Carrick dismisses theory Rangnick influenced Man Utd’s setup in Chelsea draw

Christmas Day is a time to stuff our gracious faces with turkey and all the trimmings, but top footballers in England need to show restraint.

This is because Boxing Day football is a festive tradition, a tradition where supporters can watch matches with belt buckles tighter than normal.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic meant everything was a little different last year, with the majority of supporters seeing the action from home – for a while it looked like this year’s action could be at risk as well.

Rightly or wrongly, Premier League clubs have chosen not to shut down the competition on Christmas despite a recent wave of postponements, which means we can’t wait to binge on Sunday – then watch football.

Consistently one of the most exciting dates on the Premier League calendar, Boxing Day is sure to entertain.

So, ahead of the 2021 games, take a look at some of the best Boxing Day Opta facts from previous years.

NO ROBBIE FOWL GAME

Poultry – whether it’s turkey, duck, pheasant or maybe even partridge – is a staple at most UK tables on Christmas Day, so it may be quite appropriate. that Robbie Fowl-er (we couldn’t resist …) has the best Premier League goalscoring record on December 26.

The Liverpool legend has scored nine times on Boxing Day, one more than Newcastle United great Alan Shearer, former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane and current Spurs star Harry Kane – who is the top scorer among the active Premier League players that day.

Thierry Henry (seven) and Jermain Defoe (six) have also produced many festive cheers in the past.

PUT ON YOUR CHRISTMAS HAT … TIPS

Some players love to produce crackers at Christmas.

The aforementioned Fowler is among those who pulled off a hat-trick on Boxing Day, doing so for Leeds United against Bolton Wanderers in 2001.

Henry (2000 for Arsenal), Kevin Phillips (2000 for Sunderland), Dimitar Berbatov (2011 for Manchester United), Gareth Bale (2012 for Spurs) and Kane (2017 for Spurs) also picked up late giveaways in match form. Ball.

A DEVIL AT THE TOP OF THE TREE ?!

It is customary to place an angel, or perhaps a star, on top of the Christmas tree. However, when it comes to the Premier League Boxing Day table, there is a team of devils – Red Devils no less – at Manchester United (yes, a thin joke, but at this point, is it worth it? ‘excuse?) High.

When you look at teams that have played at least 10 Boxing Day games in the Premier League, United have 67 points – 17 more than anyone else. They also boast the highest win rate, a pretty impressive 77.8%.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool (62.5%), Arsenal (60.9%), Tottenham (58.3%), Manchester City (55%) and Chelsea (44.4%) all feature prominently.

West Brom, at 8.3%, have only won once in 12 Boxing Day appearances in the Premier League, while Leicester City (13.3%) and Fulham (14.3%) have also seen difficulties on that date.

BARRY A FESTIVE LUMINAIRE

For nearly two full decades, Gareth Barry just loved putting his “Clau” into a festive device (Claus, like in “Santa Claus”, no claws… you understand?)

The former Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom midfielder has played Boxing Day in the Premier League 18 times.

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is not far behind on the 17th, with Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard, Aaron Hughes, Sol Campbell, Michael Carrick and James Milner all on 14 – the latter of course still strong with title hopes Liverpool.

FIVE BUT-D RINGS

The pun to title this section is punishment enough, so we’ll save you a gag straight out of a Christmas cookie this time around.

There have been seven occasions where a team has won by five goals on Boxing Day, which is the biggest margin of victory so far in the Premier League era.

Liverpool have done it twice (5-0 against West Brom in 2004, then again against Swansea City in 2017), while Everton, West Ham, Manchester United and Spurs also triumphed by the same score.

In 2000, Arsenal actually did better than five goals, although they also conceded in a 6-1 defeat from Leicester.

NOT THE CARDS YOU WANT TO RECEIVE …

Sending Christmas cards, along with the kind of witty banter we’ve provided throughout this Christmas treat, has been a long-standing staple of the holiday season.

But receiving a card on Boxing Day isn’t always what you want for your team, is it?

Chelsea, Newcastle United, Stoke City and Wimbledon all had three players dismissed in the games organized on December 26, but Aston Villa lead the table with four.


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