Wenger and Jewell must dream of overturning Christmas traditions

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The Independent Football

Although only four clubs have won the Premier League, nine sides have headed the league at Christmas. Only in the last three years has it become the rule that the Yuletide leaders go on to claim the title. Intriguingly, each time this season's festive leaders Arsenal have won the league they have been trailing at this stage. Arsne Wenger beware.

Derby manager Paul Jewell will be another looking to reverse tradition. Of the 15 clubs to celebrate Christmas from the bottom of the league, only one, West Bromwich Albion in 2004-05, has escaped relegation.

The clubs that keep the most focus in spite of the distractions of Christmas Day are Arsenal, Blackburn and Manchester United. All three have lost just one of their fifteen Boxing Day matches in the Premier League era. Indeed, Arsenal are currently on a run of seven consecutive Boxing Day victories ahead of the trip to Portsmouth tonight.

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