Manchester Clubs Most Affected In Premier League By 2022 World Cup Break
The 2022 World Cup is just days away, with each of the 32 nations as prepared as they can be to compete for the coveted trophy.
Each nation has announced a squad featuring between 23 and 26 players, and it will be no surprise that many Premier League stars are featuring at the tournament – in fact, 135 Premier League players will feature at the 2022 World Cup.
However, with this year’s World Cup taking place in the middle of the Premier League season, it is arguably beneficial for Premier League teams to have as few of their players as possible playing at the World Cup, as any players competing in the hectic World Cup schedule are more likely to succumb to injury and fatigue.
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With this in mind, Betting.com has analysed each Premier League club to reveal which team will benefit the most from having its players miss out on the 2022 World Cup.
To be considered a first-team squad member, each player must have played in a minimum of five Premier League games this season.
So which teams will be the most well-rested when the Premier League returns on Boxing Day?
Which Premier League Clubs Benefit the Most?
The five Premier League clubs that stand to benefit the most from this year’s winter World Cup are Southampton, AFC Bournemouth, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace.
Heading into the World Cup with a six-week break for the Premier League, all five of these clubs find themselves in the bottom half of the table with Southampton and Nottingham Forest in even deeper trouble in the relegation zone.
Southampton’s squad should be very well rested when the Premier League returns on Boxing Day. The Saints have just two players in attendance at the World Cup, namely the centre-back pairing of Mohammed Salisu (Ghana) and Armel Bella-Kotchap (Germany).
An incredible 18 Southampton first-team players will remain in the UK during the World Cup – more than any other Premier League club, leaving new boss Nathan Jones with plenty of options when the action resumes.
Southampton’s rivals on the south coast, AFC Bournemouth may also benefit from the 2022 World Cup. Like the Saints, the Cherries have just two representatives in Qatar, in the shape of striker Kieffer Moore and defender Chris Mepham, who are both in the Wales squad.
15 of AFC Bournemouth’s first-teamers will be staying at home during the World Cup, which should leave the club well prepared for when the Premier League returns.
Leeds has just three representatives in Qatar this year, two of which will be wearing the colours of the USA – that’s midfielders, Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson. Meanwhile, Leeds defender Rasmus Kristensen will be turning out for Denmark.
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A very useful 15 first-team players at Leeds United will be well-rested and ready to go when the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day.
Newly promoted Nottingham Forest famously experienced an overhaul of new signings in the summer, with 22 names joining the Forest squad.
With such a big squad available to Forest manager Steve Cooper, the team still keeps an impressive 15 first-team players at home, despite six Forest players heading to Qatar.
Forest’s World Cup exports include three Wales players – Neco Wiliams, Brennan Johnson and Wayne Hennessey. Plus Remo Freuler (Switzerland), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Senegal) and Richie Laryea (Canada).
The South London club has one of the most streamlined first-team squads in the Premier League this season, with just 16 players reaching the five appearance milestone so far – the joint lowest in the Premier League, along with Brighton.
14 players will stay behind at Selhurst Park, while just two Eagles representatives fly to Qatar – namely, Joachim Andersen (Denmark) and Jordan Ayew (Ghana).
Which Premier League Clubs are the Most AffectMost
However, while the winter break allowing for the 2022 World Cup to take place is evidently beneficial to some clubs, not every club will be quite so satisfied when Premier League football returns on Boxing Day.
Interestingly, it is the teams at the top half of the table who could find their squads most affected by the non-stop action and drama of the World Cup.
Of the five teams who will be most affected by the 2022 World Cup, four of them find themselves in the top five of the Premier League table. These teams include Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The fifth side whose Premier League campaign could be hindered by the timing of the 2022 World Cup is Brighton & Hove Albion.
No Premier League club is as well represented at the 2022 World Cup as Manchester City, with the reigning Premier League champions sending 16 of its first team squad members out to Qatar.
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In alarming news for City fans, just four first-team City players will be staying in Manchester during the World Cup. However, Sky Blue supporters can take some solace in the fact that one of the names staying at home is Norway international and this season’s top scorer, Erling Haaland.
The World Cup is set to prove an equally inconvenient stumbling block in the red half of Manchester too, with 14 Red Devils jetting out to Qatar, leaving just 6 first-teamers to rest up at home.
Although, Manchester United do keep behind some prominent players, including goalkeeper David de Gea (Spain) and winger Jadon Sancho (England) who were surprising exclusions from their respective international squads.
Manchester United can also draw on the under-utilised options of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (England) and Donny Van de Beek (Netherlands). Neither player has been selected for the World Cup, nor made five Premier League appearances this season, meaning they did count towards the data for this study.
Arsenal’s surge to the top of the table during this year’s Premier League campaign has proved costly in the sense that they have more first-team players at the World Cup than not – 10 will be in attendance in Qatar, while eight stay behind in North London.
However, some prolific Gunners players should themselves be well rested for when the Premier League returns, including defender Gabriel Magalhães (Brazil) and striker Eddie Nketiah (England), who were not called up to their respective international squads.
Brighton & Hove Albion
One of this season’s surprise packages, seventh-placed in the table, Brighton & Hove Albion have kept their first team very exclusive, with just 16 players making five Premier League appearances or more – the joint-fewest along with Crystal Palace.
There’s a fifty-fifty split in the Brighton squad between players going to the World Cup or not, with eight headed to Qatar and eight staying on the South Coast.
However, three of the Seagulls’ representatives will be playing for Ecuador (Moisés Caicedo, Jeremy Sarmiento and Pervis Estupiñán), meaning many Brighton supporters may be quietly hoping for an early Ecuadorian exit.
The Spurs squad is also at risk of being worn out by the winter World Cup, with 12 Tottenham first-teamers heading to Qatar, to represent 11 different nations, including England, Brazil, France and more.
Thankfully, there are still nine first-team players staying in Tottenham during the World Cup to help prepare the North London club for the Premier League’s Boxing Day return, including Lucas Moura and Dejan Kulusevski.
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