Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has slammed the Premier League for giving Chelsea an easy ride over the Christmas period.
Chelsea, who are six points clear in the title race and have no European football to contend with this term, also have longer rest periods between matches whereas Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger has also questioned the scheduled, play two games in three days at the start of the new year.
“The busy period is for some clubs, not for everyone,” Mourinho said.
“If you analyse the fixtures there is no congestion for them.
“It looks like the fixtures are chosen to give rest for some and to create problems to others.
“But we are used to it because we are in Europa League and the Europa League is a competition that creates more difficulties.
“We know that, Southampton know that, Tottenham will know that later. It’s very difficult for us but it’s more of the same.”
Mourinho has a point. Between their first and second games of the festive period, Chelsea have four days off, and then they have another three days to rest between their second and third games. No other side has seven days’ recovery time in between their matches, and 13 teams face two games in three days.
What is more, Chelsea’s first two matches, against Bournemouth and Stoke, are at Stamford Bridge and their third is just across the capital at Tottenham. so the Blues will not leave the capital over the holiday break, a distinct advantage over their Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side by comparison face a 167 mile trek to the Stadium of Light, a games come after just one day of rest following a testing match away to Manchester City.
At the other end of the table West Ham have to travel further than any other team over the coming weeks, with away trips to Swansea and Leicester, and then their home game is hardly the easiest, with in-form Manchester United coming to the London Stadium.