PROSPECT of industrial action has forced Arsenal and Chelsea to consider moving their Boxing Day fixtures to 27 December, potentially providing a major inconvenience to over 100,000 fans.
The mooted 24-hour Tube strike would impact on the safety of supporters planning to attend the game at Emirates Stadium, as well those fans travelling to Stamford Bridge where Chelsea are due to play Fulham.
Arsenal’s match against Wolves has already attracted a sell-out 60,000 crowd, while over 40,000 are expected to attend the west London derby.
And any cancellation or postponement could have repercussions on the plans of those fans whose festive celebrations have been shaped around the traditional Boxing Day programme.
Both clubs yesterday confirmed they were monitoring the situation and were in talks with key parties, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the Premier League.
Other capital clubs scheduled to be in home action on Boxing Day, who could now face disruption, include Watford, Millwall, Leyton Orient, Brentford, AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham & Redbridge.
Meanwhile, Chelsea expect captain John Terry to be fit for their crunch London derby against Spurs on Thursday, despite the England defender suffering an Achilles injury during training yesterday.
Terry was escorted off the pitch towards the end of the open session at Stamford Bridge with the help of two physios and appeared to be in significant pain.
The club later revealed he had pinched his Achilles attempting to block a shot, but played down the severity of the problem and said they expected him to lead out the team at White Hart Lane.