Sunday, June 29, 2014

The EPL Road Trip


With the World Cup in full swing, the release of the English Premier League fixture list for 2014-15 may have been overlooked by more than a few soccer fans. The schedule was issued on June 18, with the first matches taking place on August 16, just a month after the World Cup ends. Soccer players really get no rest; in between there is the International Champions Cup which features eight European clubs, including Liverpool and the two Manchester teams, playing 13 games in 13 venues across North America.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I like to post road trip plans here, but I have never done one for the EPL before. One major problem is that the dates of fixtures change as the Champions League, Europa League, and Capital One Cup get started and TV broadcasters move the more interesting games to Sundays and Mondays. As of this writing in late June, almost all fixtures are scheduled for Saturday at 3 pm. With 20 clubs, you would need to travel all the way to December 28th to see a match in each stadium, but once the schedule gets rearranged, this should come down to 10-12 weeks. The term "road trip" is also a bit of a misnomer; with England being relatively small, you don't have to be on the road for this sort of trip as weekend jaunts will do just fine.

Update: with fixtures being moved around for TV, the trip gets that much shorter. I've crossed out games that are no longer necessary and replaced them with ones that have been moved to an open date, signified with an asterisk. You can now see all 20 EPL venues in 10 weeks. Following European soccer tradition, home teams are listed first.


Aug 16 Man United vs Swansea (Old Trafford)*
Aug 17 Newcastle vs Man City (St. James' Park)*
Aug 18 Burnley vs Chelsea (Turf Moor) - moved from Aug 16
Aug 23 Crystal Palace vs West Ham (Selhurst Park)*
Aug 24 Sunderland vs Man United (Stadium of Light)*
Aug 25 Man City vs Liverpool (Etihad Stadium) - moved from Aug 23
Aug 30 Swansea vs West Brom (Liberty Stadium)
Aug 31 Aston Villa vs Hull (Villa Park) - moved from Aug 30
Sep 13 Liverpool vs Aston Villa (Anfield)*
Sep 15 Hull vs West Ham (The KC Stadium) - moved from Sep 13
Sep 20 QPR vs Stoke (Loftus Road Stadium)
Sep 20 West Ham vs Liverpool (Boleyn Ground)*
Sep 21 Everton vs Crystal Palace (Goodison Park)*
Sep 27 Arsenal vs Spurs (Emirates Stadium)
Sep 28 West Brom vs Burnley (The Hawthorns)*
Sep 29 Stoke vs Newcastle (Britannia Stadium)*
Oct  4 Leicester vs Burnley (King Power Stadium)
Oct  5 Chelsea vs Arsenal (Stamford Bridge)*
Oct 18 Southampton vs Sunderland (St. Mary's Stadium)
Oct 25 Spurs vs Newcastle (White Hart Lane)
Nov  1 Everton vs Swansea (Goodison Park)
Nov  8 West Ham vs Aston Villa (Boleyn Ground)
Nov 22 Chelsea vs West Brom (Stamford Bridge)
Nov 29 Swansea vs Crystal Palace (Liberty Stadium)
Dec  2 West Brom vs West Ham (The Hawthorns)
Dec  3 Sunderland vs Man City (Stadium of Light)
Dec  6 Stoke vs Arsenal (Britannia Stadium)
Dec 13 Man United vs Liverpool (Old Trafford)
Dec 20 Liverpool vs Arsenal (Anfield)
Dec 26 Crystal Palace vs Southampton (Selhurst Park)
Dec 28 Newcastle vs Everton (St. James' Park)

The original trip lasted two more months. Keep that in mind if you are ever planning an EPL road trip, wait until the TV schedule is announced before booking any tickets.

Best,

Sean

3 comments:

  1. If you are prepared to watch some teams compete in UEFA competitions, you can get round the 20 clubs a little quicker and return to the US quicker (saving money), plus tie in the first of Wembley's 3 NFL games. I've tried to change as little as possible from your original schedule in case you had already started acquiring tickets and have posted my amended schedule below.

