Assessing every Premier League side’s Boxing Day record since 2010

Quick Reads
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores for Manchester United against Sunderland, Old Trafford, December 2016.

The Boxing Day football programme is an intrinsic part of the Christmas period in the United Kingdom, with people using the excuse of a match to escape their families for few, treasured hours.

This tradition has survived the Premier League era, with the focus upon scrimping the schedule wherever possible. With fixtures piling up at this time of years, results are usually more unpredictable than normal – as is reflected in the record of Premier League sides on Boxing Day.

We’ve crunched the numbers to see which sides have the best record on the 26th of December.

Arsenal

Played: 7
Win: 4
Draw: 2
Loss: 1
Goals Scored: 11
Goals Conceded: 9
Goal Difference: +2

It took until 2013 for Arsenal to play on Boxing Day and they’ve generally performed well on the day after Christmas – last year’s victory over Chelsea is proof of that.

The only blip was a 4-0 reverse at Southampton in 2015, a result that certainly dented their title chances that season.

Aston Villa

P: 11
W: 4
D: 2
L: 5
F: 10
A: 12
GD: -2

Aston Villa have played Boxing Day fixtures in both the Premier League and Championship since 2010, winning their last two top-flight matches on this date.

Last season saw a 3-0 demolition of Crystal Palace, marked by a particularly sexy Jack Grealish pass. Villa still miss him…

Brentford

P: 10
W: 5
D: 4
L: 1
F: 20
A: 14
GD: +6

Brentford have only suffered one defeat in 10 Boxing Day matches since 2010 – but all of them have been below the Premier League.

The Bees travelled to South Wales last year and beat Cardiff 3-2 on their way to promotion. Brighton will be their opponents in 2021.

Brighton

P: 7
W: 0
D: 3
L: 4
F: 6
A: 13
GD: -7

Brighton don’t have much luck on Boxing Day, failing to win a fixture on the day after Christmas for over 10 years.

They’ve lost to Charlton and drew with Reading and Brentford in the Championship. Since promotion, they’ve emerged winless from fixtures against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

Graham Potter’s side will hope for better luck against Brentford in 2021.

Burnley

P: 8
W: 3
D: 1
L: 4
F: 9
A: 10
GD: -1

Burnley were seconds away from winning at Old Trafford in 2017 before falling to a last-gasp equaliser. They are yet to win a Premier League fixture on Boxing Day and the postponement of their match with Everton means the wait will continue for another year.

Chelsea

P: 10
W: 6
D: 2
L: 2
F: 15
A: 9
GD: +6

They may have lost their last two Boxing Day clashes but Chelsea are normally pretty ruthless at this time of the season.

West Ham, Bournemouth, Brighton and Watford are among their victims since 2010.

Crystal Palace

P: 9
W: 3
D: 3
L: 3
F: 6
A: 12
GD: -6

Jordan Ayew’s goal against West Ham in 2019. That is all.

Everton

P: 10
W: 6
D: 2
L: 2
F: 14
A: 5
GD: +9

Defeats against Stoke and Sunderland earlier in the decade are Everton’s only real Boxing Day blemishes.

Their 5-1 win at Burnley in 2018 was a stand-out performance and their victory over Sheffield United last year took them as high as 5th in the Premier League table.

How times change…

Leeds United

P: 9
W: 3
D: 3
L: 3
F: 15
A: 15
GD: 0

Good luck predicting Leeds’ result on Boxing Day, with their nine fixtures since 2010 being evenly split between victories, draws and defeats.

They won’t be adding to their record in 2021 as their trip to Liverpool has been postponed. Which, considering their recent from, is probably for the best.

Leicester City

P: 11
W: 2
D: 4
L: 5
F: 10
A: 17
GD: -7

It has been quite a mixed bag in the east Midlands when it comes to Boxing Day luck.

