The English Premier League has announced its festive schedule, with football matches organized for 10 of the 11 days between December 26 and January 5.
Meanwhile, the EPL had been due to announce the matches that had been scheduled for broadcast over the festive period on October 11, about two weeks ago.
The delays met a series of criticism from supporters groups and football fans, many of whom have been waiting to book travel tickets and accommodation.
The Premier League has explained the reason behind the delay via an official statement which read: “Special arrangements have been made to allow more time between matches played across the three festive match rounds.”
Dates of the three rounds of matches have been moved for broadcast and to ensure teams have longer periods of rest between games.
EPL added: “This will allow greater time for players to recover, with the rest period between Matchweeks 18-19 increased to ensure that no club play within 48 hours of another of their matches.”
Premier League football action resumes eight days’ after the completion of the first-ever winter Qatar World Cup with seven games scheduled for December 26.
Arsenal vs West Ham will take the primetime opener on Boxing Day with Chelsea and Manchester United in action the following day as the Christmas and New Year Premier League fixtures have finally been scheduled.
Chelsea will be hosting Bournemouth and Manchester United will be in action against Nottingham Forsest on December 27, before reigning Premier League champions Manchester City will travel to take on Leeds United on December 28.
As Jurgen Klopp’s side will continue their fight to finish inside the Champions League places, Liverpool’s festive clash with Leicester City at Anfield is scheduled for December 30, kick-off at 8 pm.
Further festive league action comes from the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Eve, as Brighton welcomes current league toppers Arsenal, kick-off at 5.30 pm.
There are two other matches to usher in 2023 as Aston Villa visits Tottenham, kick-off at 2 pm before Nottingham Forest hosts Chelsea, kick-off at 4.30 pm, on January 1.
Brentford will take on Liverpool the following day, while Arsenal will go head-to-head with Newcastle at the Emirates on January 3, kick-off at 8 pm.
To finalize the festive proceedings, Crystal Palace and Tottenham will meet at Selhurst Park on January 4 and Chelsea will host Manchester City the following day, with both games kicking off at 8 pm.
Premier League matches scheduled for the festive period:
Monday, 26 December
Brentford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)
Crystal Palace v Fulham (15:00)
Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers (15:00)
Leicester City v Newcastle United (15:00)
Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion (15:00)
Aston Villa v Liverpool (17:30)
Arsenal v West Ham United (20:00)
Tuesday, 27 December
Chelsea v Bournemouth (17:30)
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest (20:00)
Wednesday, 28 December
Leeds United v Manchester City (20:00)
Thursday, 29 December
No Premier League games, though a full round of English Football League games
Friday, 30 December
West Ham United v Brentford (19:45)
Liverpool v Leicester City (20:00)
Saturday, 31 December
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United (12:30)
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (15:00)
Fulham v Southampton (15:00)
Manchester City v Everton (15:00)
Newcastle United v Leeds United (15:00)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal (17:30)
Sunday, 1 January
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa (14:00)
Nottingham Forest v Chelsea (16:30)
Monday, 2 January
Brentford v Liverpool (17:30)
Tuesday, 3 January
Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion (19:45)
Leicester City v Fulham (19:45)
Arsenal v Newcastle United (20:00)
Manchester United v Bournemouth (20:00)
Wednesday, 4 January
Southampton v Nottingham Forest (19:30)
Leeds United v West Ham United (19:45)
Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers (20:00)
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur (20:00)
Thursday, 5 January
Chelsea v Manchester City (20:00)