Premier League scrap fixture tradition at Christmas after knackering World Cup

The Premier League is reportedly set to announce they will scrap the traditional Christmas calendar fixtures between Boxing Day and the New Year following the World Cup.

A staple mark of the top-flight season, fixtures held on December 28th have been scrapped to avoid players being rundown after a hectic schedule of international football. For the first time in Premier League history, there will be a six-week gap in the fixture list during November and December to accommodate the Qatari World Cup.

According to The Telegraph, when the fixtures are released on Thursday morning (June 16th) there is expected to be one less Christmas game than usual.

The report states the festive calendar will only include matches on Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and January 2nd with no games to be held on December 28th.

The change has been brought forward to due concerns over player burnout as the Boxing Day clashes occur just eight days after the final in Doha.

The EFL are also anticipated to announce similar changes to the Christmas pile-up. The season calendar for the Championship, League One and League Two is not released until next week but there will also be reduced festive action across the lower leagues.

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The EFL will announce just three fixtures during Boxing Day and New Year with matches held on December 26th, December 29th and January 1st. FA Cup fixtures will be across the weekend of January 7th.

The changes will come as a welcome addition to both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola who have both expressed their displeasure regarding the hectic Christmas schedule in England. "The situation should not be like this, and we can discuss this every year," Klopp said last season.

"It's tradition and we want to play on Boxing Day, we could have played on Boxing Day and that would have been no problem at all. But playing on the 26th and the 28th is just not right, I just say that because it's true and I think we can find solutions for that."

While Guardiola previously stated: "If you tell me that technically, physically, it’s good for the players – no, it’s a disaster."

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