The top five leagues in Europe, English Premier League (EPL), La Liga, Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Ligue 1 have released their fixtures; including the mid season break for World Cup 2022. The tournament begins on 21, November and finishes on 18, December. Among those five top flights, Bundesliga has the longest break whereas EPL has the trickiest, as expected.
Traditionally, almost all of those leagues but Premier League have scheduled their winter break around December and January during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. German Bundesliga has always had the longest one. Thus, such fact will not be surprising. In terms of the length of mid season break, they are on the top, followed by Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1 and English Premier League, which will see its break later in March instead of during the winter after the world cup ends. Here are the details of mid season breaks in each of those major European leagues:
However, EPL did make more adjustments than the other to accommodate players’ wellness as well as FA’s special request. England boss, Gareth Southgate has specifically inquired Premier League to arrange the fixtures thoroughly before the world cup starts by not staging any big matches among the big six sides - Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester United, where most of his squad will be likely from. It is considered highly necessary by the former Middlesbrough head coach after The Three Lions’ big loss against Hungary in their last UEFA Nations League fixture, which was the worst since 1928. He stated clearly his reason to the media as follows.
"We’d have a preference for none of those big games but to be honest the difference it’s going to make is fairly marginal.Due to the timing of the World Cup, we lose the October camp so everything’s condensed, competitions are added but nothing is taken out. In the end I am sure players are gaining more of a voice in that and understandably so, and they should have a voice."
Such has been eventually granted and here are the final fixtures in EPL prior to Qatar 2022:
- Newcastle United vs Chelsea
- Wolverhampton vs Arsenal
- Liverpool vs Southampton
- Tottenham vs Leeds Utd
- Brighton vs Aston Villa
- Manchester City vs Brentford
- Fulham vs Manchester United
- Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace
- Bournemouth vs Everton
- West Ham vs Leicester City
Unfortunately, for clubs who are playing for European competitions, their fixtures will even be more congested before releasing their players to Qatar. UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League are set to complete their group stage before the world cup. It means that instead of playing every other week as they used to, the clubs will be holding every two matches in a row for two weeks till all six games are done. Once again, the players’ welfare is at stake before the world cup kicks off. Thus, the fans must brace themselves for watching more fatigued stars during the final round later.