The key date missing from Newcastle United’s Premier League fixture list

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The decision was confirmed when the Premier League released their fixtures for the 2022/23 season on Thursday.

There is one notable absentee from Newcastle United’s fixtures for the new Premier League season.

The Magpies will open up their season with a home clash against newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on on Saturday 6th August before travelling to Brighton and Hove Albion seven days later for their opening away day of the campaign.

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A week after rounding off their home fixtures against Leicester City, Eddie Howe’s side will visit Chelsea on the final day of the season on Sunday 28th May.

There is a slightly different look to the Premier League fixture this season as FIFA’s controversial decision to award this year’s World Cup Finals to Qatar impacts on the domestic game.

The first ever winter finals mean that Newcastle’s season will be paused following the the home game with Chelsea on Saturday 12th November and the Magpies will not return to action until a Boxing Day visit to Leicester City.

But that is not the only big difference in United’s schedule with one of English football’s traditional fixtures removed from the calendar this season.

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“The players need help and help needs to come from other areas”

The hectic Christmas period usually consists of a midweek game sandwiched between the Boxing Day and New Years Day fixtures.

This has caused much debate in the recent past with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hitting out at the schedule last season, saying: “Boxing Day is never in doubt.

“We all want to play on Boxing Day, actually. It's a great fixture, everyone loves it. It's great for the people, it's great for the players. Really good for everybody.

“But then after that, we will not stop discussing, because if we don't discuss it, it just stays like this. Maybe it stays anyway like this.

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“The players need help and help needs to come from other areas.”

“It’s time to make player health and performance a priority”

That follows a warning from world players union FIFPRO over the impact a saturated schedule will have on player welfare.

Speaking in October 2021, FIFPRO general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “The data shows we must release pressure on players at the top end of the game.

“It’s time to make player health and performance a priority.

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“It is far less problematic to do it this way than to wait for the muscle tear to come, and then the player is out six weeks and nobody sees them, which ultimately harms the competitions and the fan experience more.”

However, the workload placed upon Premier League stars has been lessened this year in response to the impact of the World Cup and fears over players suffering burnout.

The traditional Boxing Day fixtures will take place but the games that usually take place on or around the 28th December have now been moved to elsewhere in the fixture list.

That means Newcastle’s Boxing Day visit to Leicester City will now be followed by a New Years Eve home meeting with Leeds United before 2023 opens with a trip to Arsenal.

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