This is definitely good news for Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel as Chelsea have been handed an amazing helping hand in the race for the English Premier League title – because the New Year fixtures give them double the rest time of some of their rivals.
Liverpool failed in an appeal to the league over being forced to play their away match at Sunderland on Jan 2 less than 48 hours after they take on Kelechi Iheanacho’s Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s team are also being forced to perform with only 43 hours 45 mins between matches, when they play host to Burnley after their clash with the Reds.
But title chasing Chelsea have no such worries over aching limbs and niggling injuries – with more than FOUR days between their two New Year games.
Antonio Conte’s in-form side take on Stoke at 3pm on December 31 – and can then sit back and relax watching Liverpool and City take their punishment.
For the Blues are not in action again until they take on Tottenham on January 4 after the match was switched to accommodate the demands of Sky – with a 99 hour gap between matches.
And with the Christmas programme also being kind, it means Chelsea could benefit from an extraordinarily kind fixture list at a time of year known for punishing schedules.
Manchester United have just over 48 hours turnaround from the end of their home clash with Middlesbrough and their January 2 trip to West Ham.
While Alex Iwobi and Arsenal have just 50 hours between the final whistle of their home game against Crystal Palace and kick-off at Bournemouth on January 3.
North London rivals Tottenham also have things easier than the rest, with 76 hours 45 mins separating their matches at Watford and the Chelsea game at White Hart Lane.
But it is Chelsea’s remarkable rest days compared to their title rivals that stands out – and could have a major impact on the results over the festive programme that traditionally tests the strength in depth of each squad.
Liverpool and City are not the only teams being given less than 44 hours between games – Leicester and Boro must also suffer more than most.