How the fixture list penalises Chelsea

The Premier League fixture list has given Chelsea five away games and one at home following Champions League Matchday Group games this coming season. Yet Arsenal have five home games and one away.

Should Manchester United and Everton qualify for the Group stage, they will both have three at home and three away.

Chelsea’s extreme Premier League demands following the six Champions League Matchdays are: Charlton away, Liverpool away, Everton away, Manchester United away, Portsmouth away and Wigan at home.

In contrast, Arsenal’s six are: Everton home, Birmingham home, Manchester City home, Sunderland home, Blackburn home and Newcastle away.

Last season Chelsea was fortunate that the Group game away matches were on Tuesdays and the home games on Wednesdays, giving one more crucial day for recovery after travelling. Arsenal had home games on Tuesdays and away ones on Wednesdays. The home and away split is decided when the draw is made.

The results following Chelsea’s six games were: Drew 0-0 Tottenham home; won 1-0 Liverpool home; won 4-0 Blackburn home; won 1-0 Everton home; won 4-0 Charlton away; and drew 2-2 Arsenal away. Four at home and two away.

Arsenal, runners-up to Chelsea in the League, fared as follows: Drew 2-2 Bolton home; won 4-0 Charlton home; lost 2-0 Manchester United away; drew 1-1 Crystal Palace away; lost 2-1 Liverpool away; and drew 2-2 Chelsea home. Three at home and three away.

Source: Official Chelsea FC website

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