It’s that time of year again. The time when the major European leagues wind down the first half of the season and send their players off on much needed breaks.
In Italy, Serie A clubs take a two-week break, as does Spain’s Primera Division. The Bundesliga takes six weeks off (nice work if you can get it!)
But the Barclays Premier League continues play right through Christmas and New Year’s. This is what is known as The Festive Period (also “Festive Fixtures”).
Beginning today, the Premier League’s 20 teams will go on a run of fixtures that won’t end until New Year’s Day. It’s one of the aspects of the league’s structure that makes it, IMO, one of the toughest competitions to win.
As a fan, I’m of two minds about this period in the Premier League calendar. On the one hand, I like having football to watch over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. On the other hand, I can’t help feeling like it would be beneficial to give the players some kind of break – especially when all of the other big European Leagues are doing so.
In any event, I will have my eye on these fixtures from Matchdays 17-20:
12/22: Swansea City vs. Everton* and Southhampton vs. Tottenham
12/23: Arsenal vs. Chelsea
12/26: Chelsea vs. Swansea City and Manchester City vs. Liverpool
1/1: Manchester United vs. Tottenham