The teams with the toughest Premier League schedules over Christmas and New Year

  • The winter fixture list is jam-packed with games in the Premier League
  • A number of teams have challenging encounters around Christmas and New Year
  • Man Utd, Liverpool and Aston Villa have some feisty festive fixtures on the cards
Man Utd's winter fixture list isn't going to make life any easier for Erik ten Hag
Man Utd's winter fixture list isn't going to make life any easier for Erik ten Hag / Michael Regan/GettyImages

It's normally a period in the season that Premier League managers loathe. With games coming thick and fast every few days, the winter fixture list can define a campaign.

For coaches, it means injuries, fatigue and rotation, all of which can wreak havoc with a team's form. For those in Europe and the latter stages of the Carabao Cup, the problem is only exacerbated.

When the Premier League's supercomputer conjures up the fixture list at the beginning of the campaign, all supporters can hope for is a favourable winter run. After all, if results take a nosedive during this period, it can derail a season.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the Premier League sides with the toughest schedules over Christmas and the New Year.

The toughest Premier League schedules over Christmas and New Year

  1. Aston Villa
  2. Crystal Palace
  3. Everton
  4. Liverpool
  5. Luton Town
  6. Manchester United

Aston Villa

Unai Emery
Aston Villa have been in terrific form this season so far / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Looking at each club's fixtures between the beginning of December and the end of January, Unai Emery may be a tad worried. His Aston Villa side have been scintillating this season, but face a challenging winter schedule.

While they do have some favourable fixtures thrown in against relegation fodder, and an unwanted trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Europa Conference League, the Villans play some of the division's big boys.

Villa host Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle United in December and January, while also facing potentially awkward trips to Manchester United, Brentford and a resurgent Everton.

While not the toughest fixture list in the league, early December clashes against last season's top two will be a stern test of Villa's credentials.

Aston Villa's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time (BST)


06/12/23 - 20:15

Villa vs Man City

09/12/23 - 17:30

Villa vs Arsenal

17/12/23 - 14:00

Brentford vs Villa

26/12/23 - 20:00

Man Utd vs Villa

14/01/24 - 14:00

Everton vs Villa

30/01/24 - 19:45

Villa vs Newcastle

Crystal Palace

Jairo Riedewald, Chris Richards
Crystal Palace have a tough run of games this winter / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Fixtures against Bournemouth and Sheffield United at either end of the month are as easy as it's going to get for Crystal Palace this winter.

Roy Hodgson's side, who have made a mixed start to the campaign, face a string of tough matches in December in particular, playing four of last season's top six in the Premier League.

A trip to West Ham United in early December leads into games against Liverpool, Man City, Brighton, Chelsea, Brentford and Arsenal. The Eagles may need to pick up a few extra points in November to avoid finding themselves in trouble around Christmas.

Crystal Palace's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time (BST)


03/12/23 - 14:00

West Ham vs Palace

09/12/23 - 12:30

Palace vs Liverpool

16/12/23 - 15:00

Man City vs Palace

21/12/23 - 20:00

Palace vs Brighton

27/12/23 - 19:30

Chelsea vs Palace

30/12/23 - 15:00

Palace vs Brentford

20/01/24 - 12:30

Arsenal vs Palace


Sean Dyche
Everton currently sit in 15th after a poor start to the season / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Despite a slow start to the season, Everton have begun to find a little form in the Premier League which has seen them shoot clear of the relegation zone, but they won't be looking forward to a challenging winter schedule.

Fixtures against Nottingham Forest and Burnley may offer some light relief for Sean Dyche, but games against Newcastle, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa could see the Toffees struggle for points.

When you consider that Everton's last November game is at home to Man Utd and their first February game is against current table-toppers Spurs, then Dyche's task gets that little bit harder.

Everton's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time


07/12/23 - 19:30

Newcastle vs Everton

10/12/23 - 14:00

Everton vs Chelsea

23/12/23 - 15:00

Tottenham vs Everton

27/12/23 - 20:15

Everton vs Man City

30/12/23 - 15:00

Wolves vs Everton

14/01/24 - 14:00

Everton vs Villa


Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool have a tough run coming up / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Despite a fairly routine start to December for Liverpool, the Reds' fixture list is less kind as the month wears on.

Pre-Christmas home clashes with Man Utd and Arsenal will colour Jurgen Klopp's mood over the holidays, while the Reds also host Newcastle on New Year's Day.

Luckily for Liverpool, all their toughest fixtures come at Anfield, welcoming Chelsea there at the end of January, although they do face a trip to Arsenal at the beginning of February.

Liverpool's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time (BST)


17/12/23 - 16:30

Liverpool vs Man Utd

23/12/23 - 17:30

Liverpool vs Arsenal

01/01/24 - 20:00

Liverpool vs Newcastle

31/01/24 - 20:00

Liverpool vs Chelsea

Luton Town

Alfie Doughty
Luton will get no favours during the winter period / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Luton Town begin December with a trip to Brentford and home clashes against Arsenal and Man City in the space of eight days, potentially putting them on rocky ground ahead of a pivotal period.

The Hatters also host Newcastle, Chelsea and Brighton at Kenilworth Road over the winter, but what will likely prove more decisive for the newly promoted side is their fixtures against those around them in the table.

Rob Edwards' side face Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Burnley in the midst of some challenging games, with nine huge points on the line.

Luton's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time (BST)


02/12/23 - 15:00

Brentford vs Luton

05/12/23 - 20:15

Luton vs Arsenal

10/12/23 - 14:00

Man City vs Luton

23/12/23 - 15:00

Luton vs Newcastle

30/12/23 - 12:30

Luton vs Chelsea

30/01/24 - 19:45

Luton vs Brighton

Manchester United

Erik Ten Hag
Erik ten Hag will be anxious about the winter period / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Having made a disastrous start to the campaign, Man Utd are unlikely to get any respite this winter. A hectic period that also includes a potentially pivotal Champions League tie with Bayern Munich begins with a trip to Newcastle's St James' Park.

Next up is a home clash against Chelsea, with December also including a trip to face rivals Liverpool, as well as meetings with West Ham and Aston Villa.

January, while populated with fewer fixtures, is similarly difficult. The Red Devils host Tottenham in the middle of the month, before facing in-form Wolves at the end of it. There will, of course, also be an FA Cup third-round tie in there as well.

Man Utd's toughest winter fixtures

Date & time (BST)


02/12/23 - 20:00

Newcastle vs Man Utd

06/12/23 - 20:15

Man Utd vs Chelsea

17/12/23 - 16:30

Liverpool vs Man Utd

23/12/23 - 12:30

West Ham vs Man Utd

26/12/23 - 20:00

Man Utd vs Aston Villa

14/01/24 - 16:30

Man Utd vs Tottenham

30?01/24 - 19:45

Wolves vs Man Utd