Premier League: How far does YOUR team have to travel this Christmas?
Manchester City face TWO trips to the capital, Newcastle must travel nearly 1,000 MILES while Ralf Rangnick’s United stay closer to home… but with Covid culling matches at an alarming rate, how far will YOUR team actually have to travel this Christmas?
- Football’s manic festive period returns with fans travelling the whole country
- But the omicron Covid variant is fast wreaking havoc with the fixture schedule
- If games are on, Crystal Palace, Everton and West Ham will stay closer to home
- Man City, Newcastle and Liverpool could travel plenty of miles this Christmas
- Sportsmail breaks down how far each Premier League side may have to travel
For most, Christmas is an apt moment to spend time with loved ones, indulge in festive treats, and reflect on another year gone by.
For the die-hard football fans that travel the lengths of the country to follow their team though, Christmas spells football overload. Plans this season though, are anything but assured.
There is uncertainty as to the status of top flight games right now, with the spread of Covid – largely through the omicron variant – leading to postponements galore, and it stands to reason many of the Christmas fixtures will be hit by further postponements.
Three games in the space of a week spells plenty of travelling for supporters – but also more chance of further games being called off.
Sportsmail gives you the rundown of which team’s fans will be travelling the furthest over the next few days, and who will be staying closer to home during this season’s Christmas period.
Christmas is on its way and that means Premier League sides have a busy schedule ahead
Manchester City and Newcastle face lengthy trips while Crystal Palace remain in London
ARSENAL – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 230
It has been a fairly miserable season on the road for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners this season.
While the North Londoners would sit 2nd in the league table on home form alone, two wins from eight away from the Emirates has dragged them down to 7th.
This Christmas, the Gunners travel to East Anglia to face relegation strugglers Norwich, before entertaining Wolves and Man City in the capital.
However, Mikel Arteta confirmed on Saturday that the club had suffered a Covid outbreak, and had to close their training ground last week, though their clash with Leeds still went ahead.
Midfielder Sambi Lokonga was among the players to have tested positive, and it remains to be seen if their situation worsens.
Gunners’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Norwich (A), 28/12: Wolves (H), 01/01: Man City (H)
Arsenal only travel to Norwich on Boxing Day and remain at home for Wolves and Man City
ASTON VILLA – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 512
Steven Gerrard has singlehandedly debunked the myth that managers need time to get their ideas across.
The Liverpool legend has Aston Villa flying. His arrival last month onset a three-match winning run, taking the club from the relegation mire to within touching distance of the European places.
But their are Covid issues, with the Villans clash against Burnley called off at less than two hours notice on Saturday due to an outbreak at the Midlands club.
If this is contained, Gerrard’s side will be on the road for two of their three Christmas fixtures, travelling north to Yorkshire to face Leeds, before heading to the capital for a clash with Brentford.
Villans’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Chelsea (H), 28/12: Leeds (A), 02/01: Brentford (A)
Steven Gerrard has made a good start to life at Aston Villa and faces two trips on the road
BRENTFORD – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 557.6
Brentford have taken to life in the Premier League with aplomb and appear well clear of danger as we approach the festive season.
Thomas Frank’s side face a tricky trip to title contenders Manchester City on December 29, before hosting Gerrard’s resurgent Villa in the new year.
The Bees boss has expressed concern about games going ahead, especially seeing as the club have already seen two fixtures called off – against Manchester United and Southampton – and have had 13 reported cases of their own.
In the off chance the fixtures do go ahead, Frank will be targeting a Christmas present on the South Coast against Brighton this Boxing Day.
Bees’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Brighton (A), 29/12; Man City (A), 02/01: Aston Villa (H)
The Bees have taken to the Premier League with aplomb and will travel 557.6 miles
BRIGHTON – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 662.2
Graham Potter’s side were, curiously, booed off after their draw with Leeds last month, so a couple of trips on the road may come as welcome relief for the Seagulls boss.
A strong start to the campaign has been followed by 11 games without victory, with injuries to Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, dam Lallana, Jeremy Sarmiento, Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate adding to Potter’s woes.
