When world football rethinks to put the brakes on the brake with restrictions before the rise in the numbers of infections and the already massive outbreaks in each of the clubs on the world scene, the Premier League accelerates. English football does not want to put the brakes on it and is going with everything to celebrate “Boxing Day”, translated as Boxing Day. A Christmas tradition in British football that even COVID won’t stop.
The matches of the day
Sunday 26 December
Liverpool – Leeds United (aplazado)
Wolverhampton – Watford (postponed)
Burnley – Everton (postponed)
Manchester City – Leicester
Norwich – Arsenal
Tottenham – Crystal Palace
West Ham – Southampton
Aston Villa – Chelsea
Brighton – Brentford
Not even COVID stops the Christmas tradition in English football
Under the threat of covid-19 that has already caused the suspension of three matches scheduled in the program, the Premier awaits the day known as ‘Boxing Day’, a tradition and a party in the Premier that liven up the busy schedule of English football in the Christmas period.
In almost a week and a half the English league covers three days. In those nine days, only one will not have a game. The rest of the dates are busy. An attention to the follower.
But beyond that, December 26 is the day reserved for the so-called boxing day. A holiday that fills the stadiums with atmosphere to become part of the tradition. A date reserved for the follower to come and enjoy. In fact, the matches usually face teams that are geographically close, with small distances that the fan can assume.
Legend has it that the name comes from the Middle Ages. The nobility gave a box to the servants that day as a reward for the work done throughout the year.
The increasing incidence of Covid that has caused numerous suspensions in recent days, left the staging of boxing day in the air. However, the Premier League clubs decided last Monday to keep the schedule planned for these dates despite the fact that a dozen games were canceled in the last ten days.
Two of the clashes scheduled for this nineteenth date, the last of the first round, have already been suspended. It is about Liverpool against Leeds United and the one that was going to face Wolverhampton and Watford.
In sports, the Manchester City of the Spanish Pep Guardiola can be proclaimed winter champion on boxing day and widen the distance with respect to his pursuers. Especially with Liverpool, the only one who maintains the competitive rhythm of the champion, who took a step back in his last game after drawing in London against Tottenham and who will not play on Sunday due to the coronavirus.
City host Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester at the Etihad, distanced from the heights of the table and who recovered in his last encounter with the win against Newcastle after a two-game slump.
Guardiola’s team enjoys an impeccable course and can deliver a coup of authority in this competitive marathon. Accumulate eight wins in a row. They have not lost since last October 30 when they were beaten by Crystal Palace.
The date puts the state of Chelsea to the test, deteriorated in recent days. A victory in four games, with two draws in a row, has alerted Thomas Tuchel’s side, who dominated the first third of the competition with solvency. Birmingham visits the London squad to face the reactivation of the Steven Gerrard effect against Aston Villa, who fails to link two games in a row without losing.
Chelsea, three points behind Liverpool’s second place and six from Manchester City, are running out of error.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal intends to extend its winning streak. They face a favorable duel the ‘Gunners’ who visit the bottom field, Norwich, which has three defeats in a row that have anchored it in the well of the classification.
Arsenal can establish themselves in fourth place, which gives access to the Champions League, and threaten the third place of Chelsea, London’s neighbor.
From behind they accelerate. This is not the case with West Ham, now out of the ‘champions’. David Moyes’s painting is in decline. He has only won one of his last six games, receives Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton and feels closely the threat of Manchester United who has found improvement with the arrival of Ralf Rangnick on his bench.
Away from a single point in the classification of the European positions, the Reds intend to take advantage of the dynamics generated by their victories against Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Norwich in their appointment against Newcastle, penultimate, in St. James Park, in the clash that Monday will close the day.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham slowed their growth last weekend with a draw against Liverpool after three straight wins.
The spurs face a London derby against Crystal Palace that intends to resume the competitive pulse. Patrick Vieira’s squad rebuilt with the three points he got against Everton after four games without a win. But he did not go beyond the draw in his field against Southampton in his last appointment.
Crystal Palace is in a no-man’s-land while Tottenham only two points away from Europe.
For Brighton and Brentford who complete matchday nineteen, the match is a challenge. Equalized with points in the classification, the winner can take a big leap in the table.