to play home fixtures on Christmas Day until 1965.


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