Why is Chelsea vs Arsenal kicking off at 12pm on a Sunday?

Arsenal will face Chelsea on Sunday, November 6 at 12:00.

A number of Premier League games this season have sparked frustration among supporters as their teams have been forced to play at unfamiliar times on their usual weekend schedule.

Here, The Athletic explains the timing of Sunday’s London derby.

What is the traditional Premier League kick-off time?

Regular viewers of English football could memorize the Premier League’s weekly schedule. Weekends usually kick off at 12.30pm on Saturday, with BT Sport holding the rights to that slot. That is, of course, until a game is selected for Friday Night Football, which kicks off in front of the Sky Sports cameras at 8pm.

Due to England’s football blackout laws, games after 3pm on Saturdays cannot be shown in the UK. When this blackout is lifted at 5.15pm, Saturday Night Football usually kicks off a quarter of an hour later.

Then, on Sunday, Sky Sports will host two Super Sunday games, usually kicking off at 2pm and 4.30pm. The weekend after midweek, the Sunday, has plenty of games this season with Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham. Sometimes there is also a Monday night football game, which always starts at 8pm.

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What is the reason for the different beginnings of TV shows?

In this particular scenario, Arsenal had to move the game to an earlier Sunday slot due to Europa League commitments. The game is being shown live on BT Sport, but the game cannot be played in its usual 12.30 Saturday slot as the Gunners are in action on Thursday night.

24 hours after Chelsea host Dinamo Zagreb, FC Zurich will face Arsenal in London at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta’s side have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League but will be looking to avoid the play-offs against one of the relegated sides of the Champions League; Matching PSV’s result would guarantee them first place.

The turnaround between Thursday night’s clash and Saturday lunchtime is too short and it would be unreasonable to expect the current Premier League leaders to play on those days. Instead, they get an extra day to recover and prepare with the game being played and broadcast on Sunday.

Have the start times been criticized before?

Yes, several managers of clubs competing in the Premier League and Europe have expressed their displeasure at certain kick-off times. Arteta was actually one of the critics of last season’s Saturday 12.30 kick-off.

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After being beaten by Liverpool on Wednesday night in March, Arsenal had to prepare for an early weekend trip to Aston Villa. They won the match 1-0 and cemented their position in the top four at the time, but the Spaniards were not happy before the game.

He said: “Big thanks to the Premier League for doing that and they did it again when we had to play Chelsea and Manchester United, so if they want to give them any advantage I’ll give them a big thank you today. to do this.’

Jurgen Klopp was also a critic of that particular fixture slot. In the midst of Liverpool’s charge of a quadruple last season, his side were forced to host Villarreal in Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final with a midday trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

Has the 12:00 Sunday slot been used before?

Yes. Only other times this season have other Arsenal games been used; They beat Brentford 3-0 away in mid-September.

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In addition, it is one of the most extraordinary starts to the Premier League. At other times, it was used with varying frequency during the Covid-affected 2020-21 season, with each game given its own TV slot.

Will it be reused?

With European football out of action until February, there are no plans for any other confirmed televised games to be played on Sunday afternoons. The fixtures for the remainder of the festive season have all been confirmed and supporters will be pleased to hear that none of them will be played at 12pm on Sunday.

But it could be used again when the play-off matches in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League begin.

(Photo: Getty Images)


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