By 90Min
December 26, 2018

Manchester United and Harry Kane will be hoping to continue their fine Boxing Day form of years gone by when they take on Huddersfield and Bournemouth respectively this year.

United top the Premier League table when it comes to points won on Boxing Day since the current era began in 1992, while Kane is the joint leading Boxing Day goalscorer among active players alongside Bournemouth veteran Jermain Defoe.

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Research from The Sportsman has looked at every Premier League game played on 26th December in the last 26 years (this season being the 27th), with United top of the cumulative table on 60 points from 24 games - the Red Devils have twice played on 27th December instead.

Mostly under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, United have won 19 of those games, scoring an average of 2.58 goals per game and achieving an average of 2.5 points per game. New caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to keep up the tradition after recording a thumping 5-1 victory over Cardiff in his first game in charge at the weekend.

Arsenal have managed 44 points from 20 games on Boxing Day, an average of 2.2 per game. Liverpool have also taken 44 Boxing Day points, but in two games more for an average of a slightly worse return of two points per game.

Tottenham are marginally behind with an average of 1.95 points per game on Boxing Day, while Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham have all taken at least 1.5 points per game over the years.

Tottenham have the benefit of being managed by Mauricio Pochettino, someone who is yet to experience anything other than a win in games played on Boxing Day. The Argentine has won three times with Spurs and once with Southampton - it is also worth noting that when Spurs played on 28th December instead of Boxing Day, they won that game as well.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Newcastle and Leicester are among the very worst culprits for post-Christmas Day blues. With records of 0.8 points per game and 0.41 points per games respectively, they are not the worst of the sides currently in the Premier League, but the significant number of games each has played shows a poor Boxing Day is no fluke.

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Newcastle have only won four of 20 games on Boxing Day in the Premier League, losing 12. Leicester, meanwhile, have won one of 12 and have lost nine times on 26th December.

Those with worse average points per game returns have played only sparingly in the top flight. Wolves, Brighton and Cardiff have never won on Boxing Day in the Premier League, for example, yet between them all three have only played in five total games.

See a full Boxing Day table further down the page


As far as individual players are concerned, Harry Kane has scored six goals on Boxing Day, including a hat-trick in this fixture last year. The England captain will be hoping to add to his tally this week when Tottenham face Bournemouth.

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Jermain Defoe is the only other active Premier League player with at least six goals to his name, dating back to the veteran's past spells with former clubs West Ham and Tottenham.

Kane still has a little way to go to catch the all-time Premier League Boxing Day top goalscorer. That honour currently belongs to Robbie Fowler, who scored on 26th December for Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester City during his career. Alan Shearer netted eight Boxing Day goals for Blackburn and Newcastle, as did Robbie Keane for Coventry, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Overall, 592 goals have been scored by 375 players in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

Current Premier League Clubs Ranked by Boxing Day Record (Avg. Points per Game):

Rank Club Played Points Points Per Game
1 Manchester United 24 60 2.5
2 Arsenal 20 44 2.2
3 Liverpool 22 44 2.0
4 Tottenham Hotspur 22 43 1.95
5 Manchester City 18 32 1.77
6 Chelsea 24 42 1.75
7 West Ham United 18 28 1.55
8 Everton 23 31 1.34
9 Burnley 4 5 1.25
10 Crystal Palace 8 10 1.25
11 Southampton 16 18 1.12
12 Watford 5 5 1.0
13 Huddersfield Town 1 1 1.0
14 Fulham 12 12 1.0
15 Newcastle United 20 16 0.8
16 Bournemouth 3 2 0.66
17 Leicester City 12 5 0.41
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 0 0
19 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 0 0
20 Cardiff City 1 0 0

The information in this article refers to games specifically played on Boxing Day (26th December) itself, rather than simply fixtures nearest Boxing Day.

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