They haven’t been able to take to the pitch to put that right either in recent weeks, with clashes against Tottenham and Manchester United both called off
All being well this Christmas, Brighton travel a lengthy 662 miles after hosting Brentford, making trips to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea and Goodison Park to take on Everton.
Seagulls’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Brentford (H), 29/12: Chelsea (A), 02/01: Everton (A)
Graham Potter’s Brighton have plateaued slightly and face trips to Chelsea and Everton
BURNLEY – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 154.4
It has been another season of treading water for Sean Dyche’s relegation battlers and, as we approach the halfway mark of the season, the Clarets are still well in with a chance of surviving the drop.
Maxwel Cornet has played a big role in Burnley’s survival bid this campaign. The 25-year-old winger has settled into life in Lancashire with aplomb, scoring five goals in 12 games for his new club.
He hasn’t had much of a chance to showcase his talents in recent weeks, with Burnley seeing games against Watford and Aston Villa called off at the eleventh hour, much to Sean Dyche’s frustration.
Cornet is due to play for Ivory Coast at this season’s AFCON, should it go ahead, so Dyche will hope his man can have an impact at home to Everton and away to United and Leeds before jetting off for the tournament.
Clarets’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Everton (H), 30/12: Man United (A), 02/01: Leeds (A)
Sean Dyche’s Burnley make the 62-mile round trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United
CHELSEA – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 246
The Blues may not be top of the Christmas tree at this stage, but Thomas Tuchel will hope his side will be England’s top side come May.
Having been forced to watch on while Man City and Liverpool have slugged it out for top honours, the European champions remain well in the mix for the league title after a strong opening half to the campaign, even without the influence of £98million man Romelu Lukaku for the most part.
Hit by a Covid outbreak themselves, Tuchel was furious that they were made to play their game away at Wolves on Sunday, despite having seven players out with the virus.
Tuchel’s side won’t spend too much time on the road this Christmas should their fixtures hold, with a trip to Aston Villa followed by home ties with Brighton and Liverpool – the latter of which could have huge implications on the title race.
Blues’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Aston Villa (A), 29/12: Brighton (H), 02/01: Liverpool (H)
Chelsea are still well in the mix for the title and face a huge New Year clash with Liverpool
CRYSTAL PALACE – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS): 34
Patrick Vieira’s side won’t be gallivanting around the country this year, as Crystal Palace’s Christmas fixtures are restricted to the confines of London.
Just the 34-mile round trip to Tottenham awaits the Eagles, before they host relegation strugglers Norwich and West Ham at Selhurst Park.
Vieira will hope that limited minutes on the road will help keep his squad fresh during this busy period, but they still have Covid concerns.
At least one member of staff has tested positive, while they have cancelled their Christmas party. They also saw their clash with Watford postponed at the weekend.
Eagles’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Tottenham (A), 28/12: Norwich (H), 01/01: West Ham (H)
Patrick Vieira has reignited the vociferous Selhurst Park and they only travel 34 miles
EVERTON – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 100.6
It has been a difficult opening six months to Rafa Benitez’s term at Goodison Park, and the Spaniard won’t be able to rely on any plush Christmas presents to help his side this year.
As Sportsmail reported last month, lavish spending over the past three seasons has meant the Toffees are unable to bolster their squad significantly in the January market. The club parted ways with transfer chief Marcel Brands this month, as a result of their disappointing market activity.
Cases within the Leicester City camp saw their clash with the Toffees cancelled this weekend.
Their festive fixtures are certainly winnable, as they face Burnley, Newcastle and Brighton and they are only required to travel to Turf Moor.
Toffees’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Burnley (A), 30/12: Newcastle (H), 02/01: Brighton (H)
Rafa Benitez is struggling at Everton but the Toffees have winnable games this Christmas
LEEDS – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 141.6
Leeds are encountering the same troubled waters that many Premier League newcomers have met on their second campaign in the top flight, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side struggling to hit the lofty heights of 2020-21.
The Yorkshire club hover just above the drop zone, and their 7-0 hammering by Manchester City this month has left many concerned that they could be dragged into the relegation mire if they’re not careful.
It is injuries rather than Covid that is ravaging Leeds, with 10 players missing at the weekend as they were soundly beaten by Arsenal.
