Scottish Premiership: Which clubs have toughest December schedule?

Bottom club St Johnstone's fans have little to smile about as the festive season looms
Suffering St Johnstone fans only have six games to get through in December, three fewer than Celtic

Scottish football is often a frenzied feast of drama but December always tends to be the month that bears witness to a whole new level of non-stop football and bedlam.

In the Scottish Premiership alone we'll have 41 games in just one month, with a Scottish League Cup final and Europa League group stage fixtures to boot.

But which clubs have the most fixtures crammed in to the festive period? And what set of fans will have to travel the furthest for away games?

Who has the busiest schedule?

When it comes to fixtures in December, clubs tend to become the victims of their own success. From 30 November (when the first December matchday weekend starts) to 29 December, Celtic top the fixtures list with nine games, while Rangers and Hearts both have eight over that period.

The rest of the top flight have seven games, apart from St Johnstone and Ross County, who only have to play six Premiership matches.

How much time off will each club get?

Naturally, the number of games crammed in to a set period of time has a huge impact on how many days off each team gets and the rest afforded to their players. This, more or less, follows the same pattern as the aforementioned graph of fixtures throughout the month.

With fewer games than the rest of the top flight, St Johnstone and Ross County will enjoy more time off than their Premiership counterparts with 5.8 and 5.6 days between games respectively.

Intriguingly, it is worth noting that although Hibs have the same number of games as six other Premiership sides, they do seem to have 0.7 more days of rest in between games. That may sound negligible but it could have an effect on match fitness and possible injuries over the course of a month.

In contrast, Neil Lennon's side will have just 3.1 days in between all three competitions they're competing in throughout December. While Steven Gerrard's contenders similarly face a gruelling schedule of just 3.9 days in between games.

Which fans have the longest road to travel?

Travelling around Scotland in December is never much fun. It's usually wet, windy and dark before teatime. And even if you can stomach all that you probably then have to contend with ice on the roads. Yet Scottish football fans are a passionate bunch and most will loyally make the trip anyway.

So which fans will travel the furthest this year? When we calculate the distance from one stadium to the next, we find that Aberdeen fans should expect to chalk up no less than 404 miles over the course of their three away games at Hibs, Hearts and Celtic.

Ayrshire side Kilmarnock aren't far behind their Pittodrie counterparts, with five away matches in December. Although four of those games involve trips to the central belt, a fifth means a road trip up to Ross County on 14 December which will account for over half the miles they'll rack up that month.

Meanwhile, Hearts fans will be able to save on petrol money with just three away trips to Rangers, Motherwell and Hamilton.

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