Chelsea, Manchester City and Crystal Palace are among the clubs who have been dealt a tough hand by the festive fixture list. The Blues, City, Palace and Everton have just 48 hours rest time between matches on Boxing Day and December 28 - the shortest of any clubs over the congested Christmas period. Chelsea face Arsenal away at 5.30pm GMT on Boxing Day and then play Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in another 5.30pm kick-off two days later.
It is understood Lescott agreed to play in what he thought was a friendly.
Everything you need to know ahead of Friday night’s game