Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has criticized the crowded Premier League Christmas schedule as his side prepare to play two games in the span of three days during the holiday season.
Les Bleus will travel to Arsenal on Boxing Day for a 5:30 p.m. kick-off, before hosting Aston Villa on Monday, December 28 at the same time, meaning there will be less than 48 hours between their two matches. .
Villa, Manchester City, Everton, Leicester and Palace also face the prospect of two games in three days. However, Chelsea’s top four rivals Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool are entitled to an extra day of recovery.
“Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool play two games in three or four days,” Lampard said (via Goal). “It’s counterproductive for the quality of the Premier League, it’s a risk for the players if they want to play both games in an elite, high-end sport, everyone knows that.
“And I clearly know what happened with this one as well; the game is being broadcast live as they all are now. And we’re playing Arsenal on Boxing Day, and our game with Man City has now been postponed to Sunday. [January 3].
“So the schedule meant we couldn’t play, and Aston Villa also wanted to play on Tuesday, they wanted an extra day, and so did we. But we were rejected by both the Premier League and the broadcasters.
“I don’t see how it’s a level playing field, I think it’s wrong and it won’t be the best for players who play at the highest level. Make no mistake, Aston Villa has the same problem. We playing them, we will both have the same problems.
“But I’m just saying we don’t get the same rest period as the other teams. It’s not good even for players to go out and practice let alone play at a high 90 minute level. Everyone in the Premier League knows that. this.”