footy musings from a (relative) newbie

Posts tagged ‘swansea city’

Festive Fixtures

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

Europe League KO Draw

Thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?

But no. This season, I’ve resolved to give the Europa League its due. With that, here’s the round of 32 draw

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) v Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)

Real Betis Balompié (ESP) v FC Rubin Kazan (RUS)

Swansea City AFC (ENG) v SSC Napoli (ITA)

Juventus (ITA) v Trabzonspor AŞ (TUR)

NK Maribor (SVN) v Sevilla FC (ESP)

FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) v FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

FC Chornomorets Odesa (UKR) v Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)

SS Lazio (ITA) v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)

Esbjerg fB (DEN) v ACF Fiorentina (ITA)

AFC Ajax (NED) v FC Salzburg (AUT)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) v FC Basel 1893 (SUI)

FC Porto (POR) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)

FC Anji Makhachkala (RUS) v KRC Genk (BEL)

FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) v Valencia CF (ESP)

PAOK FC (GRE) v SL Benfica (POR)

FC Slovan Liberec (CZE) v AZ Alkmaar (NED)

Now, admittedly, I don’t know my Maribor from my Makhachkala, but I’m hoping to change all that in the next couple of months. Yup – I’m going to attempt to educate myself about all the unfancied teams making their way through the Europa League. We’ll see how that goes.

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