Premier League opts against Christmas Eve matches

Arsenal's clash against Liverpool in the Premier League will take place on December 22

When the initial suggestion was made Reds fan group the Spirit of Shankley said: "We hope that common sense will prevail and that both clubs, police, television companies and the Premier League decide against such a move".

Complaints by Arsenal stewards and concerns about how Liverpool fans would get home after the match seem to have won the day over Sky's unfortunate desire to have a marquee match to broadcast on Christmas Eve this year.

There are some big contests at the start of the month, such as United's trip to Arsenal on Saturday December 2 and the Manchester derby on Sunday December 10.

Scudamore defended both Sky Sports and BT Sport from criticism.

Arsenal v Liverpool will be played the day before, on a Friday night.

There were suggestions that a compromise would be sought, with the hope that the game would instead take place at 12.30pm.

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Three other fixtures have been moved from the 15:00 slot on 24 December - Everton v Chelsea, Burnley v Tottenham and Leicester v Manchester United.

"We appreciate this is the peak time for supporters attending and watching the Premier League", he said in a statement.

"With matches scheduled on Christmas weekend for the first time in 11 years, the process of selecting games for live broadcast has been a more complex one than usual and I would like to thank our broadcast partners and clubs for their co-operation and flexibility".

The Premier League insisted supporters' feelings on festive fixtures were taken into account to reduce travel times for traditional Boxing Day and New Year's Day games.

There has not been a Premier League fixture on December 24 since 1995.

Two televised Boxing Day fixtures have been announced, with Tottenham v Southampton and Liverpool v Swansea the picks for Sky Sports.

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