Premier League: Boxing Day 2020 matches
Boxing Day is a special day for all football fans. It is a time when Christmas ties are being replaced by the team scarf of your favourite club. It is the Day D, when the Premier League clubs return to the pitch for business, whilst families celebrate at home.
Although Boxing Day for most has become synonymous with football, the concept has basically a completely different meaning.
Why is it called Boxing Day?
During the 19th century, it was common for working-class people to have time off to be at home with their families. Employers traditionally gave a gift to their workers, in return for the past year’s efforts. The Christmas gift came in a box so that it would be easy to bring home to the family. Therefore, the day turned into the Boxing Day.
Why playing football on Boxing Day?
Playing football at Christmas is a tradition that goes back a long way in England. Historically, matches in the Premier League were always played on December 25.
Thus, people were having their Christmas celebration during the day. Subsequently, they would put on their warmest clothes and leave home for football.
During the 1950s, voices were raised for football matches to be moved from Christmas Day. The last Christmas Day match was played in 1957. From the following year, Christmas matches were instead scheduled on Boxing Day ever since. Organizers have tried to avoid to set derby matches on Boxing Day, in order to keep a peaceful atmosphere during Christmas times.
This year’s fixtures
Although many exciting matches take place on Boxing Day, we have given special attention to a few selected ones. Check our TV Guide for the full schedule.
Leicester City vs Manchester United – 12:30 p.m – live on BT Sport.
Leicester and Man Utd drew (2:2) against each other in 2017. Ever since, Manchester have won all the games played between the teams. However, Leicester shouldn’t be ruled out completely. The games were usually decided by a goal margin or two.
Furthermore, it is a match between second-placed Leicester and United sitting on third, with Leicester being one game ahead.
Manchester United currently has two injured players. Cavani has a muscle injury with an uncertain prognosis. Phil Jones has a knee injury that will only allow him to return to the pitch in late December eventually.
Leicester City has a slightly bigger injury situation than the opponents. Amartey and Castagne have both suffered thigh muscle injuries and will be away from football for a yet uncertain duration. Söyüncü (hip injury) and Pereira (groin strain) are expected to be back on the pitch late in December this year.
Arsenal vs Chelsea – 18:30 p.m – live Sky Sport.
A match which can go either way. There is great rivalry between both teams, with matches often tending to turn out fast and intense. Their last clash in August ended with a draw.
Arsenal will miss Nelson and Thomas who are injured. Nelson, who has sustained a head injury, is almost certainly out for the Boxing Day game. Thomas is expected to return late in December from his thigh injury and may return for the Boxing Day.
Chelsea will most likely face Arsenal on 26th without three players. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech are sidelined with a posterior thigh muscle injury. Reece James who suffered a knee injury recently.
Sheffield vs Everton – 20:00 p.m – live on BT Sport.
Everton won three of the last 5 games against Sheffield, whilst the Blades only took all three point once. With only 2 points collected, Sheffield sits at the bottom of the Premier League table. Everton, on the other hand, has delivered some severe performances this year, which places them fourth in the standing.
Sheffield will be without Oliver McBurni, Jack William O’Connell and Kean Bryan until next year.
Everton’s James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne will miss the match on the 26th. Fabian Delph and Marques Loureiro Allan are suffering from thigh muscle injuries and will possibly return on 26th. The same is valid for Jean-Philippe Gbamin who is curing an Achilles tendon.
TV Guide Boxing Day
Don’t miss any football fixtures with our TV Guide and follow all Premier League matches live on TV.