Now that the Round of 16 has started at the world cup we know which players will at the very least have little training before the start of the season. R16 started on the 30 June which is exactly 6 weeks before the premier league starts. So with the 4 weeks compulsory breaks it means the players will have only 2 weeks of pre-season training which means out of shape players for Arsenal vs Man city. If their country gets to the quarter finals then they are out of the game since no club will risk a player with only 1 week of training especially in such a big match.
At the R16 stage the amount of EPL players from each club involved is:
Man City 15
Man Utd 10 + 1(Fred)
Arsenal 4 + 2 (Lichtsteiner, Torreira)
As it stands Man city will have nearly a match day squad with 2 or less weeks of training and Chelsea next week will have 11 with 3 weeks or less. We are seeing the benefits of having less players at the World cup and its influence on the first two big matches we have in EPL. In the past we have had opening matches ruined by missing players or out-of-form players, like against Liverpool in the 2016/17 opening match, so it’s only fair that this time the fixtures favour us.
Consider this; if Brazil, Belgium and England all qualify for the Quarter Finals, then Man city will have 9 players from their STARTING LINE-UP with only one week of training before our match. It is utterly ridiculous to think most among them will play let alone start the match.
Want to stockpile players with oil money? Meet Karma. Let’s return that 0-3 defeat to them Gunners.