Premier League Christmas fixtures: Why just one big game?

Liverpool vs Man City is the only must-watch match over the holidays as bottom club Hull play twice on TV

Christmas football fixtures
(Image credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The Premier League's fabled Christmas schedule usually throws up a cracker or two, but this season fans might find themselves snoozing in front of the TV, with only two of ten games shown over the holidays featuring two top ten teams.

The fixture computer must take most of the blame for coming up with three rounds of largely uninspiring clashes featuring only two London derbies, no real grudge matches and just one potential title decider.

Nevertheless, it seems odd that Chelsea, who lead the league by six points, will not be shown live on television until they visit Spurs on 4 January, by which time most people will be back at work and the turkey consigned to the bin.

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Arsenal and Manchester United make one appearance each over the Christmas break: the Gunners against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day while West Ham host the Red Devils on 2 January.

However, the league's bottom club, Hull, feature twice, playing Man City and Everton on Boxing Day and 30 December respectively.

Both games are at the KC Stadium, which is the least popular ground in the division and has on average been less than 80 per cent full for the Tigers' home games this season.

However, there are a couple of top of the table clashes sprinkled in among the likes of Watford vs Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough vs Leicester, along with one genuine heavyweight confrontation.

The first top ten clash is on 28 December, when Southampton, currently seventh, host fifth-placed Tottenham in a match that will have little bearing on the title but could have ramifications for Europe.

The star on top of the festive football Christmas tree is Manchester City's visit to Liverpool on New Year's Eve. This game could be billed as a title eliminator, with the loser probably seeing their hopes of winning the league go up in smoke.

For neutrals, it must count as the only must-watch game of the holidays - and it also happens to be the only one shown on BT Sport.

Premier League fixtures on TV over Christmas:

Watford vs Crystal Palace, 26 Dec, Sky

Hull vs Man City, 26 Dec, Sky

Liverpool vs Stoke, 27 Dec, Sky

Southampton vs Spurs, 28 Dec, Sky

Hull vs Everton, 30 Dec, Sky

Liverpool vs Man City, 31 Dec, BT Sport

Watford vs Spurs, 1 Jan, Sky

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, 1 Jan, Sky

Middlesbrough vs Leicester, 2 Jan, Sky

West Ham vs Man Utd, 2 Jan, Sky

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