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The complete guide to a stacked Premier League Boxing Day schedule


english premier league boxing day 2023

Historically speaking, it is the biggest game in the English football calendar that doesn’t host the FA Cup final and this year the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixture list is loaded with wonderful fixtures.

Despite two of the day’s most mouthwatering fixtures being pushed back to December 29 (Australian time), the Premier League’s Boxing Day features a host of incredibly interesting match ups between relegation front runners and sides in the hunt for European football. 

Occurring approximately halfway through the season, and at a time of year where the Australian festive calendar is typically loaded with empty days of relaxation and pristine weather, the games cannot come at a better time.

While only one of the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixtures takes place on the 26th of December down under, with most taking place in the early hours of the 27th, there is no reason why the football fun cannot be soaked up this festive season.

What are the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixtures?

Newcastle v Nottingham Forest, 26 December @ 11:30pm AEDT

Forest travel to Newcastle in what should be an extremely entertaining encounter. Eddie Howe has supercharged Newcastle into a side boasting one of the most frightening attacks in England. Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson are a striking duo most sides would be envious of, Anthony Gordon is coming into his own this season, and Miguel Almiron has his moments.

They’re allowed to flourish because of the solid foundation behind them. A rigid, tough defence, and an effective pressing unit mean Newcastle are incredibly difficult to break down. 

Eddie Howe, newcastle, boxing day
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle kick off the Premier League’s Boxing Day action

Tasked with cracking open a resolute Newcastle side on Boxing Day is Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest. Morgan Gibbs-White’s creativity has him knocking on England’s door, while Anthony Elanga and Taiwo Awoniyi move at break-neck speeds and provide a constant threat in behind defences.

You can catch all the Premier League action live on Optus Sport

Bournemouth v Fulham, 27 December @ 2am AEDT

Both sides are far from perfect and neither will this match up be. Without Aleksandar Mitrović’s presence up top, Fulham have been evidently lacklustre in the opposition box, ranking incredibly low for goals and expected goals this season. 

That’s not to say Marco Silva’s side should be worried about relegation, but they should at least be thinking about it. Their Boxing Day fixture provides the perfect opportunity to win a relegation ‘six-pointer’ against another side down on their luck. 

Fulham Sasa Lukic image
Fulham’s Sasa Lukic contests for the ball

Bournemouth came into the season with high hopes. Out went Gary O’Neill. In came the highly-touted Spaniard, Andoni Iraola. Great expectations followed the former Rayo Vallecano manager, especially considering his ‘modern’ high-intensity style of football which won many plaudits in Spain and across Europe. 

So far, the Cherries have floundered under Iraola’s guidance. They don’t look locked in for relegation, but they don’t look comfortable in the division either. Their attacking play isn’t their issue. Rather their defence is one of the worst in the division. 

This is understandable given the new style of play Iraola is trying to imprint on his side, which requires more pressing and opens up more space for opponents. 

What this match up gives us is a side who can’t score versus a side who can’t defend. Interesting.

Premier league managers, Iraola
Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth have started the season poorly

You can catch all the Premier League action live on Optus Sport

Sheffield United v Luton, 27 December @ 2am AEDT

With Everton’s 10-point deduction making the Premier League relegation battle more interesting, this matchup is arguably the most important of Boxing Day. 

Both sides, promoted at the end of the 2022-23 season, were pre-season favourites for relegation. Their early season form suggests these predictions will ring true. 

Luton Town, Premier League
Will Luton Town have enough to topple Sheffield United this Boxing Day?

It’s hard to judge these sides for their performance so far this season, they are significantly under-resourced when compared to just about every other side in the division. Both Luton Town and Sheffield United have had some notable performances this season, with both sides giving Ange Postecoglou’s high flying Spurs side a run for its money.

When they clash on Boxing Day, it will be a quintessential relegation ‘six-pointer’ with potentially earth shattering consequences for whichever side, if either, come off second best.

You can catch all the Premier League action live on Optus Sport.

Burnley v Liverpool, 27 December @ 4:30am AEDT

Burnley host Liverpool in what shapes as an all time mismatch. Vincent Kompany’s side wiped the floor last season in the Championship and are now having the floor wiped with them in the Premier League.

For anyone watching, it’s apparent that Burnley’s modus operandi isn’t geared primarily towards safety – that’s not to say they won’t dream of it. Instead, it seems like Kompany is indoctrinating the youngest side in the division with a play style they’ll benefit from in years to come.

Mohamed Salah, AFCON, FPL wildcard
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been one of the league’s standout performers this season

Liverpool, their Boxing Day opponents, won’t care about Burnley’s plans. Jurgen Klopp’s side are flying high, Mohamed Salah is in near-career best form, and their rejuvenated midfield goes from strength to strength. 

With their title hunt well-and-truly on the cards, Liverpool will have pencilled this festive fixture as an opportunity to secure three points, the significance of which will only rise as the season progresses.

You can catch all the Premier League action live on Optus Sport

Manchester United v Aston Villa, 27 December @ 7am AEDT

For those post-Boxing Day early risers, this fixture will prove more energising than any coffee. Both sides are in the hunt for European football, but only one is in a crisis. Will Manchester United’s ownership debacle be sorted by Christmas? Will their manager’s job be secure?

Only time will tell. But if there was ever a European ‘six-pointer’, this would be it. Manchester United, riddled by injuries and poor form to start the season, will look at this fixture as an opportunity to prove to both Villa, and the rest of the Premier League, that they’re in this hunt for good. 

The club’s constant circus looks unlikely to dissipate anytime soon. The only way Erik Ten Hag and his misfiring misfits can silence the noise is by winning on the pitch.

Standing in their way on Boxing Day is the Premier League’s 2023 surprise package, Aston Villa. This calendar year, Unai Emery has Aston Villa firing on all cylinders. They are one of the Premier League’s most effective sides, not necessarily married to one particular playstyle but rather an amalgamation of a few.

Ollie Watkins image
Ollie Watkin’s has been incredibly reliable for Villa in 2023

In Ollie Watkins, Emery can call upon one of the league’s most in-form forwards, while the supporting cast around him, including Moussa Diaby and John McGinn, aren’t bad options either.

When the morning of December 27 rolls around your best is to grab your espresso, find a comfortable spot on the couch, and tune in for what could be one of the Premier League games of the season.

You can catch all the Premier League action live on Optus Sport

Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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