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Why Aston Villa vs Bournemouth and Crystal Palace vs West Ham kick off at 3pm this SUNDAY

As fans look ahead to some Premier League football this weekend, they will quickly notice that the fixture schedule is very unusual.

Normally, games will be planned for either 12:30pm, 3pm or 5:30pm on a Saturday or for 2pm or 4:30pm on a Sunday.

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Villa are one of four teams set to play at a strange timeCredit: Getty

However, this weekend, the action has strayed away from the usual plan in a strange change to the schedule.

Aston Villa vs Bournemouth and Crystal Palace vs West Ham are both set to go ahead at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

And that has been forced to happen due to midweek European games.

The Premier League has explained on their website that the fixture was moved from Saturday ‘due to Aston Villa and West Ham being in UEFA competitions.’

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Villa played the second leg of their Europe Conference League quarter-final tie against Lille on Thursday and progressed through on penalties.

Meanwhile, the Hammers hosted newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen but were beaten on aggregate after a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

So to allow enough recovery and travel time for both teams, the games were moved to Sunday afternoon.

There is no official reason from the Premier League or any of the clubs on why the game is at 3pm instead of the usual 2pm start though.

West Ham's second leg against Leverkusen has forced them to play on Sunday

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West Ham’s second leg against Leverkusen has forced them to play on SundayCredit: Getty

Aston Villa announced the change last month with their only reasoning being ‘due to the club’s participation in the UEFA Europa Conference League’.

Crystal Palace revealed the same for their game, announcing ‘the move is necessary due to West Ham’s participation in the Europa League quarter-finals the preceding Thursday.’

As well as the weird Sunday change, Saturday looks different too.

There are only two games in the traditional 3pm slot and Wolves then host Arsenal at 7:30pm in the evening.


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