Bielsa’s side face a tricky trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day, before hosting Villa and Burnley into the New Year.
Leeds’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Liverpool (A), 28/12: Aston Villa (H), 02/01: Burnley (H)
Leeds United make an approximate 180-mile round trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool
LEICESTER – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 218
The Foxes have endured a slight climb down from the dizzy heights of the past couple of seasons. Fresh off their FA Cup triumph last May, Brendan Rodgers’ side have been unable to kick on and are adrift of the top four at this stage.
While Jamie Vardy is still banging in the goals at the ripe old age of 36, Leicester have lost the swashbuckling attacking verve that had them knocking on the door for Champions League football.
They have been hit by a Covid outbreak though, that saw their clash with Everton postponed at the weekend.
Rodgers will hope that the New Year brings a rejuvenation in his side’s fortunes and they will look to hit the ground running against Norwich after games against Man City and Liverpool.
Foxes’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Man City (A), 28/12: Liverpool (H), 01/01: Norwich (H)
Leicester have not hit the heights of 2020-21 yet and take on Manchester City and Liverpool
LIVERPOOL – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 670
What a difference 12 months makes. Last year, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp resembled the Grinch, bemoaning the club’s manic winter schedule while coming to terms with the injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota.
This time around, life could not be any rosier for the charismatic German. The Reds are breathing down the necks of their title rivals and are scoring goals for fun in their mission to regain their Premier League crown.
Liverpool have not been hit by any Covid issues, though Jurgen Klopp has been outpsoken about his views on players getting vaccinated.
Klopp will be desperate for his side to come through the festive period strongly, with Sadio Mane and Mo Salah due to depart for AFCON. The Reds boss revealed earlier this month that he was hopeful that the duo will be available for the Chelsea game.
Reds’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Leeds (H), 28/12: Leicester (A), 02/01: Chelsea (A)
Liverpool will wave goodbye to Mo Salah for AFCON in January so will want a good Christmas
MANCHESTER CITY – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 818
It is shaping up to be a very good year indeed for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.
They may have missed out on landing Harry Kane, while Kevin De Bruyne has been sidelined for much of the campaign, but that has not hindered City’s push for the title this campaign.
Guardiola’s side host Leicester on Boxing Day, which could be in doubt due to the Foxes’ outbreak. They then face trips to the capital twice in the space of three days to face Brentford and Arsenal. Again though, both sides have faced outbreaks of the virus. Their 818 miles on the road is more than all of their rivals but one.
City’s festive fixtures: 26/12: Leicester (H), 29/12: Brentford (A), 01/01: Arsenal (A)
Premier League champions Manchester City face two trips to London over the festive period
MANCHESTER UNITED – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 294
Ralf Rangnick has vowed to transform United into a pressing machine, but the wily German will surely have come to realise by now that English football’s congested fixture schedule – and the concerning spread of Covid – allows very little time for him to train his stars.
Rangnick, 63, has been tasked with hauling United up the league table, and he has already shown positive signs that he can be the man to get performances out of this talented squad.
But Covid has wreaked havoc at United, with their last two fixtures against Brentford and Brighton both postponed.
While they will be hoping to be busy over the festive period, United fans will expect their side to get close to maximum points at St James’ Park and against Burnley and Wolves at home.
Red Devils’ festive fixtures: 27/12: Newcastle (A), 30/12: Burnley (H), 03/01: Wolves (H)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United are staying closer to home over the Christmas period
NORWICH CITY – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 520
After suffering a serious case of deja vu, Norwich have been offered a glimmer of hope that they do have enough to survive the drop.
Daniel Farke’s first 10 games in charge sent out very concerning signals for the Canaries, who appeared destined for relegation to the Championship at the first time of asking again.
Yet Dean Smith’s appointment has seen a bounce back in East Anglia. They have been hit by Covid, with an outbreak seeing their clash at West Ham cancelled this weekend.
The newcomers plan to host Arsenal on Boxing Day before travelling to Palace and Leicester, amassing 520 miles on the road.
Canaries’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Arsenal (H), 28/12: Crystal Palace (A), 01/01: Leicester (A)
Norwich City travel 244 miles west to take on Leicester City at the King Power on January 2
NEWCASTLE UNITED – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 986
Finally, Newcastle United have their first win of the season.
