Manchester City are well on their way to again winning the English Premier League. Will the scheduling of the 2022 World Cup affect their chances of becoming champions?
When the decision was made to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, few imagined the disruption it would cause. Rather than the finals being held in the summer, we have a winter tournament. Anyone wanting to see their top domestic teams playing in late November and most of December will just have to look at their DVDs instead.
This is going to cause major problems for clubs. For over a month there’ll be no matches to play. That means a massive drop in revenue and for the not so wealthy clubs, it could cause major problems.
The lack of matches being played will also affect bookmakers, especially those online. Sports betting has become incredibly popular around the world, particularly in the USA. The state like New Jersey is recording huge figures. There will still be plenty of other sports to cover but for football, just as in the pandemic there will be a search for lower leagues to cover, this online sport betting guide for New Jersey informed.
Back to Manchester City and their quest to win a fourth straight English Premier League title . Their squad has players from all over the world. Many will be on World Cup duty in November and December. How will that affect them when the league season resumes just over a week after the World Cup final?
One slice of luck is that Erling Haaland isn’t on his way to Qatar. Norway didn’t qualify so he’ll be at home watching the games. He looks like being one of the few members of the City squad not to be playing in the World Cup. Is this good or bad news for the Premier League champions?
Haaland will have to work hard on his fitness to ensure he’s ready for when the Premier League season resumes. It might take a match or two to get back into the swing of things. He’ll also probably be fed up of hearing all the stories from other players about their World Cup exploits.
Pep Guardiola will be having an anxious time watching the World Cup. He’ll have his fingers crossed that none of his squad picks up an injury in Qatar. The fitness of his players when they return will be a cause for concern for him.
Usually after a major summer tournament, players are allowed to delay their training for the new season. That’s not going to be easy this year with Premier League fixtures being played just eight days after the World Cup final.
Guardiola is probably dreading England, Spain or Belgium going deep in the tournament. While not wishing ill-luck in some countries, he’d prefer his players back home as soon as possible.
There’s another reason for Guardiola to pay close attention to the World Cup matches. It’s common for players to grab the interest of watching club managers. The January transfer window will open soon after the World Cup ends. A sometimes quiet window might be the exact opposite in 2023 as the World Cup stars move clubs.
Late December and January is going to be a fascinating time in the footballing world. Will fringe players get unexpected opportunities to play or will the returning World Cup players have to go straight back into the domestic fray?