7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?



Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by 7M Sport

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

Christmas festival is still on the way, but the 'gift' - Christmas schedule was already sent to Premier League players. From Dec 10th night (Round 15) to Jan 2nd, 2017 (Round 20), all the clubs have to face 6 games within 24 days - once in 4 days. That is to say, a hectic schedule has already begun.

This season by far, Premier League table is leading by 6 giants: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Let's review some data of these top 6 teams in the last season:

          7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?
We can see that, in 2015/16 season, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City who have the best performances in December also have nearly the same results in the end. Can we simply make a conclusion that once teams get through the horrible schedule around the Boxing day, they will rewarded by good results in the end? We don't know either, let's find out the answer together.

Arsenal

Whoops! Look at Arsenal manager's dazed expression. Arsenal picked out Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich as rivals in the knockout stage of UEFA Champions League. Professor becomes worried about their chance in European tournament even though they promoted as NO.1 in the group.

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

If that were not enough, the Gunners' unbeaten run was ended by Everton last night, although they have been plain sailing this season. What a cold winter for Arsenal. This weekend Arsenal Wenger's side will travel to Manchester City. Now they fell 3 points behind leaders Chelsea, and can they regain confidence to face such tough fixtures?

Tottenham Hotspur

Having been off UEFA Champions League for so many years, Tottenham Hotspur might not play as enthusiastic as Leicester City do. They were eliminated in advance after losing to Monaco 1-2 in the 5th round of group stage.

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

Pochettino's troop is so close to the league title last season, so they are undoubtedly champions challengers this term. Having lost to the Red Devils 0-1 last time out, 5th placed Tottenham fell 10 points behind leaders Chelsea at the moment. The following opponents would not be difficult for The Lilywhites. Can Tottenham secure a place in top 4 of the league?

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola met another trouble as the Blue Moon lost to defending champions Leicester City last weekend. Former Bayern manager is under pressure. He admits that, anyone would be sacked if he did not achieve good results, but he needs more time. Manchester City's last home win in the league was back to Sep 17th, 4-0 against Bournemouth, and they bagged only 4 goals in 4 home games.

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

According to Mirror, former England football star Stan Collymore has even written to criticize that, "And if he thinks he doesn’t need to teach tackling or one-on-one combat in training then he’ll be going back to Spain with his tail between his legs." However, City manager did not care too much when he was asked about it. To make matters worse, major striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder Fernandinho were banned for 4 and 3 games respectively due to their reasonless behaviour in the confrontation with Chelsea. In the following days, they will face tough opponents including Arsenal and Liverpool. What should Guardiola do to save the Blue Moon from sinking?

Chelsea

Unlike 3 teams above, in-form Chelsea have a three point lead on the table so far. They have achieved back-to-back victories - 3-1 away to Manchester City and 1-0 against West Bromwich at home. The following fixtures for the Blues would be straightforward as their oppositions are all in inferior position. There might be few people expected that, Antonio Conte's club could climb up to the top of table smoothly before Christmas schedule. Although Chelsea have no chance to play UEFA Champions League this season, they have proved themselves by brilliant performance in the league.

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

Nevertheless, major players leading by Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Kante were suffering injury. How can Chelsea manager present a good squad to face this hectic period?

Liverpool

Having just stepped into December, Liverpool's 15-game unbeaten run among all tournaments was ended by a 4-3 defeat away to Bournemouth and a 2-2 draw against West Ham at home. During their defeat to Bournemouth, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi put the Reds 2 goals ahead in the 22nd minute, but they were hammered by 4 goals from the Cherries.

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

Major players' missing have obviously weakened Jurgen Klopp's team. They have to face two tough rivals Everton and Manchester City on Dec 20th and 31st respectively. If they continue losing points, 3rd place Liverpool might dropped out of the list of title challengers. Can they turn the hard into the possible? Let's wait and see.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho's players would welcome a most comfortable December among all the 6 giants. Henrik Mkhitaryan's goal helped Manchester United to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford. Now their only concern might be West Bromwich. 

7M: Christmas schedule - a gift or disaster?

4th placed Manchester United have wrapped up 30 points so far. Could they seize the opportunity to grab points? Can Mourinho bring back the Red Devils? We hope so.

When Wayne Rooney first becomes a professional footballer, he was fed up with this hectic Boxing Day. He said, 'Watching football match is my favourite in Christmas day when I was just a fan. However, things turned different when I was a footballer.' The busiest fixtures will always create stunning matches. It is worth mentioning that, London strong duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are very good at dealing with grueling matches. Would this schedule be a gift or disaster for the giants? Let's look forward to it together!

(7M/Jacqueline)

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