Arsene Wenger has revealed his team's Christmas plans for the year. He says the players will complete training early so that they can go back to being with their families later. The Premier League is filled to the brim with fixtures, with the Gunners playing twice in a span of 48 hours before the New Year.
"The day is completely focused on football," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "We don't have a real Christmas but we have Christmas the whole year, so we can pay back the people who sit at home.
"There's two Christmas Days. In England, it is on December 25. So, on the day we practice a bit earlier to give English players time to be back early. In my country and the Latin countries, Christmas usually happens on December 24 in the evening. We adapt to the English schedule because we are in England, so on the 25th we practice a bit earlier to get people home for their Christmas lunch."
Arsenal are currently second in the league, two points adrift of leaders Leicester City following their 2-1 win over Manchester City on 21 December. The Gunners rode on the back of goals by Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud to secure the win, despite squandering multiple opportunities to finish the game in the second half. Aaron Ramsey and Joel Campbell were the prime culprits.
Despite City's pressure in the final 10 minutes, they managed to hold on and have a chance of going into the New Year holding the top spot if results go their way. The victory was Arsenal's second against City in 2015, having beaten them at the Etihad last January. However, players won't have much time to bask in the comforts of their homes on Christmas Day and enjoy the win, given they have to travel to Southampton next day for a late kick-off.