Premier League action returns on Boxing Day after the World break. At the moment, players, fans, and managers are all gearing up for another grueling schedule of football action, especially for clubs competing in Europe and other local cup competitions such as Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
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The World Cup break affected clubs differently. However, The Gunners were flying high, and the break might have affected their momentum. No one would have predicted that Arsenal would be top of the table before the World Cup. But Arteta’s men have looked formidable so far and had lost only one game before the break.
There are several issues Arteta must solve to ensure they keep up the momentum. For instance, will they replace Gabriel Jesus? The Brazilian is sidelined for up to three months after undergoing knee surgery. Nketiah is the available deputy but is not at the same level as Jesus. This might force Arteta to alter his January transfer plans.
Additionally, other key players like Ramsdale, Saliba, and Martinelli did not play regularly for their countries, so they lack match sharpness. Arteta will have to address all these issues to ensure Arsenal keep up the momentum.
The Top Four Race is On!
The race for the top four this season is fiercer than ever before! Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle United, and Chelsea are all locked in the race for the Champions League spot.
Teams will be stretched fully, especially since most players participated in the World Cup. Ideally, Newcastle United have the upper hand if European fixtures are considered. Chelsea, Arsenal, and United will play a match every three days. This will cause fatigue and injuries, which could hinder performance.
So, how will the managers balance all these games? Will they sacrifice some competitions to fight for the top four? Time will tell.
All Eyes on the New Coaches
Aston Villa, Southampton, and Wolves all parted ways with their previous managers before the World Cup break. That allowed new coaches like Julen Lopetegui, Nathan Jones, and Unai Emery to come to the most competitive league globally.
Will these new coaches upset the odds? It will be interesting to see how Lopetegui and Emery fare in the EPL. What are you expecting when the EPL returns?