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When does the Premier League stop for the World Cup? Start date for the mid-season break and how long it lasts

The i 9/29/2022 Michael Hincks
Jurgen Klopp criticised the break due to player welfare (Photo: Reuters) © Provided by The i Jurgen Klopp criticised the break due to player welfare (Photo: Reuters)

The Premier League is taking a break this season, unwanted by some but ultimately deemed necessary due to the novelty that is a winter World Cup.

Since the World Cup’s inception in 1930, the tournament has been held in the middle of the year.

In fact, the World Cup has rarely strayed from June or July, with just five editions breaking the norm when starting in late May – Italy 1934, Chile 1962, Mexico 1970 and 1986, and then 2002 in Japan and South Korea.

And now along comes Qatar 2022, already controversial due the nature of its selection and the nation’s human rights abuses, ready to disrupt domestic campaigns across Europe and beyond.

What will be the final 32-team World Cup – with 48 nations set to play in 2026 – starts on 20 November with hosts Qatar facing Ecuador.

What follows is a packed group-stage schedule featuring four matches per day, and then the knockout rounds which begin on 3 December and conclude with the final on 18 December.

As a result, the Premier League confirmed last year that a six-week break would be implemented to accommodate the tournament, with the Championship following suit – although League One and League Two will resume as normal.

There will therefore be no Premier League matches from 14 November, with Sunday 13 November seeing Brighton take on Aston Villa and Fulham host Manchester United before all top and second-tier clubs press pause on their domestic campaigns.

Final Premier League round before World Cup

Saturday 12 November

  • Manchester City vs Brentford (12.30pm)
  • Bournemouth vs Everton (3pm)
  • Liverpool vs Southampton (3pm)
  • Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace (3pm)
  • Tottenham vs Leeds (3pm)         
  • West Ham vs Leicester (3pm)    
  • Newcastle vs Chelsea (5.30pm)
  • Wolves vs Arsenal (7.45pm)

Sunday 13 November

  • Brighton vs Aston Villa (2pm)
  • Fulham vs Manchester United (4.30pm)

The Premier League will then resume on Boxing Day, eight days after the World Cup final, and nine after the third-place play-off, meaning all players who reach the semi-finals will have little more than a week before their season resumes.

And as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp outlined earlier this season, it makes for the double-edged sword that is the further players go in the tournament, the less time they will have between the World Cup and the Premier League’s resumption.

“If you go to the final at a World Cup and win it or lose, or a third-place match, you are already quite busy and then the rest [of the season] starts a week later,” said Klopp, who likened the situation to climate change.

“If all the players then have a break it is not a problem, it is good. It is like a winter break which I had in Germany as a player a lot, four weeks [off].

“When I start talking about it, I get really angry… It is like with the climate. We all know it has to change but nobody is saying what we have to do.

First Premier League round after World Cup

Monday 26 December

Times TBC and matches could be moved back for TV

  • Arsenal vs West Ham    
  • Aston Villa vs Liverpool 
  • Brentford vs Tottenham
  • Chelsea vs Bournemouth            
  • Crystal Palace vs Fulham             
  • Everton vs Wolves
  • Leeds vs Manchester City           
  • Leicester vs Newcastle
  • Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest           
  • Southampton vs Brighton

“There must be one meeting where they all talk to each other, and the only subject should be the most important part of this game – the players.

“My problem is that as much as everybody knows it’s not right, nobody talks often enough about it that it will be changed. Something has to change. This World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons.”

In contrast to the players with packed schedules, some can look forward to a six-week long rest, including Klopp’s own forward and last year’s Golden Boot winner and PFA Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah.

That’s one positive for Klopp, at least, although a certain Norwegian forward at Manchester City is not playing the World Cup either.

No doubt Erling Haaland will be eager to hit the ground running once the Premier League returns, having already lit up the league so far.

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