Robin Thorpe: Festive fixture list giving unfair advantage

Thorpe has been at United for eight years

Thorpe has been at United for eight years

ROBIN THORPE, the head of recovery and regeneration at Manchester United, says some teams have been handed a ‘competitive advantage’ because of the festive fixture list.

Teams play four games during the Christmas and New Year period - but some teams will have significantly more recovery time than others.

For example, Arsenal have 289.75 hours between their first and last fixtures, wheile United have only 215.5.

Whereas United play on December 23rd, 26th, 30th and January 1st, Arsenal play on the 22nd, 26th, 31st and 3rd. United will have the least recovery time out of a big six including Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Thorpe tweeted: “Fatigue accumulation is a limiting factor during the #EPL festive period, therefore game distribution is key to ensure competitive neutrality.

“However, certain teams have the advantage of an additional 24-hours (average) recovery time between successive games across entire period. Interesting to compare the festive fixtures of EPL teams, it seems the @premierleague provides competitive advantage for some clubs.

"15 teams are disadvantaged and play NY fixtures 43-54 hours apart whilst the other 5 have an extended recovery time of 72-99 hours.”

Festive fixtures:


22nd v Liverpool (H) 1945 GMT

26th v Crystal Palace (A) 2000

31st v West Brom (A) 1630

3rd v Chelsea (H) 1945


23rd v Everton (A) 1230

26th v brighton (H) 1500

30th v Stoke (H) 1500

3rd v Arsenal (A) 1945


22nd v Arsenal (A) 1945

26th v Swansea (H) 1730

30th v Leicester (H) 1500

1st v Burnley (A) 1500


23rd v Bournemouth (H) 1500

27th v Newcastle (A) 1945

31st v Crystal Palace (A) 1200

2nd v Watford (H) 2000


23rd v Leicester (A) 1945

26th v Burnley (H) 1500

30th v Southampton (H) 1730

1st v Everton (A) 1730


23rd v Burnley (A) 1730

26th v Southampton (H) 1230

2nd v Swansea (A) 1945

4th v West Ham (H) 2000

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