Chelsea will ring in the new year in Brighton with a bright and early 12.30 kick-off, but before then, the team will get to stay in or near London for most of December and all of the festive period.
For the first time in Premier League history, three broadcasters (Sky, BT, Amazon) had to fight it out over the schedule, which continues to marginalize the match-going fans more and more with each passing year. Now we have games kicking off at 8:15pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights and four different kick-off times on Boxing Day as well as New Year’s Day, including highly inconvenient times that involve non-negligible travel for away supporters (such as Liverpool away at Leicester on Boxing Day or Manchester United away to Arsenal on New Year’s Day, both kicking off at 8pm as if they were European nights).
Fortunately for Chelsea, there are no such concerns. In fact, our schedule looks quite reasonable, both in terms of timing and in terms of the travel involved. That’s not to say that it’s an easy schedule — Spurs and Arsenal, both away on either side of Christmas — but it could be a lot worse. In fact, for most of December, Chelsea will get to stay in London, starting with the home game against Lille on December 10.
Here are the festive fixtures (and a few extra) as they’re currently scheduled (and hopefully not moving again):
Dec 10, Tuesday: CHELSEA vs. Lille, 20.00 (BT Sport)
Dec 14, Saturday: CHELSEA vs. Bournemouth, 15.00
Dec 17-19, Tue-Thur: potential League Cup quarterfinal tie
Dec 22, Sunday: Spurs vs. CHELSEA, 16.30 (Sky Sports)
Dec 26, Thursday: CHELSEA vs. Southampton, 15.00 (Amazon Prime)
Dec 29, Sunday: Arsenal vs. CHELSEA, 14.00 (Sky Sports)
Jan 1, Wednesday: Brighton vs. CHELSEA, 12.30 (BT Sport)
The FA Cup third round and the League Cup semifinal (if we’re still in it) would follow at that point.