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A winter break is just what the Premier League needs, especially for those players heading to Euro 2020

A winter break is just what the Premier League needs, especially for those players heading to Euro 2020

Year on year, the debate surrounding a winter break for the Premier League continues to rage. Well, in the current 2019-20 season, that break will be forthcoming.

Each team will get a week off in February due to the grueling Christmas period and, with the Euro Championships on the horizon next summer, it's been lauded by most pundits and fans as the most sensible option to take to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Four Premier League fixtures will take place on the inaugural winter break weekend with six more the following weekend with every game having a different kick-off time.

Longer recovery

Five teams have the shortest length of recovery between games - Burnley, Bournemouth, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Wolves - but even then that time span is 13 days. Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea have the longest break with 16 days.

The fact that seven clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves - have Europa or Champions League fixtures later in February suggests that a break such as this was indeed necessary as matches pile up.

For those sides playing in Europe on the 18, 19 and 20 of February, they do not have a game the first week of the split off, ensuring greater rest and recovery. You and your bank balance will also be able to recover after non-stop football before getting your betting head screwed on for the run-in. Concepts such as a bet calculator and other tools can help you get ahead of the game so are certainly worth using.

In an unprecedented move, the FA has agreed to move the FA Cup's fifth round fixtures to mid-week, with replays no longer being played out from the fifth round onwards, instead replays are being replaced with extra time and penalties. Third round replays will still go ahead, however, to ensure smaller clubs can still obtain that essential revenue.

Premier League winter break

No longer an anomaly

The English Premier League was, officially, the only big league in Europe that failed to organise a winter break in the past. Italy, Germany, Spain and France have led the way, and, of course, those four nations have been at the forefront of World and European success in recent times.

Whilst players in those leagues come back refreshed, English sides have had to deal with a lot more fatigue come the end of the season. In fact, a 2013 UEFA study revealed that a player is four times more likely to be injured in the Premier League's last three months than over the same length of time in other European leagues.

Introducing a winter break will benefit the Premier League and national players in the business end of the season. And, it will be trialed for three seasons to cover the new broadcasting rights deal, giving players, coaches and fans the chance to get accustomed.

England players

Of course, every football fan knows that next summer the Euros will be coming to town when Wembley will host seven fixtures, with the semi-finals and final held on that famous turf.

The winter break allows English players ten days' rest before that prestigious event, raising prospects of going one further than the Three Lions did in the 2018 World Cup.

Euro 2020


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