Newcastle likely to be spared Christmas Eve TV slot

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle United fans are likely to be spared a Christmas Eve visit to the London Stadium.

A Premier League fixture is set to be moved to the festive date, which falls on a Sunday, for live broadcast by Sky Sports.

And there were fears that Newcastle’s game away to West Ham United would be selection. However, the broadcaster favours other fixtures, notably Liverpool’s visit to Arsenal. A decision is set to be made later this week.

Six of United’s opening eight Premier League fixtures have been moved so they can be broadcast live.

Supporters made the long journey to the South Coast on Sunday for a 4pm kick-off against Southampton, who twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Newcastle.

United were backed by 3,200 fans at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Asked about the scheduling of the club’s fixtures, Newcastle manager Benitez said: “It’s always difficult to find the balance because you have games on TV.

“I was in Italy and Spain and sometimes you play at 10 in the evening, then it is very difficult. But I would like to see our fans enjoying good times for them also, but, hopefully, if it’s a bad time, then we can give them three points and give them something to think about.”

The West Ham game could also be moved to an evening kick-off on Friday, December 22.