Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their charge for the Premier League title following the release of the December fixtures.
All matches will still be televised next month despite limited numbers of fans returning to some grounds.
Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BBC will be showing games as the season rolls into the festive period.
And the Blues arguably have the toughest run including a 48 hour turnaround from a clash at Arsenal on Boxing Day to hosting Aston Villa.
That compares with Premier League champions Liverpool, who have over three days off following their clash with West Brom on December 27.
Frank Lampard is unlikely to be happy with Chelsea’s gruelling fixture list
Both sides also face Champions League matches in December in a season heavily congested amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Managers have often expressed their fury and worry over the schedule, with Chelsea boss Lampard previously voicing his concerns.
The Stamford Bridge chief said earlier this month: “I think we are [worried], because I understand what no pre-season means as well.
Chelsea have started the Premier League season in fine form
“If it is short it can effect the start of the season, they are being thrust game into game.
“I have to balance the consistency of selection but to make sure the squad stay fit as they can. It’s something which has been spoken about.
“It’s not an excuse, just the reality. There are clear physical demands on the players.”
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