Manchester City have released a statement on the scheduling of the fixtures during the Christmas period, believing that Liverpool have perhaps been handed an advantage.
City play on December 27, when all the other Premier League games are on Boxing Day, giving them under 48 hours to recover from that game against Wolves to face Sheffield United.
Meanwhile, Wolves have less time to recover than Liverpool do for their meeting on 29 December, and City felt it necessary to make a statement to the Manchester Evening News.
It said: “We’re disappointed that the schedule is so tight for the players over Christmas. Premier League games are a huge physical demand, and it’s not ideal to be made to play twice in less than 48 hours because it doesn’t give the players time to properly recover.
“We also need to make sure that we protect the players’ wellbeing, the sporting integrity of the league, and the quality of the product. We’ve had an open dialogue with the league to consider other options, but ultimately, we will have to comply with the kick off times and dates.”
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The scheduling of the Christmas fixtures is always a nightmare because of the power the television companies wield.
There is no regard for the supporters, or how well the players can recover and very little effort appears to be made to preserve the fairness in terms of recovery times.
That said, any potential fitness advantage Liverpool may garner could be ruled out by their participation in the Club World Cup earlier in December.
The way to get around the Christmas issue would be to get rid of that round of games on the 29th, leaving teams to play high-quality matches on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.