    Aug 16 WBA Vs. Sunderland (The Hawthorns)
    Aug 17 Newcastle vs. Man City (St. James' Park)
    Aug 18 Burnley vs. Chelsea (Turf Moor)

    Aug 23 Crystal Palace vs. West Ham (Selhurst Park)
    Aug 24 Sunderland vs. Man United (Stadium of Light)
    Aug 25 Man City vs. Liverpool (Etihad Stadium)
    Aug 26 Celtic Vs. Maribor (Celtic Park) - I stuck this in as something else which may interest you, the Champions of Scotland Vs. the Champions of Slovenia, I'm planning to go too, I should add.
    Aug 27 Arsenal Vs. Besiktas (Emirates Stadium)
    Aug 28 Tottenham Hotspur Vs. AEL Limassol (White Hart Lane) or Hull City Vs. Lokeren (KC Stadium)

    Aug 30 Swansea vs. West Brom (Liberty Stadium)
    Aug 31 Aston Villa vs. Hull (Villa Park)

    Sep 3 England Vs. Norway (Wembley Stadium) (I put this here as it's in London when you plan to be - England are away to Switzerland on the 8th too!)

    Sep 13 Liverpool vs. Aston Villa (Anfield) or Southampton Vs. Newcastle (one of two chances to go to St Mary's I listed both in case you have already bought tickets for Anfield or Arsenal - see below for that match)
    Sep 14 Man United Vs. QPR (Old Trafford)
    Sep 15 Hull vs. West Ham (The KC Stadium)
    Sep 16 UEFA Champions League (UCL) match day 1/4 One of Chelsea/Man City/Liverpool will be at home across the four days, with Arsenal being at home on the 4th day should they beat Besiktas
    Sep 17 UCL match day 2/4 As above
    Sep 18 UEFA Europa League (UEL) match day 1/2. Everton will be at home on one of these two days, and Hull/Spurs will be at home on one should they beat win in the last round.

    Sep 20 QPR vs. Stoke (Loftus Road Stadium) 1245 followed by West Ham vs. Liverpool (Boleyn Ground) 1730
    Sep 21 Leicester City Vs. Man United (King Power Stadium)

    Sep 27 Arsenal vs. Spurs (Emirates Stadium) or Southampton Vs. QPR (See above - I listed both Southampton matches in case you had already acquired Arsenal tickets for this match or the Anfield game above)
    Sep 28 NFL: Raiders Vs. Dolphins 1800 (Wembley Stadium)
    Sep 29 Stoke vs. Newcastle (Britannia Stadium)
    Sep 30 UCL match day 3/4 As above
    Oct 1 UCL match day 4/4 As above
    Oct 2 UEL match day 2/2 As above

    Oct 4 Tottenham Vs. Southampton (White Hart Lane)
    Oct 5 Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Stamford Bridge)

    You then have the opportunity to go home earlier (and presumably make things cheaper!), should you not have already booked flights - having visited all 20 Premier League ground (all for a EPL match beside Goodison Park, which would have been UEFA Europa League) and had the opportunity to visit some of the big teams twice by seeing their respective UEFA matches in addition to a EPL match. Should you be booked in the UK for the following weekend already, I've included the international matches that are occurring in the British Isles that weekend too - plus England's away match that weekend.

    Oct 9 England Vs. San Marino
    Oct 10 Wales Vs. Bosnia
    Oct 11 Scotland Vs. Georgia or Ireland Vs. Gibraltar or Northern Ireland Vs. Faroe Islands
    Oct 12 England @ Estonia

    I really enjoy reading your blog from the UK, so as you plan to make a trip over here the least I thought I could do was to help you with your tightening your schedule should that be a requirement you would seek to make in an ideal world!!!

    All the best,
    Philip Brown

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Philip. Love the work you did here, adding all the other leagues. I need to live in the UK for a year or two. Although I won't be doing this trip (I have a job now), I am planning to visit London for the Cowboys vs Jaguars game on November 9th and will try to see Man City at Loftus Road the day before, so if you are in London at that time maybe we can meet up.

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