Jose Mourinho was right, this time. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal can count themselves fortunate as they will benefit from more rest than any other Premier League club over this season’s hectic Christmas period.
The Manchester United manager wished Wenger’s side a “happy Christmas” on Wednesday after noting how schedulers had granted them a five-day break over the festive period.
Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Friday 22 December, the opening match of the Premier League’s 19th round of fixtures this season, but do not play again until 28 December, away to Crystal Palace.
Who has the Premier League’s toughest Christmas fixture schedule?
In an interview with The Mirror, Mourinho said: “Do you think it is possible for Arsenal to play 22 December and 28 December? Do you think it is possible?
“You know, I wish them a happy Christmas because they are going to have a Christmas while others they play 23-26.”
With 11 rounds of fixtures squeezed into the next six weeks rather than the usual eight or nine, Premier League clubs are preparing for an unprecedented winter fixture pile-up.
Over the holiday period itself, all 20 will play four times but as Mourinho highlights, some will have longer breaks between matches than others.
By calculating the time between each club’s four fixtures, we can approximate the amount of ‘rest’ their player will have over Christmas.