Leicester’s 2-1 victory over eventual champions Manchester City in 2018 ended a run of four straight defeats – even the Premier League champions of 2015-16 lost 1-0 at Anfield.

They’ve scored less than a goal per Boxing Day game since 2010, so history would advise against putting Jamie Vardy in your Fantasy team this time around.

Liverpool

P: 8
W: 5
D: 1
L: 2
F: 18
A: 6
GD: +12

Liverpool won’t be in action this Boxing Day but nothing would top their 4-0 victory at Leicester in 2019.

Manchester City

P: 9
W: 6
D: 1
L: 2
F: 18
A: 7
GD: +11

The champions have an impressive record on Boxing Day, with defeats at Sunderland in 2012 and Leicester in 2018 acting as blips in their excellence.

City will be looking for revenge against Leicester this year – the Foxes also beat them 5-2 at the Etihad last season.

Manchester United

P: 11
W: 8
D: 2
L: 1
F: 31
A: 15
GD: +16

United have remained consistent on Boxing Day, even after Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. Newcastle are their most common victories, with United beating them three times at Old Trafford since 2010.

Their 2-2 draw at Leicester last season was one of only three times United have dropped points over the period.

Newcastle United

P: 10
W: 2
D: 0
L: 8
F: 13
A: 23
GD: -10

Newcastle may not win on Boxing Day very often, but their matches on St. Stephens Day see an average of 3.6 goals scored.

Their match against Manchester United falls on December 27 this year and it remains to be seen which division they’ll play in next season.

Norwich City

P: 9
W: 2
D: 1
L: 6
F: 13
A: 15
GD: -2

Norwich fans will look back fondly at their 6-1 win over Millwall back in 2014 and 3-3 with Nottingham Forest in the Championship winning season of 2018-19.

Their Premier League record is less promising. The Canaries lost 1-0 at Villa in 2019, their last top-flight Boxing Day fixture, and face in-form Arsenal this time around.

Good luck, lads.

Southampton

P: 8
W: 5
D: 2
L: 1
F: 17
A: 7
GD: 10

Southampton are surprisingly prolific on Boxing Day, with their 5-2 defeat at Tottenham in 2017 acting as their only reverse of the decade.

Their 4-0 win over Arsenal was memorable and Southampton will be looking to score another December 26 victory at West Ham in 2021.

Tottenham

P: 8
W: 7
D: 1
L: 0
F: 24
A: 6
GD: +18

Four past Aston Villa. Five past Southampton. Five past Bournemouth.

Spurs tend to indulge in goals on Boxing Day, with Crystal Palace being the nervous visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this year.

Watford

P: 8
W: 3
D: 3
L: 2
F: 11
A: 7
GD: +4

Watford players have this year’s Boxing Day off, their match with Wolves being postponed due to a COIVD outbreak in their camp.

They don’t usually fare well in their first match after Christmas anyway, their only Premier League win on Boxing Day coming against Leicester in 2017.

West Ham

P: 8
W: 2
D: 3
L: 3
F: 14
A: 14
GD: 0

The Hammers have won just once on Boxing Day since 2011 and that was a 4-1 win at Swansea back in 2016.

West Ham didn’t play on Boxing Day last year and will be looking to reverse a poor run of form against Southampton in 2021.

Wolves

P: 8
W: 4
D: 2
L: 2
F: 11
A: 10
GD: +1

Wolves have played across three divisions since 2010 and have generally been successful on Boxing Day – but all their victories have come in the lower leagues.

Their last defeat came against Peterborough in 2012 but the west Midlands side have not emerged victorious in the Premier League on December 26 since their promotion in 2018.

Wolves will have to wait until 2022 to correct that after their match with Watford was postponed.


More from Planet Football

Joe Sheerin: ‘I’m not proud of having the shortest Prem career ever’

Can you name the 20 youngest PL appearance makers since 2000?

An amazing Xl of the Premier League’s best ever January signings

Where are they now? The Newcastle side that topped the PL at Xmas 2001