Jose Mourinho, a man who enjoys lamenting how difficult a particular task is before undertaking it knowing that, if he succeeds, it reflects all the better on him, has moved to identify who has the hardest festive fixtures to fulfil.
It’s not Burnley, who face Liverpool, Manchester City and Newcastle, or Leicester’s trio of matches against Tottenham, Hull and Liverpool.
No, the team who have it toughest according to the Portuguese is, of course, Chelsea, with a string of games between Christmas and New Year’s Day against West Ham, Southampton and Spurs.
A daunting run indeed for a team of the Blues’ stature, which is why backing Manchester City to be top of the Premier League on January 2nd at 51/50 looks a worthwhile exercise.
The Citizens are currently three points behind west London’s finest in second and must travel to West Brom before hosting Burnley and Sunderland between now and the dawn of 2015.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have won nine matches on the spin across all competitions and will regard any haul below maximum points from these matches as a disaster.
This is not a sentiment that Chelsea would share, with two away matches to contest against two capable sides.
Their home match doesn’t strike as the most straightforward either, with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce overseeing three draws from his four dugout duels with the Special One at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs have only lost once in five home league games against the table-toppers, while second opponents Saints have bested six of the last eight to visit their St Mary’s stronghold this campaign.
A failure to win just two of these three matches is likely to see Chelsea sit second after the Christmas period concludes and, although claiming all of the spoils on offer isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, backing Man City to overhaul them by January 2nd rates a good value bet.