Eddie Howe’s arrival has certainly lifted spirits on Tyneside following Steve Bruce’s acrimonious exit. And with a big-spending January window on the horizon, there is reason to be optimistic.
Yet Howe has to navigate a tricky winter period, where Newcastle will spend more time on the road than any other club when they travel to Everton and Southampton.
They have yet to see a fixture postponed due to the current outbreaks, though have dealt with their own Covid issues in the past, with captain Jamaal Lascelles among those to have previously contracted the virus.
Magpies’ festive fixtures: 27/12: Man United (H), 30.12: Everton (A), 02/01: Southampton (A)
Newcastle will travel more miles than any other team, totalling nearly 1,000 mules on the road
SOUTHAMPTON – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 172.8
Southampton have bucked their trend of going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows to experience a fairly quiet season, thus far.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have handled life without Danny Ings fairly well, although they linger above the drop zone and are under threat of being dragged into the relegation scrap.
The club are currently Covid free but did see their fixture with Brentford postponed.
Their New Year date against Newcastle stands out as a huge fixture on the South Coast, while the Saints will hope to pick up points against West Ham and Spurs, if possible.
Saints’ festive fixtures: 26/12: West Ham (A), 28/12: Spurs (H), 02/01: Newcastle (H)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 225.6
Slowly but surely, Antonio Conte is making his mark on his Tottenham squad.
The Italian conceded that he has a sizeable task at hand to turn around this under-performing side, but clean sheets against Brentford and Norwich have provided cause for optimism.
A Covid outbreak has hampered their progress, but they did get back on the pitch against Liverpool on Sunday, though his mood will not have been helped by the club being kicked out of Europe on Monday.
Conte will hope to get back up and running against Palace at home on Boxing Day, before taking on Southampton and Watford.
Spurs’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Crystal Palace (H), 28/12: Southampton (A), 01/01: Watford (A)
Antonio Conte’s Spurs have been ravaged by Covid and will play catch up over the season
WATFORD – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 240
Two months ago, Watford would have looked at these festive fixtures and have been in no mood to sing Jingle Bells. The Hornets looked doomed for another slide to the Championship with performances falling off a cliff under Xisco Munez.
Yet somewhere in the depths of Hertfordshire, feint echoes of ‘Dilly Ding Dilly Dong’ can surely be heard.
Claudio Ranieri has not completely turned the club’s results around, but he is inspiring his side to far better displays, giving fans hope of survival come May.
They have suffered a Covid outbreak, but should they get it under control, they face a winnable clash at Molineux before hosting West Ham and Spurs.
Hornets’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Wolves (A), 28/12: West Ham (H), 01/01: Spurs (H)
Watford are in a relegation battle and will hope to pick up points away against Wolves
WEST HAM – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 88.6
Plenty of football fans will be looking at West Ham as green as the Grinch, with the Hammers in an enviable position of challenging the Premier League’s top six.
David Moyes has engineered a remarkable turnaround. The London Stadium was a venue of much discontent among Irons fans but the Scot has galvanised the masses who offer up a cauldron of support behind their team in East London.
The Hammers are enduring a slight slump in form, though, with just two wins from their last eight games.
Fortunately, West Ham won’t be venturing too far from home this Christmas should their games go ahead. They are on the road twice to Watford and Palace, travelling less than 100 miles.
Hammers’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Southampton (H), 28/12: Watford (A), 01/01: Crystal Palace (A)
WOLVES – TOTAL MILES (ROUND TRIPS) = 421.8
Bruno Lage will be thankful to see the back end of December after a testing month for the Wolves boss.
He revealed this weekend that every Wolves player is looking to get a booster jab, as they look to avoid fixture chaos.
The Molineux outfit have had to face Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea this month, and the challenges do not get any easier this Christmas.
They will be desperate to beat Watford at home on Boxing Day to build momentum for tough trips to the Emirates and Old Trafford.
Wolves’ festive fixtures: 26/12: Watford (H), 28/12: Arsenal (A), 03/01: Man United (A)
Conor Coady & Co face tricky trips to Arsenal and Manchester United over the festive period
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article