With Liverpool’s fixtures being announced for the upcoming Premier League season, there has been a big change to the traditional festive fixture schedule.
As reported by The Telegraph: ‘The traditional festive round of Premier League matches between Boxing Day and and New Year is being dropped from schedules in a move to ease player burnout after the World Cup.
‘Normal Dec 28 fixtures have been moved to counter concerns over the Boxing Day return to domestic duties coming just eight days after the final in Doha.
‘The Premier League resumes on Boxing Day following the World Cup final on Dec 18. The last match of the season takes place on May 28. Many players could end up racking up similar numbers to Salah and Mane, whose Champions League final appearances were the pair’s 68th match each of an exhausting campaign.
‘That match tally is well over the maximum demanded by 90 per cent of high-performance coaches, who are backing no more than 55 matches per season, according to global union Fifpro. Sixty per cent of the games played by Liverpool’s African forwards were described as being in the “critical zone”, meaning two appearances of at least 45 minutes within less than five days.’
Without going into the absurdity of a winter World Cup, the fact that players are still playing international fixtures now and the already present overload of playing time on the players – it’s good to see that there has been some consideration of them.
With the likes of Mo Salah and Luis Diaz not qualifying for the tournament, this mid-season break will be highly beneficial for them and for maintaining their fitness levels.
As so many teams will have so many players at the competition, we may actually be able to return to the scheduled games against Aston Villa, Leicester City and Brentford with an edge on any title rivals.